Lunch Locations using different mapping tools

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Google Fusion Table 

When using Mapme I found it very easy to edit my data and change around the look of the map but it became very tedious to impute each data separately. With the large data sets I will be using this mapping tool will not be the most usefully. I did find this tool to be very user friendly and helpful with the message board on the side to help you trouble shoot any problems you had. I would use this mapping tool for smaller data sets but overall I do not think this will be my first choice for mapping my girl scouts data.

BatchGeo was very useful for imputing large amount of data quickly. I also found this the easiest to embed on to this web site. I did find it hard to add other information to the data points. I did like that the data points would display all data presented but I wanted a way to filter out the information so it would only show what I wanted. This tool is a very user friendly tool and easy to learn which was helpful for this assignment.

Google fusion tables was the most advanced of all the tools I tried. It was not hard to figure out because of the example in class but I think I would have found it harder if we had not had that knowledge. I liked this tool a lot because it had so many options in changing how the data looked on the map. Also the fact that you can import your data straight form google docs was very easy and useful. I did have a lot of issues with embedding the map onto my post. I kept getting a video instead of my map and I am still trying to edit the embed link so it will show my map. I think that out of all the tools I would most likely use Google fusion tables because of the may options.

Comparisons of 3 Mapping Tools on the Number of Arrests in Different Police Departments

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Google Fusion

Pros and Cons of BatchGeo, MapMe, and Google Fusion:

After creating the three maps based on the number of arrests in different police departments, I have found that MapMe was the easiest and most efficient mapping tool for police data. The hardest mapping tool to work with was Google Fusion Tables because I was not able to map large amounts of data, had to separate addresses by street, city, and zip code, and the mapping process did not pose many obstacles when I manually inputted data into Google Fusion. When I uploaded the Google Sheets/Excel file, it was difficult to map out the points because in police data, there are many categories and subcategories of arrest. For BatchGeo, the mapping was simple and efficient, but I was not allowed to input any additional information. For example, within each police department, there were a number of offenses such as assaults, kidnapping, homicides, etc and in BatchGeo, I would have to click on the police department which would then lead me to different offenses. This visual is not as effective because it is easier to hover over a point and have the information pop out than have the individual searching for the information.

What was good about MapMe was that it allowed me to input the addresses in one form. I did not have to separate by street or zip code and the mapping tool is straight forward for beginners and efficient. MapMe also allowed me to input information in the description box which allows the person viewing the map see the number of offenses in different police departments when the computer mouse is hovered over the point on the map. What is good about BatchGeo is that there is a box to drag/copy data from a spreadsheet, generates map within seconds, and is simple. As a result, the best mapping tool to use for police data would be MapMe because MapMe can handle a lot of information, does not require the address to be separated, allows the user to input additional information, and is simple enough for beginners to understand.

Comparison of 3 mapping tools

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Sample Lunch Data in MapMe:

Sample Lunch Data in Google Fusion Table:

Sample Lunch Data in Batchgo:


Reflections and thoughts:

Speaking of simplicity, the easiest tool to create a map is definitely BatchGo. Its Geocoding strategies is very efficient and smart, although there are no commas in my original address data and the zip codes are missing 0’s, BatchGo still did the job and recognized the addresses in less than one second. Google Fusion table caused less confusion to me than MapMe did. Some alteration on the address need to be done in order to be recognized, since FusionTable can only grab address data from one block(while BatchGo can grab address data from multiple columns at a time), and the address must correctly match the format. MapMe had a even more strict restriction on formatting the data. It need the user to insert data in certain models, or it won’t recognize it. But if the data is formatted correctly, MapMe geocoded without trouble.

Speaking of features, I personally love MapMe over the other two tools. Mapme allowed me to insert multiple images associated with the location, and can let the user easily view locations one by one. Both MapMe and BatchGo sorted the locations by type automatically, and allowed me to change the colors and icons of the location by groups. FusionTable did a weaker job on sorting. However, BatchGo limits the information that I can change on each location(only the basic address and links, I cannot find a way to add descriptions on individual location). FusionTable and MapMe all provided flexible info-displaying features.

The portability of the three are almost the same. They can all be easily embedded by iframe, and all the three tools provided html code and links.

Comparison of 3 mapping tools

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Schools in Connecticut

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Places you can visit in Connecticut

All 3 mapping tools have their pros and cons. However, the easiest tool to make a map is definitely BatchGo- you basically copy your data and paste it and it literally convert the data into map for you. The second easiest mapping tool in my opinion is MapMe. MapMe is very user friendly due to its interactive font and easy instructions. Also, there is someone from their website that would chat with you to guide you on how to use it. The hardest one for me is Google Fusion Table. Google Fusion can be really useful if you know how to make use of their features, but it is very confusing because it has a lot of features. It’s not like you can hover your mouse over to the features and the instructions would pop up. You have to google if you are stuck.

In my opinion, MapMe is my favorite because it is very user friendly. It has a good amount of features to create the map you need it. One of my favorite features is that you can customize your location with different colors easily. Another feature that is very cool is that you can give a short description for each location. Unlike Google fusion and BatchGo, their maps look plain. However, I prefer Google Fusion if I have a lot of data and it can be easily sorted if it’s used correctly. I would use BatchMe if I just want a quick and basic map.

Comparing Three Mapping Tools

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Google Fusion



Overall, I thought that Mapme was the most detailed Point Map system to use. It gives you the option to manually add each ‘pin’ or import a spreadsheet and automatically track it. It also gives the user much more control over the information that is shown on each pin. Pins can be customized by color and logo, while photos, and websites can be added to the description.

On the other hand, BatchGeo was the least customizable interface to use. There is no way to change the starting map location, nor the pin color or size. However it was the fastest and easiest map system to use. All the user has to do is copy and paste their spreadsheet to a text box on BatchGeo’s website, and BatchGeo does the rest of the mapping.

Google Fusion Tables is somewhere in between. Excel and Google Sheets can be imported and edited in Fusion Tables, the pin size and color can be customized, and the starting map location can also be set. Fusion Tables is not as fast as BatchGeo, nor as customizable as Mapme, but it does have a hybrid advantages from each interface. It also does offer a ‘heat map’ where a user can show the distance between different restaurant locations. This could be used in my project to show food deserts in between grocery stores in Hartford.