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Maptime Starter site

Hosting your own Maptime chapter website? Starter is a simple Jekyll theme that's designed to be forked and tweaked to suit your needs. Jekyll is a blog-aware, static site generator for personal, project, or organization sites—and it's the software that will generate your Maptime chapter's site.

Getting started

  • If we've finished onboarding your new chapter into the Maptime organization, then should already have Starter cloned into the gh-pages branch of your chapter repo and have been given you privileges to push to it. Please skip ahead and begin to customize your site.

  • Not yet in the Maptime fold? Fill out this form and we'll get you set up!

In either case, once your repository has been cloned in to the Maptime organization, your site will be hosted at http://maptime.io/<chapter> where chapter is the name of your chapter's repository.

Customizing your site

Once you have access to your chapter's repository, you're free to customize the site, including its settings. The site's configuration file is _config.yml file, which is a YAML file. Here's a rundown of the configuration options:

Top-level configuration

Name Required Value Description
baseurl Yes URL path This sets the part of the site's URL after maptime.io, like /dc or /philadelphia. It's typically the name of your chapter repository.
permalink No Jekyll permalink style or template This sets how URLs are generated by Jekyll. See the Jekyll documentation for details on choosing a permalink style. If you're unsure, then pretty is a good choice.
markdown No Markdown render This chooses how Markdown is turned into HTML. Most chapters don't need to change this setting.
paginate Yes Number of posts on the front page Starter supports pagination. Change this value to choose the number of posts on a page.
repo Yes Name of the repository on GitHub For example, the name of the Starter repo is starter.
github_org Yes Name of the organization or username on GitHub Typically, this is set to maptime.

maptime: section configuration

Name Required Value Description
chapter Yes Maptime chapter name
twitter No Maptime chapter's Twitter username If your Maptime chapter has a Twitter account, put its user name here. Don't include the @ character.
disqus No Disqus account name Starter optionally supports comments on posts with Disqus. To enable comments, create a Disqus account for the chapter site and fill this field with the account name.

Creating an event or post

Starter supports two kinds of content: events and posts. Events are for your chapter's meetings and posts are for general blog content. To create a post or event:

  1. In the _posts directory, create a new Markdown file. Name the file in the pattern of YYYY-MM-DD-slug.md, where YYYY-MM-DD is the date of the event or post and slug is a short, unique identifier for the event or post. For example, a post dated January 1, 2016 entitled "Mappy New Year" might be named 2016-01-01-mappy-new-year.md.

  2. At the top of the Markdown file, add front matter for your content type. Each post or event needs some extra information at the top of the file called front matter. The front matter determines what kind of content it is and other settings, like authorship or RSVP information. See the next section, Content types, for a listing of front matter options.

    Here's example front matter for a post:

    layout: post
    title: Oceanographic Maps
    author: Marie Tharp
  3. Beneath the front matter, write your post or event text. You can format your text using Markdown. For example:

    Check out the *unusual* features of the __ocean floor__ in this map of…
  4. Preview your work. In a terminal session, run jekyll serve from the root directory of this repository. Jekyll will generate the site and provide you with a URL to open in a browser to see your work.

    Note: If you get a command not found error, Jekyll may not be installed. See Jekyll's installation instructions to get up and running.

  5. Once you're satisfied with your new event or post, commit the Markdown file to the repository and push to GitHub.

    Note: If you're using multiple branches, only those changes merged to the gh-pages branch will appear on the Maptime site.

In a few minutes, your post appears on the Maptime chapter site!

Content Types

Starter supports two types of content: events and posts. Here's the front matter for each content type:


Events are for planned meetups with RSVP information. Note that date used in the file name for the event should match the date of the event itself (for example, an event to be held on January 4, 2016 would have 2016-01-04 as its date in the file name).

Name Required Value Description
layout Yes event This value should always be event.
category Yes event This value should always be event.
title Yes Event title
rsvp Yes URL to RSVP This should be a URL to an Eventbrite or other service event page.


Posts are like blog posts. These are great for meetup follow-ups or posts that don't have a meetup event tied to it.

Name Required Value Description
layout Yes post This value should always be post.
title Yes Title of your post
author No Author's name
image No URL path to an image An image added here will show up as a Twitter card when a post is shared.

Getting help

Examples in the wild

Have you used this starter to create your own meetup site? Let us know (or start a pull request) to add it below!


Starter is provided under the terms of the BSD (2-clause) license. See LICENSE.md for details.