“IN-Fusion TableT” – THE GOOGLE WAY

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Google Fusion Tables (or simply Fusion Tables) is a web service provided by Google for data management. Fusion tables can be used for gathering, visualising and sharing data tables. Data are stored in multiple tables that Internet users can view and download. In the 2011 upgrade of Google Docs, Fusion Tables became a default feature, under the title “Tables (beta)”.

Google Fusion Tables is a cloud-based service for data management and integration. Fusion Tables enables users to upload tabular data files (spreadsheets, CSV, KML), currently of up to 100 MB per data set, 250 MB of data per user. The system provides several ways of visualizing the data (e.g., charts, maps, and timelines) and the ability to filter and aggregate the data. It supports the integration of data from multiple sources by performing joins across tables that may belong to different users. Users can keep the data private, share it with a select set of collaborators, or make it public and thus crawlable by search engines.

The discussion feature of Fusion Tables allows collaborators to conduct detailed discussions of the data at the level of tables and individual rows, columns, and cells. HTML is useful for styling info boxes and adding more complex features. Fusion Tables maps have limited options and functionality compared to custom mapping applications, but they are far easier to build. Fusion Tables does not require knowledge of JavaScript or CSS to make online maps.

Fusion Power of Visualisation

  • Upload and manage map data
  • Map points, lines or areas
  • Create pushpin, intensity, and other types of maps
  • Create other types of visualizations (charts)
  • Embed your visualizations in a Web site
  • Share and collaborate with others

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A Science of Data-Visualization Storytelling

Data visualization is viewed by many disciplines as a modern equivalent of visual communication. A primary goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and efficiently to users via the statistical graphics, plots, information graphics, tables, and charts selected. Effective visualization helps users in analysing and reasoning about data and evidence. It makes complex data more accessible, understandable and usable.

Data visualization is both an art and a science. The rate at which data is generated has increased, driven by an increasingly information-based economy. Data created by internet activity and an expanding number of sensors in the environment, such as satellites and traffic cameras, are referred to as “Big Data”. Processing, analysing and communicating this data present a variety of ethical and analytical challenges for data visualization. The field of data science and practitioners called data scientists have emerged to help address this challenge. Well-crafted data visualization helps uncover trends, realize insights, explore sources, and tell stories.

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However, sometimes visualization tools may require technical knowledge or are just too expensive. That’s why I thought about using Google Fusion Tables to provide a few complementary visualizations to Google Analytics – it is a great tool, very user friendly, and free. Google Fusion Tables provides means for visualizing data with pie charts, bar charts, lineplots, scatterplots, timelines, and geographical maps. Google provide a quick step-by-step guide to use Fusion Tables to visualize Google Analytics data: how to bring the data, prepare it, and visualize it using great charts.

THEmatic WEB MAPping

One of the coolest features of Fusion tables is their ability to interface with Google Maps. If a table contains geographical location data, it can be made into a layer for the Google Maps API, allowing you to visualize your data geographically. The display of information can be customized to make sure you’re getting the best visualization of your data.

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The quickest and easiest ways to produce simple maps for your Web site is to use Google’s Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables is an online data management application designed for collaboration, visualization and publication of data. Journalists often want to create thematic web maps, in which geographic areas are filled in with colour/shade according to data values. Thanks to Google Fusion Tables, creating basic thematic maps and embedding them on a web page is now easy.

Web mapping is widely used by government statistical agencies. The Irish CSO has an option of web mapping from statistical data they collect and publish.

Resources:

http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~alon/files/socc10.pdf

http://www.sco.wisc.edu/images/stories/publications/SCO_quick_and_easy_web_maps_v1.2.pdf

Accessed 02 Aug 2015

 

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