Monday, February 23, 2009

ZeeMaps Powered by Google

Today, I learned to upload thousands of YMCA locations into a map thanks to ZeeMaps at ZeeSource, an open source company. I knew how to add one location at a time on Google Maps, but needed to learn how to add hundreds or thousands of locations. In order to do that, you need geocoded information in one of two forms:

  • a database with longitude and latitude information or
  • an excel spreadsheet in CSV format.

I learned about comma-separated values or CSV format. Using an excel spreadsheet of YMCA locations, I "saved as" in CSV format. CSV format does not allow for the following puctuation marks: " . , [ ] ( ) so I did a "find and replace" to eliminate unwanted marks. Early on, I sent an e-mail question and got an immediate response from the founder of ZeeSource, Pankaj Garg.

Next, I created my map! There is a menu bar to explore:

  • Map - create, name, describe
  • View
  • Additions - Upload CSV file
  • Edit Grids
  • Deletions
  • Customizations
  • Print or Share
  • Settings

Now to identify databases to pull information that would make an impact when visually displayed. Ideas that come to mind include: school equity issues such as schools that have no teacher librarians or subscription databases. Any other good ideas?

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