Getting Started with Shack Locations

Shack Locations has a built-in "Getting Started wizard" to help you create your first map directory.

In this tutorial, you will walk through those required steps.

Step #1. Obtain your Google Maps API Key

Shack Locations component works in integration with Google Maps service. For this integration to take place, you will need to obtain a Google Maps Javascript API Key.

Follow the instructions in our "How to Get Google Maps JavaScript API Key" document to obtain your Google Maps API Key.

Step #2. Set your Google Maps API Key

When you open Shack Locations component for the very first time, you will see a graphical prompt to click on the Options button:

prompt to click options

  • In the top right corner of the page, click Options. 

You will be presented with the Shack Locations Configuration screen. 

  • Enter your Google Maps API Key into the Google Maps API Key field.

02 enter your api key

  • Click Save & Close.

Excellent! You are now all set to start creating your first directory of locations, or a map directory.

Step #3. Create a map

Just as Joomla articles need to be assigned to a category, your locations need to be assigned to a map.

  • In the top left corner, click the New button to create your first map:

define a map

  1. Give your map a title in the Title field.
  2. Optionally, enter its description in the Description field.
  3. Enter latitude and longitude of your map central point in the corresponding fields:

create your map

  • Click Save & Close.

Step #4. Add at least one legend

The legend is the container for your location types.

illustration of a map legend

All you need to do is define a title and an optional subtitle.

  • On the left navigation bar, click Legends:

click legends

You will be taken to the Legend administrative page.

  • Click New.

click new

  1. Enter required title into the Title field.
  2. Optionally, enter a subtitle into the Subtitle field.
  3. Click Save & Close.

create a legend

  • Repeat this step to create the rest of the required legends.

Step #5. Create unique location types

This is the fun part. Create a location type with a unique name and define the legend it displays in.

create unique location types

Additionally, you can specify extra fields for different types of locations.

For example, 'Accommodation' types could contain a field for an email address. 'Sporting venues' could have additional fields for opening and closing times. It's all up to you how you set it up.

  • On the left navigation bar, click Location Types.

click location types

You will be taken to the Location Types administrative screen.

  •  In the top left corner of the screen, click New.

click new

  1. Enter manditory title into the Title field.
  2. In the Display in legend field, select a map legend to display with this location type.
  3. In the Marker field, set a marker image for this location type.
  4. If required, set a custom field under the Custom Fields tab.
  5. Click Save & Close.

create location type

  • Repeat this step to create the rest of the required location types.

Step #6. Create your map locations

In this last step, you get to add locations to your map, choose pins and enter your content.

  • On the left navigation bar, click Locations.

click locations

  • On the next screen, click New.

click new

  1. Enter your location title into the Title field.
  2. Optionally, set the location image in the Location image field.
  3. Optionally, enter the location description into the Description text area.
  4. Select the location parent map from the Parent Map field.
  5. Select the location pramary location type from the Primary Location Type field.
  6. Enter the location latitude into the Latitude field.
  7. Enter the location longitude into the Longitude field.
  8. Click Save & Close.

create a location

  • Repeat this step to create the rest of the required locations.

Excellent! Your map directory is now ready to be shown to the world.

your map