There is a good chance that you’ve been using Google Docs. Its a great way to share spreadsheets, documents, and information throughout your organization, or with friends and family. Ever wanted to plot you data on map, create thematics or animate it over time? This tutorial will focus on how to build Maps in GeoCommons that link with Google Spreadsheets, for even more data goodness. We will build up a spreadsheet and create a map using the spreadsheet data in GeoCommons, then we will be able to update the map from Google Spreadsheets. The best part is we can do this without writing any code, anyone can do this! The first step to mapping your Google Spreadsheet data in GeoCommons is to build up a spreadsheet. For this example we’ll be using this list of US ski resorts with latitude and longitude information, as well as a few other variables.
After you’ve got your spreadsheet ready, Click on the ‘File’ tab, then go down to click the ‘Publish to the Web…’ button.
Next you’ll have to click the ‘Start Publishing’ Button. I would also recommend that you click the box that says ‘Automatically re-publish when changes are made’, this will allow you to update your maps on GeoCommons directly from Google Spreadsheets. After you’ve clicked these buttons, you will be allowed to get a link to the published data. Here you should change from the default ‘Web-page’ to ‘CSV’. This will give you a link to your published data below.Copy the Link. It should look something like this:
Now you can head over to GeoCommons.com and after you’ve signed in, click the button the “Add a URL link” in the upload section. Paste the link from Google spreadsheets where it tells you to enter the URL, then specify CSV in the format section.
You will need to geocode your dataset, this should be pretty self explainatory if you’ve ever used GeoCommons, so I wont go into the details, but just know that once you’ve geocoded this URL once, we will continue using the attributes you specified to geocode any additional data you add into your spreadsheet. Your final dataset will look something like this:
Because the raw data is linked to a live website, you’ll see the ‘Fetch Latest” button above the title. Clicking on this button will update the GeoCommons dataset based on any changes that may have happened to your spreadsheet, and by updating the dataset, you’ll also be updating all of the maps using this as a layer. This means that when you’re working with a dataset that is constantly changing and being updated you’ll be able to update your maps by just clicking one button.
I’ve added a short video to show you the entire process from start to finish in less than 2 minutes.
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