Mapping real-time points to a spreadsheet
January 6, 2014 9:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a tool that will let me have a map interface open (Google Maps, OSM, Bing, I don't mind), click on a location, enter a brief comment, then have that data (lat/long, comment, timestamp) stored for later retrieval - something like a Google Docs spreadsheet would be ideal.

Has anyone come across a web application that does this? It would be a bonus if the points I create could also generate geotagged Tweets.
posted by Jimbob to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I use GeoNotes for this as I travel, or if I want to find a restaurant in a local town on a later visit. Can't help with the tweets, but it does have an open API and SDK available.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 9:46 PM on January 6, 2014

Google custom maps.

It has an "Export to KML" feature (click the folder icon under the map title). I'm sure there's a way to convert that to a spreadsheet.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:56 PM on January 6, 2014

Response by poster: I'll check those out and see how they measure up; a key feature that I might not have made clear is that this should be *real time* and continuous, so the "export KML at the end" option doesn't really work. I need to be able to create a point, and when I'm done with it, it should be appended to the spreadsheet instantly.
posted by Jimbob at 10:29 PM on January 6, 2014

Hm. Google Docs has an experimental filetype, the Fusion Table, which, among other things, can basically take a spreadsheet with geographic data in it and generate a map from it--maybe it could go the other way?

(As an aside, it can take a KML as the input, so at the very least it could be the second half of tylerkaraszewski's solution...)
posted by FlyingMonkey at 12:43 PM on January 7, 2014

Response by poster: Progress so far; Google Custom Maps (and, actually, Google Earth itself) showed some possibility, but it's the timestamps that are the problem. Neither seems to have the ability to automatically include a timestamp that says "This point was created now!". Both let you have date fields, but you have to fill them in manually.

Geonotes looks like it might work - thought the fact that the mobile app is still sized to an iPhone 4 screen makes me worry they've stopped improving it. But it does let me make notes, and they seem to include a timestamp, so it's a start.
posted by Jimbob at 2:31 PM on January 7, 2014

Best answer: CartoDB and Mapbox both let you do something like this. CartoDB automatically adds date created & date modified attributes, but Mapbox doesn't add a date field. CartoDB is powered by a PostgreSQL database, and you can export your data out to a spatial (shp, geojson, kml) or non-spatial (csv) format.
posted by indeterminacy at 9:34 PM on January 7, 2014

Response by poster: Oh man, I already use CartoDB for stuff! Best solution, probably, I'll go set it up.
posted by Jimbob at 10:30 PM on January 7, 2014

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