Introducing the Map Capsule

The Map CapsuleExciting news!  Today, a new capsule has been added to the HubTool: the map capsule!  The map capsule will allow you to embed a map (or multiple maps) into your Hubs.  On your map, you can mark and describe multiple locations of interest.

The capsule itself has some really amazing features.  For example, you can choose how your map is initially presented to readers- either in map, terrain, or satellite form.  Readers can then switch settings up when visiting your Hub.  Viewers can also (depending on the location) can click to view your location in Google Street View, meaning that they can walk along the very streets that you describe in your Hub.  What’s more, readers can expand a drop-down set of directions to your listed locations via bicycle, walking, or driving.  Pretty nifty, no?

All sorts of Hubs can benefit from an added map capsule thanks to its versatility.  You can, for example…

  • Map out historical routes for past marches and wars
  • Design the perfect vacation route though a foreign country
  • Map bird migrations
  • Plot out an excellent hike
  • Direct readers to your favorite childhood hangouts
  • Map pub crawls
  • Map out excellent hotels
  • Design a lovely city tour
  • Cover a the best restaurants in your local neighborhood
  • Create a map of great resources for your kids
  • Augment your HubTrails creations

Honestly, the options for using it are endless!

To learn how to use the map capsule and all of its lovely features, visit the Learning Center and read our guide.  Then, take the capsule for a spin!  You can go back and improve your old Hubs by adding this capsule, and perhaps this new feature has inspired you to write something entirely new.

One final note: The map capsule was created by the brilliant Fawntia, who has utilized both her brilliance and endless patience (when dealing with our endless questions and development feedback) to create this fabulous tool.  Fawntia, in my opinion, deserves a ginormous round of applause- and once you start playing with the map capsule, I’m sure you’ll agree!

HubPages’ Special Programs

As I am settling into the HubPages community, I find myself floored by its amazing special programs!

First I became acquainted with HubNuggets, which not only involves insanely hilarious weekly hubs but also fun voting and a chance for new Hubbers to step up and strut their stuff.  Then I discovered HubMob, helping Hubbers bust through writer’s block with new and exciting themes every week.  Next I came to meet the site’s wonderful HubGreeters, who make HubPages feel like a real, neighborly community, doing the online equivalent of bringing warm apple pie to new families on the block.

HubTrails blew my mind with the extent to which it has already mapped the world, and the HubChallengers out there inspire me in my own efforts to write and publish regularly. Continue reading

Happy HubTrails with Ohma & Friends!

One of the things I love about working at HubPages is the amazing community of smart, innovative Hubbers.  While the forums can sometimes be overshadowed by personal drama and political conflict, they’re also a great source of teamwork and ingenuity.  Case in point: the HubTrails project, conceived by user Ohma, which has gained momentum at an astonishing rate!

Ohma herself was inspired by another Hubber’s pet project – sunforged’s 60DC.  She had a few stray Hubs about little-known attractions in Pennsylvania that weren’t getting much traffic, to the point where she was so discouraged that she even considered deleting them.  Following the progress of the 60-Day Challenge, she came up with the idea of an interlinking web of location-based travel Hubs.  After posting an initial feeler thread in the forums, she found the response to be overwhelming.  sunforged himself jumped on board to promote, Cagsil helped with organization, habee and Sufidreamer stared recruiting more participants, Marisa Wright purchased a domain name, and Urbane Chaos started a HubTrails wiki.

I think of HubTrails as sort of a “tree” of Hubs about various locations all over the world, starting with higher-tier Hubs about a large region, which then link to “branches” (Hubs about smaller portions of those regions), which in turn link to Hubs about even smaller subdivisions of those regions. Using the “hubtrails” tag and including the feed for that tag on your Hub ensures you’ll get a share of the love, and pass that love on to your fellow participants. For full instructions, see Ohma’s new Official HubTrails Hub.

It’s been amazing to witness all the positive energy and collaboration that has gone into making HubTrails a rollicking success.  Ohma is very modest about the whole project, but there’s no denying the achievement. She has personally received emails from many Hubbers saying they have never felt closer to the community. It’s a perfect example of how one person’s idea can blossom into a full-blown phenomenon with the help of a group of great writers like we have on HubPages. You too can get in on all the link-juice and community spirit.  Check out Ohma’s hub, and the HubTrails thread on the forums!

Happy HubTrails to all!

Note from Jason: OK, got the map embedded here. As you can see, there are only a few blue pointers for those that have been added. If you want to add your Hubtrails destinations (they need a specific address, not at the city/country level), email me and I can add you as a collaborator on the Google Map. Email me at Jason (dot) Menayan (at) [this domain]

Update: As you can see, the number of pointers has multiplied! Impressive work!!!