Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spreadsheets --> Maps

Hello Eminence!

I've noticed a lot of you all are starting to use the My Maps tool (click here if you haven't seen it yet) to have your students create their own custom maps.

While I do think having students finding and labeling locations on maps themselves is a good thing, here's a little shortcut you can use to quickly create a map from a spreadsheet for your students to view.

Here ya go!

Step 1 - Create a spreadsheet. I recommend using Google Sheets (you're probably not surprised!), but Excel, CSV, or KML files also will work.

Step 2 - Fill in your spreadsheet with the information you want to have mapped.  Make sure you have header rows going across the top.  Important: One of your columns must be a LOCATION for your placemarks ("City, State", country name, important landmark, Lat/Long coordinates, etc) and another one of your columns must be the TITLE for each placemark that will appear on the map.  Don't know what a "placemark" is?  They're these little guys:
Hopefully these look familiar!   
Need a visual as to what a spreadsheet like this would look like?  See below.

Note how under "Location" I used Lat/Long coordinates for Ft. Boonesborough.

Step 3 - Open up "My Maps" (click here to visit the site), create a new map, and then give it a title.

Step 4 - Next you're going to "import" data from your spreadsheet onto your map.  Look on the left hand corner of your map.  See that little "import" button?  Click it!

Step 5 - Either find your spreadsheet in Google Drive and double click it OR upload your own from Excel or CSV.

Step 6 - Once uploaded, it'll ask you what column in your spreedsheet you want to use for the location of your placemarks.  On my spreadsheet, I want the column titled "Location".

Step 7 - Next, it'll ask you what column contains the TITLE of each placemark.  In my case, the column titled "Placemark Name" had what I'd like to title each one.

Click finish, and then... BOOM...Insta-map.  Note that you can click on each placemark to see ALL of the info you had on the spreadsheet:

Neat, eh?

~Donnie Piercey

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