This video tutorial by Daniel Sato is a great guide to creating a map from scratch.
It covers creating and editing a map using Google's My Map service and then using Map Channels v3 to generate an embeddable map for your website.
Recommended viewing if you are new to creating web maps.
Feeds usually have a data source. This is the URL where the original data resides. You can select to refresh a feed daily, so that every day Map Channels will download a copy of data. You can also refresh the data at any time on the Feed Edit page.
You can define a custom style to apply to all map elements in the feed - this sets the marker icon and line and polygon styles.
Spreadsheet feeds can be from one of two possible sources, (1) tab-delimited text (2) a Google spreadsheet
Spreadsheets can only contain map markers, lines and polygons can not be created from spreadsheets
Data in spreadsheets require a minimum of 3 columns which must have an exact name. These fields are 'name', 'x' and 'y'.
• name : the title of the map element
• x : the longitude of the map element
• y : the latitude of the map element
A field named 'id' can also be defined, if an 'id' field is specified this will be used as a unique marker identifier.
Additional fields can be included, these fields are displayed on the map using template functions.
you access to some of the most powerful features within Map Channels v3.
Within the Spreadsheet Template section are 6 text boxes where you can enter a template function. These functions are:
• Sidebar Template
• Description Template
• Maximized Description Template
• Tooltip Template
• Icon Template
• RSS Template
Each template function take a place object as a parameter and should return a string value.
Each cell of the spreadsheet header line corresponds to a place property name.
Propertu name are converted to lower case with spaces replaced by underscore, e.g. "Full Address" becomes "full_address".
Property names should contain only alphanumeric or underscore characters
Property names should start with an alphabetic letter (not numeric or other symbol)
Spreadsheets should always contain three column headings labelled name, x and y.
Sidebar Template : defines the text displayed below the place name in the sidebar (if any)
Description Template : defines the text displayed in a normal info window that appears when a map marker is clicked
Maximized Description Template : defines the text displayed when a maximized info window. This is only used when a map has the maximizable info window option set.
Tooltip Template : defines the text displayed when the cursor hovers over a map marker
Icon Template : defines the URL of the marker image displayed on the map
RSS Template : defines the URL of an RSS feed associated with the marker. Note that when this template is defined the map option 'display description in sidebar' will automatically be set. When the marker is clicked the contents of the RSS Feed will be read in and displayed in the sidebar, below the place description.
The best way to understand how to use templates is to run through an example
(1) Create a test spreadsheet with columns labelled : id, name, x, y, address, photo, link
(2) Add a few places to the spreadsheet
(3) Save the feed as a tab-delimited spreadsheet or Google spreadsheet
(4) Create a new Map Channel using this spreadsheet as the data source
(5) Click 'Edit Feed Settings' to go to the Feed Edit Page
You are now ready to define some templates.