Geosheets is a simple add-on for the good old and convenient Google spreadsheets. How Interactive and informative maps help us in various ways is something not unknown to many. With the rise in analytics need and dynamics, creating one’s own maps is a domain that interests many developers.There are numerous tools available for GIS developers or the intermediate user to create interactive and visually appealing online maps like Umapper, Scribble maps, MapTiler, GMapGIS, and many more. Some of these tools are good and some not very much. But complexity comes as a package with almost all of these tools some way or the other.
Here comes Geosheets to the rescue! It lets you create visually attractive maps by easily manipulating location data directly within Google Sheets. And by Easy I mean on the fly no sweat easy! The familiar nature of Google Sheets is a major advantage and USP of using this mapping solution over the others.
Geosheets has enabled the user to easily create interactive maps providing numerous standalone solutions. Some of the maps created using Geosheets include:
Hurricane Trajectory map,
Earthquake Map (USGS Data),
Open Data Map,
Mapping IP Addresses,
Map Data from Wikipedia,
These are just basic applications which have been mapped easily using Geosheets in no time. I will be elaborating on these in my coming blogs.
How It Works
As I mentioned above, Geosheets manipulates location data directly into the spreadsheet. It uses simple formulas that can be incorporated within spreedsheets to fetch, populate and map the data out. Some of the important formulas are:
IMPORTDATA: It is built-in Google Sheets function that takes the url of a CSV or TSV file and imports that data into your sheet. This can be used to incorporate open data that is freely available via url.
GEO_MAP: This function is the backbone of Geosheets as it calls it to draw the map from the data. The user needs to define the data range, name and the path (name of column here) to fetch the location data from. In a few moments your map will be created and you’ll get the url of the same.
Not to forget, you can visually define your map as well by simply adding columns like, color, radius, type, etc in the spreadsheet.
This is a great simple tool that does not intimidate users with complex toolbars et al’ who just wants to render a simple personal map. Not only it is simple and easy to use, but is also very robust and provides just what is required. So go ahead and explore!
Image Courtesy: Geosheets