Every once in a while, Team Fortress 2 pops its head out of the gravel to remind us all that it exists. "Oh yeah, TF2," we'll say, "that's a lovely hat you're wearing. Are you up to much these days?" And yes, it is, as Valve has now implemented Steam Workshop support for maps.
The new Maps Workshop—currently in beta—collects up the community's vast range of unofficial maps. Here, in Valve's own words (opens in new tab), is what it does:
"Are you great at making fun, addictive TF2 maps? Do you have no idea how to make a map, but you like playing on them? Are you only vaguely aware of what maps are and prefer to just walk in a single direction until you find what you're looking for? Introducing the Maps Workshop Beta, a place for all three of you to upload, enjoy or just learn about the existence of maps!"
Maps, then. If you're a map-maker, this seems like a neat way to get instant feedback on your creation. For players, though the change may be slightly less revelatory. TF2 has always auto-downloaded maps from the server list, negating the need to pre-prepare community content. Now, when joining a server running a Workshop map, the client will instead auto-download it through the Workshop. A change, then, but a slight one.
Nevertheless this is one of those updates that seems long overdue. If you'd like to browse the community's current crop of Workshopped maps, head over to Team Fortress 2's Steam Workshop page (opens in new tab).