Authored by the Google Fusion Tables team
This tutorial shows you how to upload your own data to generate a set
of placemarks in Google Earth and Maps.
Google Fusion Tables is a online data management application, designed for easy collaboration, data visualization and web publishing. It allows you to upload and merge large datasets and offers simple data queries and filters. Read more on this Google Research Blog post.
Here are some examples of maps created and published with Fusion Tables.
This tutorial will guide you through creating a map with Fusion Tables using your own data.
Mapping with your own data
This tutorial assumes you have your own data set with location information (see "location columns" below) that you'd like to map. If you just want to try out Fusion Tables with some sample data, see the Making a map with Sample Data tutorial.
Comparing features of Spreadsheet Mapper and Fusion Tables
Both Fusion Tables and Spreadsheet Mapper allow you to visualize your data on maps. Use this chart to decide which tool is right for your mapping project.
|Maximum number of points
||up to 400
|Lines or polygons
|How many custom pop-up balloon templates at one time
||six at once
|Custom styling and templates without knowing HTML
|Assign placemarks a LookAt view or timestamp (see tutorial)
|View and map subsets of data
(eg: all real estate listings < $500,000)
Supported data types
Fusion Tables supports a number of data formats:
- Comma-separated files (.csv) - Up to 100 MB
- Microsoft Excel files (.xls, .xlsx) - Up to 1 MB
- OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods) - Up to 1 MB
- Keyhole Markup Language (.kml) - Up to 100 MB
- Data already in a Google Spreadsheet
If you have datasets in Excel or Open Office Spreadsheets that are larger than 1MB, save them as CSV files to take advantage of the larger 100MB limit!
In order to visualize tabular data on map in Fusion Tables, you must have columns that include location information. Fusion Tables accepts
Note: Location data in other formats like degrees, minutes, seconds (DMS; e.g. 40°26'47"N, 79°58'36"W) or UTM coordinates must be converted to decimal degrees. For DMS conversion see this web search and/or this Windows tool. For UTM conversion, see this web search or use GIS software. Coordinates should use the WGS84 datum.
Note: If your location information is already in a KML file, Fusion Tables will import it with certain limitations.
For example, any style information and custom placemark views (LookAts) will be lost.
For more details, please see "What type of files can I import?"
Import your data
- Go to Fusion Tables
- If you aren't already logged into your Google Account, sign in with your username and password. Click to create a Google Account if you don't already have one.
- Click the New Table button
- Specify the file to upload, and press the Next button.
- If your file is on your desktop, click Choose File button, and select the file.
- If your file is in a Google Spreadsheet, click Google Spreadsheets tab and select the spreadsheet. You will likely need to grant Fusion Tables access to your Google Docs.
- Fusion Tables will guess which row in the data has the column names. If it doesn't pick the right one, select it. Then click Next.
- Name your new table and enter metadata.
Fusion Tables provides Attribution, URL, and Description field to help manage the data's lifecycle:
- Attribution: the citation for or owner of the data
- URL: where to find the data or the data owner online.
- Description: other notes about the provenance of the data that will help you and others understand the data set later.
Your newly uploaded data should now appear in a new Fusion Table!
Map the data
Fusion Tables auto-detects the location columns in most cases. Often, you can immediately view your data on a map:
- Click the Visualize menu and choose Map.
If the location information is place descriptions, Fusion Tables will geocode them before mapping.
If the Map option under the Visualize menu is greyed-out, or if Fusion Tables picked the wrong location column (e.g. chose country name instead of latitude/longitude), you will need to manually identify your location columns.
- Click the Edit menu > Modify Columns
- Select the column with your place names, or latitudes
- Click the Type pull-down menu, and choose Location
- If you are using latitude and longitude in two different columns:
- Check the Two column location option
- Use the Latitude and Longitude pull down menus to choose the appropriate columns
- Click Save
- Click the Visualize menu and choose Map.
- Fusion Tables will use the first location column by default when mapping. To use a different location column for mapping, choose it from the "Location" pull down menu while looking at the map. Or, change the type from Location to Text so that Fusion Tables doesn't attempt to map it.
That's it! You've mapped a spreadsheet of data.
Something not quite right? Sometimes data rows geocode to the wrong place. See How do I fix it? in the Fusion Tables help center.
More neat Fusion Tables features
Now your data is in Fusion Tables, and you have it mapped! What else can you do?
- Customize the pop-up balloons on the map
Your placemarks currently show the default pop-up balloons, with several columns from the table. Want to customize what appears in the balloons? See the example in the Map sample data tutorial and get the full story from the help center.
- Filtering: select a part of your data to map
Have thousands of rows of data, but only want to make a map of some of the data? Use the filtering feature in Fusion Tables to find just the rows you want to map. Maps, visualizations, and KML Network Links can include these filters.
- Share your map!
Want to email it around, see it in Google Earth, or put it on a website? Check out the Sharing your map from Fusion Mapper tutorial.
- Creating views: keep certain columns private.
Although your table needs to be Unlisted or Public when embedding a map or creating a KML Network Link, it doesn't have to be all of your data. See how to create a view on your data to make public only the necessary columns.
- Comments: discuss in detail the values in rows, columns and even cells.
Invite your collaborators to help you find problems in the data set, and together you can make it better over time. See How do I discuss data?
- Heat maps
Check the Display as Heatmap checkbox while looking at the map. For data sets with lots and lots of points, the heat map conveys the density of information on the map.
- Intensity maps
Like the Circle of Blue example, the outlines of countries worldwide, various regions, or even the province levels of many countries can be mapped with a darker or lighter color depending on the value in a number column. Use Visualize > Intensity Map or see more details.
Discussion & feedback
Have questions about this tutorial? Want to give us some feedback? Visit the Google Fusion Tables user group or the
Google Earth Outreach Discussion Group to discuss it with others.