Introduction: Create a Clickable Google Map to Share Geographic Information and Metadata
Do you have loads of data that are associated with a specific geographic place? This Instructables will teach you how to create a map where you can click on points to view data associated to that point. It's easy, and most importantly you don't need to know how to code to do this project! Let's give it a shot!
You will need a few tools along the way, but don't worry... I will break down every step along the way!
You will need some third party apps (but don't worry, I will show you how to use them):
Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/
Google Sheets (Found on Google Drive)
Google Fusion Tables (Found on Google Drive)
You should have:
Nothing! This is for beginners!
Step 1: Set Up a Google Account
For this entire project, you will need to have a Google account. To create a Google account, visit: https://accounts.google.com/signup
Step 2: Create a Spreadsheet in Google Drive
visit https://drive.google.com/. On the left hand side, click the red button labeled "New" and click "Google Sheet"
Step 3: Name Your Spreadsheet
Name your spreadsheet by clicking on "Untitled Spreadsheet" in the top left-hand corner. Name your spreadsheet something useful and conventional that you will remember later. For this project, I have named my spreadsheet "Mapping Project".
Step 4: Name the Columns to Organize Your Data
Now you will have to organize the data you will enter into your spreadsheet. For this demo, my dataset will be a travel bucket-list. In one column I'm going to put cities I want to visit. In another column I'm going to put the month I want to travel to that place. You can use any data that you want, as long as you have a column that has a place, and the columns beside it correspond to or "match" that location.
Click on the first cell, A1. I'm going to type "Location" in this cell. Next, click on cell B1. I'm going to type "Month I will visit this city" in his cell.
Step 5: Input Your Data
In this step, you will have to fill in the spreadsheet with all the data. For my spreadsheet, I put all the places I want to visit in column A, and the months I will visit these places in column B.
You can organize your data differently, as long as you keep all the locations in the same column, and keep the corresponding information you want to match in the same row.
It also helps to be as detailed as possible with your location. For example, you may want to visit Vancouver, but do you mean Vancouver, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia?
Step 6: Connect Google Fusion Tables to Your Google Drive
The next step is to connect Google Fusion Tables to your Google Drive.
Go back to your drive (https://drive.google.com/). Click on the red button that says New.
On the bottom of the menu, click "more", and click "+ Connect More Apps".
Search "Fusion Tables" and click "+ Connect"
A box will appear that says "Google Fusion Tables was connected to Google Drive". Click Okay, then click on the "x" on the "Connect apps to Drive" screen. You should be back in your Google Drive.
Step 7: Create a Google Fusion Table
Click "New", go to "More", and click "Google Fusion Tables".
Step 8: Import the Spreadsheet to the Fusion Table
A screen will appear that is titled "Import New Table"
Click on "Google Spreadsheets"; Click on the spreadsheet that you have just created, and click "Select".
You may be asked to authorize Google Fusion's Synchronizing feature. If you are prompted, click "Allow" and select the spreadsheet you have created, and click "Select"
You will be brought to a new screen. There is a box next to some text that says "Column names are in row". Make sure that the titles of your columns are selected in the row. If not, select the row with the titles of your columns. Click "Next >>" and then "Finish"
Step 9: Change Your Data Types
You will need to tell Google Fusion Tables what kind of data is in each column. Click on the arrow beside your "Location" column, and click on "Change...".
Next to "Type" you will see that "Text" may be chosen by default. Click on "Text" and change the type to "Location". Hit "Save".
Step 10: Add a Map to Your Google Fusion Table
A lot is about to happen!
Click on the Red "+" next to "Cards". Select "'Add map".
Google Fusion Tables will immediately start geocoding the locations from your spreadsheet, and will produce a map with all the points from your "Location" column. When you click a point, you can see all the associated data with it!
Step 11: Troubleshoot Your Map
Geocoding isn't a simple task- there's a lot of ambiguity when it comes to recognizing named places. Google Fusion Tables will do its best to recognize some places but there may be some ambiguity that skews your map.
If you notice some issues, click "Rows"; then click on the location you want to correct and click the pencil icon that pops up. Click "edit geocode". Search for the correct location, and click "Use This Location". Hit Save.
Repeat for any other incorrect locations on your map
Step 12: Export Your Map
(This section will be removed shortly to a new Instructables on Formatting and Publishing your Map)
Return to the map Tab and click the arrow button on the map tab. Click "Publish..."
You will see a URL to your map, or some HTML code to embed your map into a website. You can copy the URL and paste it in an email or your browser to view your map online, or you can copy and paste the iframe into a website or blog to share your map.
A note on privacy:
If you wish to share your map publicly you will need to change permissions so that others can see your map. To do so, click "change visibility". Under the section "Who has access", click "Change..." and specify the level of privacy you prefer. It is advisable to select "Anyone who has the link" if you wish to share a link to your map on email or view the map in a browser, and "Public" if you are going to embed the map on a website. Click "Save"; then click "Done"
Step 13: You're Done!
Congrats on finishing your map. You can click any of the points to pull up the information from the archived tweets!
Now that you have completed your map, check out my other Instructables: