Creating a Google Fusion Table Map

Google Fusion Tables are more powerful ways of creating maps and other visualizations that draw data from a spreadsheet. This enables some customization of the way the map works, what fields are shown in the speech bubble, and even what color the dots are.

Google Fusion Tables
Creating a Map tutorial

Create a Map

From your Google Account:

  • Go to Google Drive, and select the "New" button. You should see a drop down list of file types you can create. You may need to click the "More" button to reveal Google Fusion Table
  • Import a table. You can link a Google spreadsheet, Comma Separated Value (.csv),
  • If you have not created the table yet, choose "Create Empty Table."
  • One of your fields should be called "Location." This is the field you put geographical information in — street addresses (always add the city, and state, too) or geographical coordinates.
  • You can create a number of fields that will display information on the Map when the item is clicked on.
  • Click on the Map tab to have Google plot the addresses in the Location field on a map. Alternately you can have the Fusion tables geocode as a separate step. (Choose File, then Geocode). View the map and click on the items to see what the display shows.
  • You can edit the display — whether or not the field names show, order and appearance of the text. See Sanger example.
    • On Map View — choose Tools, Publish, to get the URL to embed the map in your exhibit. You can also adjust the size that the map appears on the page.
    • On the Map View — choose Tools, Change Map, Change Info Window enables you to determine the format of the info window for each document. The default is to show them in the order they are in the spreadsheet, and to include the names of fields. You can click on or off the fields to show or remove them from the map label.
    • You can change pin colors based on a field by selecting Tools, Change Map, Change features styles. For the Sanger map I made green dots for speeches that were linked, and red dots for speeches that had not been found.
    • You can select some items to be included based on their entries in the metadata. Filter allows seeing a subset of the map. In the Sanger example, we only want to map speeches, but our data table included articles as well.
    • You can create views of the map/table using the filter.

To Embed a Google Fusion Table in your exhibit.

  • In the Map view, click on Tools and then Publish to get the link. Copy that.
  • In a new page in your exhibit, select the Text Only Layout and then edit it using the HTML button.
  • Paste the link content in the page.
  • Save the page. You should see the map displayed. You can alter its appearance slightly by playing with alignment (right, left, center), and size (width="500px").
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