Sorry for taking so long on the outline, BassFace. I see you’re making great progress on this mod. For what it’s worth, here is what I was thinking since a few other users seem to be looking for the same functionality. Again, I’m going to use as an example a Hiking Enthusiast website (no I don’t run one – in fact, I hate walking haha – it just seems like a good example).
These would be fully definable.
- Admin can define and activate up to X number of categories such as Member Locations, Hiking Spots, Hiking Gear, Other Spots.
- Each category can be marked as to what shows up on default when a user looks at the map.
- Each category can be assigned a particular icon from a list of pre-made icons or icons which the admin creates.
- Users can click each category on and off to clear up or populate the map.
For each category, the admin can choose various fields and the titles of various fields. The number and types of fields should be flexible enough to meet most needs but not be too many as to overcomplicate things. When a user clicks to add a new element under a specific category (e.g., adds a Hiking Spot to that category), he will be presented with a form to fill out with these fields. The admin should be able to choose which fields are required and which are optional. Here are some examples of the fields.
These are fields that might be specific to certain types of categories and should only appear once.
- Title – for Hiking Spots, it would be the spot name; for Hiking Gear, it would be the store name. These would be user entered fields. However, if the category is Member Location, there should be a mechanism to have it populate the name automatically.
- Google Maps Directions – of course you need this field for anything on the map but it should allow Cartesian coordinates as well as normal addresses. which, once clicked will open up Google maps for directions. This field can be activated for events, locations, and many other categories.
- Event Date – for events categories, this field can be activated to present dropdown month, day, year, and time for both start time and end time. The element would get pruned after this date.
- Cost / Fee – for whatever reason maybe an element requires members pay something to participate. Let’s say it’s hiking fund raiser at a club and there’s a cover charge. Here you can enter the dollar amount and maybe have a link to a foreign exchange site (like http://www.oanda.com).
The following fields are extremely flexible fields. Admin should be able to create a number of the same types of these fields to meet his needs.
- Customizable Radial Fields - going back to a Hiking Spot category field for example, the admin might name one of these types of fields, “Degree of Difficulty.” Then you can choose up to X number of radial buttons. Let’s say he chooses 3 and assigns each one “Easy, Medium, and Difficult.” Now when a user adds an element to Hiking Spot category, he will be presented with 3 options to say how hard the hiking spot is.
- Customizable Drop-Down Boxes – same concept here as the radial buttons but now with dropdown boxes for fields that might have an extensive list of pre-defined options.
- General Field Boxes – These are just general boxes that users can fill out with whatever. Let’s say for a Hiking Spot category, you want the user to provide information on “Parking” then that user can type in “Park at the south side of the big tree” or something like that. Admin can limit the number of characters and the box should resize accordingly (or admin can control that too).
When a user clicks on Shmoogle, here some considerations ...
- Map View Type – admin can select default map view whether it’s street, satellite, etc.
- Map View Level – admin can select default level to focus on. This might get tricky because admin would have to indicate where the map is centered. The point of this is, let’s say the hiking site is focused on hiking in Holland and all the members are from Holland. If the map defaults to a world view, the user will always have to zoom in to see Holland.
Ok this is all I’ve got for now. I hope this is helpful. Of course, I wrote this intended just as a guide for you and nothing more than that. This is your mod, not mine.
Oh forgot to speak to linkages.
- Forum Linkage – aside from member locations, each category should have an option to create a forum post automatically in a forum ID# specified by admin. The content of that post should have the same content that’s in that element and of course a link to the map.
- Calendar Linkage – would be very cool to have some linkage with the calendar mod that other people have been saying. So this would just be for elements that make use of the Date field.