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Mapping web tool + Google Docs = BFF
August 25, 2014 11:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a web tool or software that can take information that I have formatted in a Google doc (or other cloud-based spreadsheet tool) and stick it on a map but also display it within a timeline. Does this exist?

I have a spreadsheet with dates, locations, images, and text that I would like to both map and display on an interactive timeline. I want this to be web-based. I want to use one spreadsheet to do this, ideally in the cloud, and ideally in Google Docs.

Tools that I have found that ALMOST work include:

1. Timemapper -- http://timemapper.okfnlabs.org/ -- it is almost perfect but the tool is relatively unsupported and creates glitches for certain date ranges.

2. Cloud ArcGIS -- almost in the cloud but not quite (the origin spreadsheet still has to live on a desktop somewhere), also the finished product is slow slow slow to load.

I am under the impression that this was a lot easier before Google changed something in its sharing settings (which happened, I think, within the last 6 months).

If a concrete example would make this easier, this is the data that I am working with. I prefer free but am also ok if the solution costs money.
posted by aaanastasia to Technology (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
SIMILE will give you a timeline. Perhaps you can programmatically add Google Maps links based on the timeline node's content.
posted by Mr. Six at 11:39 AM on August 25


It sounds like CartoDB might be a fit. You can point it to a Google Drive spreadsheet as a datasource, which needs to have geographic identifiers (either Latitude Longitude directly, or something that Google Maps knows about), and Date/Time stamps.

Here's an example from their Gallery showing geographic data mapped over time: Oklahoma Earthquakes and Fracking
posted by odinsdream at 12:07 PM on August 25


Zeemaps will give you the map portion but not the timeline, although I believe you could embed the resulting map in a page alongside the other content.
posted by torridly at 12:13 PM on August 25


Tableau's online features may do it.
posted by gregr at 12:15 PM on August 25


It's been maybe 4 years since I poked in to it, but I know you can do a slider to move time forward/back that will display different geo-data inside of google maps via KML and some google earth .js.

(Because what I worked on displayed temporal data associated w/ lat/lng, using a placemarker and hover-text for the placemarker to show more info).
posted by k5.user at 12:17 PM on August 25


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