At the heart of Aesop Story Engine 1.3 is the new and improved Maps component that makes creating and building interactive map stories easier than ever before.
The Maps component previously allowed you to add map markers by manually entering GPS coordinates. You could add more markers to the map by manually adding more GPS coordinates. Not only was this not user friendly, it was just an overall painful experience.
[aesop_image img=”http://aesopstoryengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Image-2014-11-14-at-10.25.40-AM.png” imgwidth=”960px” caption=”Adding map markers is now easier than ever!” align=”center” captionposition=”center” lightbox=”off”]
With 1.3, we’ve completely eliminated this by letting you plot the markers on an actual map! You can add markers and drag them around. You can add text to the markers by clicking on the marker. You can zoom out, and readjust the main position of the map. All of which are saved when you save the post, and reflected on the map in your story.
[aesop_image img=”http://aesopstoryengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/c4QO2CVLYj.gif” imgwidth=”960px” caption=”New map mode automatically jumps to markers in your story!” align=”center” captionposition=”center” lightbox=”off”]
We’ve also introduced a brand new map mode called “Sticky Maps.” This feature, allows the map to automatically jump to the next marker during a certain point in your story as you scroll! The map itself is pinned to the left, top, right, or bottom side of the screen. It’s super simple to setup. Just toggle a sticky position, and you’ll see the new Map Marker component show up. Then, just add a marker component wherever you want the map to jump to the new location.
[aesop_image img=”http://aesopstoryengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/68747470733a2f2f646c2e64726f70626f7875736572636f6e74656e742e636f6d2f752f353539343633322f6173652d73637265656e73686f742e706e67.png” imgwidth=”960px” caption=”New light user interface” align=”center” captionposition=”center” lightbox=”off”]
Perhaps a more noticeable feature of 1.3, is that the color scheme has changed from dark, to light. The decision to make it dark was based in part that the sidemenu in WordPress admin was dark. At the time it made sense to copy this design pattern. However, WordPress design patterns are changing, and we’re following suit. The user interface now reflects that of the larger modals found throughout the WordPress admin area. In addition the placeholders are now a lighter color as well.
Since we released 1.2 and the brand new editable components feature, you guys have been requesting a way to “clone” an existing component. With Aesop Story Engine 1.3 this is now possible. Simply click the new “clone” button on the placeholder in the post editor, and the component will be cloned, settings and all.
About Backwards Compatibility
Maintaining backwards compatibility is extremely important to us here at Team Aesop. So with this update you’ll notice an alert at the top of your admin area. It will ask you to “upgrade” your map makers, and when you click this button, it will automatically map any old markers, zoom levels, and starting coordinates over to the new system automagically.
We’ve tested this extensively internally without any major issues. Now, it’s your turn! Because of this unique upgrade process, we’re labeling this a beta. We’d love your help in testing this update to make sure everything is in working order. Have a play and please let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter.