Showing Google adsense in the Hotspots menu

I've been asked recently by a customer how to add Google AdSense to the Hotspots Menu & on first look I thought that it should be as easy as pasting the adsense code in the module position that is available in the menu. However it turned out to me more complicated than that, so that's why I'm writing this blog post. 

This is the code that we have from Google AdSense:

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Hotspots 5.1 now available for download

Hotspots 5.1 now available for download

We've been teasing you for some time now on Facebook with screenshot of the upcoming multi images upload feature. Now the teasing is over! Hotspots 5.1 is here and if you've ever wanted to add more than 1 image to a Hotspot, you'll love it!

Instead of going into the technical details, I'll spare you this and show you the screenshot instead. This is how the new picture form field looks like:

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Hotspots 5 - nested categories are here!

Hotspots 5 - nested categories are here!

Since the first version of Hotspots one of the most requested features has always been - nested categories! Literally most requested - I get a mail about it nearly every other week :) .

After deleting few thousand lines of code and making changes to most of Hotspots files I'm happy to announce that nested categories are now part of Hotspots.

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Hotspots 4.0 has been released.

Hotspots 4.0 has been released.

After a lot of months of work, Hotspots 4 has been finally released. I have blogged in the past about the changes that are comming with this release (if you want to understand the reasoning behind the new frontend UI, make sure to read that post)  and since I don't like to repeat myself, this time we'll do something different! We are going to make an image heavy post :)

What's new in hotspots? Here are few of the most important changes.

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Hotspots 4 alpha 1 preview video!

Latetly a lot of people asked me "What's going on with Hotspots 4? When is it going to be released?" As usual I won't commit to a deadline - it's going to be released when it is ready :).

If you want to speed up that process - you can test the alpha version that I released in the dev. downloads section. Currently this alpha is missing some of the features that we already have in version 3 such as KML support, full screen view, print & rss. But the rest of the functionality is there! There are a few glitches, but as a whole it looks good! I've made a small video demo to show you how the new Hotspots user interface will look and behave.

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Changes coming up with Hotspots 4

No matter if you have a good product or not, sooner or later one has to step back and rethink what one is doing. I've spent the last couple of weeks working on the Hotspots frontend. We are actually rewriting it to use Backbone & Backbone.Marionette. If the last 2 names doesn't ring a bell with you, don't worry! That are JavaScript frameworks and you don't need to know anything about them in order to use the new Hotspots. Those frameworks help us bring structure to our JavaScript and this improves the final product. You'll be able to style a lot of elements of the UI that you weren't previously able to do without hacking the core. Also since the Joomla project is slowly phasing out Mootools as the JavaScript framework of choice, we are also doing that and moving to jQuery. With the JS frameworks out of our way let's get back to the UI.

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The best Hotspots release ever!

The hardest part when developing software is being aware of the real world. Way too often we live in a bubble that clouds our judgement. Looking at the incomming support tickets we tend to think that our software is full of bugs. Looking at the reviews we start to think that it is the best thing in the world. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle. Lately I realised again that Hotspots is a great piece of software. And as with any software - there are things that work great and there are things that need to be improved.

Due to unpredicted circumstances I wasn't able to finish Hotspots 4 as planned for the begining of March. So, to spare you some waiting I decided to finish off what I already had and to release 3.6. I think that this is one of our finest releases so far.

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Hotspots 3.5 released

After the feature full 3.4 release last month, it was time to top that by releasing Hotspots 3.5 . This version should excite a lot of you who were waiting for "latest hotspots" module and the ability to disable certain categories for frontend marker submission. In addition to this we've added the long awaited AlphaUserPoints integration. If you have a community website you'll be happy to know that the name of the user who submitted a location can now be linked to his Jomsocial or Community Builder profile.

A lot of people also wanted to set the map center depending on the user's location. This is now also possible and you can see it in action on our demo page. The user centering is a complex beast. We first match the IP of the user and try to find out his position(which is not always correct) and we set the map to center there. After that if you decide to turn on HTML5 geolocation the user will be asked for his location. If he decides to share it, then we will - re-center the map to that location. You can learn more about that in our documentation.

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Hotspots 3.4 - layers, layers, layers

A less known feature of the Google Maps API is that it provides support for different kind of layers. With Hotspots 3.4 with just 1 click you can enable support for the Weather, Traffic, Transit, Bicycle & Panoramio layers (please note not all layers are available in all parts of the world).

If you wonder why layers are so cool, here are few examples:

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Hotspots 3.3 - styled maps are here!

Hotspots 3.3 is a maintenance release. We've fixed quite a few bugs since the last release :) But a thing that really excites me is the support for the Styled Maps feature in the Google Maps API.

Ever since I saw a demo of it I wanted to add it to Hotspots. Now it is here! You can check it in action over here. Now you can create a map that closely matches the style of your site. If you have a dark template you can generate a dark map with just a few clicks. Use the Google Maps API Styled Maps Wizard & then just copy and past the JSON string in the Hotspots configuration. That is all!

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