Data 2: Make a map with Google Fusion Tables

The resources we used in class: Week 10.

Your CSV data

Make sure you use the counties BLOCK assigned to you. If you use the wrong counties, or omit any schools, no points.

  1. Go to the resources page (Week 10, linked above!) to find the link for mailing addresses for all Florida schools. Download the giant spreadsheet. Open in Excel.
  2. Find ALL of your assigned counties and copy all the rows for each of your counties. Don’t miss anything.
  3. Paste all the rows you copied into a new Excel spreadsheet. New file. Not a new sheet.
  4. Close the big spreadsheet file and just keep it, unchanged. Use only your new spreadsheet for everything else.
  5. Lots of things need to be cleaned up in this data. Instructions can be found here.

It is essential that you clean your data carefully BEFORE you save as a CSV file.

Saving the CSV is the final step BEFORE you make the Fusion Table.

NOTE: In Excel, before you upload to Fusion Tables, create a column of map markers (see the instructions). Figure out how to make different markers for EACH TYPE of school. This will be a challenge.

Requirements for your Fusion Tables map

  1. Make sure each different TYPE of school is represented by a different map marker — this is in the instructions.
  2. Make sure to format NICELY the information that appears in the “info window” — this is in the instructions.
  3. Make it publicly accessible (share).
  4. Embed it in a post on your blog (publish, embed).
  5. Also SHARE the table with me at my GMAIL address (not my address).

Some helpful notes

When I say “use Excel,” I mean use Excel. You can’t do the same stuff in Google spreadsheets. Excel is faster. People who do this stuff a lot often clean data with Excel. You saw that in the Webinar last week.

The PDF we used in class is going to help you. Look at it again.

The instruction document — with links to several Excel tips pages — will also help you. You don’t have to search all over the Web. I already did that for you.

This assignment will be hard. But all it takes is time. You can learn how to do all this data stuff if you learn how to put in the time. Seriously. That’s the main requirement to learning how to make these maps, clean the data, and so on.

Submitting the assignment

You will make a post on your own blog that displays your map (you need to get the embed code from the Fusion Table page where your map is). Give the blog post an intelligent headline, and write a few sentences to explain what you did to create the map. You may personalize it by expressing your thoughts about the process you followed, etc.

Post a LINK to your BLOG POST here, as a reply to this post.


Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 9 a.m.

Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit.

About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

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