Launch HyperCities

Archive for October, 2009

Uploading a KML file is a relatively simple process. Reproducing a complex collection structure is less simple, however, but still fairly easy. Since each KML file you upload becomes its own collection, it takes some time to reproduce a complex collection structure. This article attempts to explain how to do this with the least pain possible:

1. Outline your collection hierarchy.

While it’s easy to change the hierarchy once your items are already in Hypercities, creating the hierarchy first will save you some time. For our example, let’s suppose we’re working on a project called “The Programmer and the Author,” and we have four files, houseofleaves.kml, infinitejest.kml, whitenoise.kml, and neuromancer.kml. Let’s also suppose we want to have the following hierarchy:

  • The Programmer and the Author
    • The 1980s
      • William Gibson, Neuromancer (neuromancer.kml)
      • Don DeLillo, White Noise (whitenoise.kml)
    • The 1990s
      • David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (infinitejest.kml)
      • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (houseofleaves.kml)

2. Create the top-level collection.

This is the “meta-collection.” Once you’re logged in, go to “My Profile” and click on “Create a New Collection.”

how to create a new collection

how to create a new collection

Fill in the required information. In this case, the collection is called “The Programmer and the Author.” This collection may not show up in Hypercities yet because it doesn’t have anything in it.


3. Create any subcollections that will contain more than one collection.

Collections with more than one collection should be the next thing you add. Click on “Create a New Collection” again and enter the appropriate name, e.g. “The 1980s.” Be sure when you do this to add the collection to the collection it will be inside on the “Add To …” tab.


Here, we would add “The 1980s” to “The Programmer and the Author.” Again, these collections may not show up in Collection List view (though they will show up in the Add To … tab) if they have nothing in them.

4. Upload the KML into the appropriate place.

Now is when the real fun begins. Once you have created the collections, upload your first KML file. Click on the Add Media button.


The bottom button is the “Import K ML” button. Click on this.


In the window that pops up, fill in the required information. You must fill in a title, but this will be ignored if a name is specified in the file.


Once you have entered the appropriate information on the first two tabs, click on the Add To tab. Put this in the appropriate collection. Here, we would be putting whitenoise.kml into “The 1980s.”


Click the “submit” button.

Repeat the process for all the files. 5 critical keys to kill your cellulite

Helpful tips:

  • Before uploading your files, check them by opening them in Google Earth. This will validate that your KML is correct. If there’s a problem, it will frequently give you a more accurate assessment of what is wrong than Hypercities.
  • If you only want your sub-collections to appear as collections of the collection that contains them, be sure that the containing collection is the only collection checked in the “Add To …” tab. Otherwise, they will show up under any collections that have been checked.

The first video is a basic introduction to adding media in HyperCities:

The second video will teach you the basics of creating a map using Google My Maps.

The third video tells you how to add your Google My Map into HyperCities.