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Saturday, January 12th 2013

4:59 PM

Creating Trackable Maps, part 4

You'll want to determine that GSAK has created an accurate exported .csv file by opening it in Excel, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, etc. or uploading it to Google Docs / Google Drive and allowing a conversion to that format. You could even conceivably upload an image for each trackable that would display in the right location on an interactive map.

Google Fusion Tables is still an experimental app as of this writing, but it's already plenty smart. Once you create a new fusion table by either uploading your csv or linking to the one in Google Docs, Fusion Tables will automatically identify any columns capable of geocoding. If you have a data set of a bunch of different US states or world countries, it recognizes those. If you just have lat/long columns, it will find those and geocode by that column. Pretty neat.
State map generated by Fusion Tables:
Now the fun part -- when you merge this map with the public Google Fusion Tables map of state boundaries, voila!
Map and computer nerds rejoice! Then all you have to do is "publish" and it generates the html code for embedding an interactive Google map. Here's a screenshot:
And here it is live:

Of course, these are still just representations of static data from manually compiling gc.com's trackable data for one TB owner. Until Groundspeak gives us something more imaginative on their site, though, it's one way of mapping the data.
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