How To: Create a Thematic Map

October 31, 2016

Here’s a guide to creating your own heat map, adapted from this tutorial.

Getting the data into a Fusion Table

  1. Import the dataset (a .csv list of insects from Google)
  2. Sign in to Google Drive, click “New,” and in the menu, go to More > +Connect More Apps
  3. Type “fusion tables” in the search bar and click the Connect button
  4. Click New > More > Google Fusion Tables
  5. In the window, browse to find your .csv and click Next. Review how the data looks and click Next
  6. Give it a name and click Finish
  7. Check out your table of data and images

Map the data

  1. Click the “map of latitude” tab at the top of your table
  2. Click the dots in the map to view individual entries’ data
  3. The Google tutorial also provides directions for making those pop-up windows more readable. Scroll down to “customize the info window template” and try it out!

Make a heat map

  1. Download the “population” and “states.kml” files I’ve sent you
  2. Create a new fusion table with this file
  3. Click the map tab in the spreadsheet, and Fusion Tables will geocode the locations (states) you’ve provided as points
  4. In a NEW window (important), upload “states.kml” – go through same steps to create a second Fusion Table
  5. In the uploaded “population” Fusion Table, click File > Merge
    • Select “states”
    • This table: Region – states: Name – click Next
    • Uncheck “description” and “id” and click Merge
  6. To change from dots to shapes, click “change feature styles” in the left menu and select Polygons > Fill color
  7. Select “Gradient” and change to 5 with the listed values.
  8. You SHOULD get a map with states shaded in colors that are darker with higher population levels
  9. Try searching for other state data and mapping it (use the filetype:.csv to help out)