Online Assignment #7: Google Fusion Tables

Directions: In this lab, we’ll be practicing with different visualization techniques. You’ll need to come up with 10 objects that are somehow related (favorite athletes, books, movies, TV shows, songs, etc.) that have a name, an associated image, a number, a characteristic shared with some but not all of the other items, and a location.

Assignment: Using this data, you’ll make a spreadsheet and then create a “default card” image, pie chart, bar chart, map, and network visualization of that data. Post a link to the Google Fusion Tables spreadsheet and include screenshots of all the visualizations on the class blog. Make sure each visualization is appropriately labeled.

Note: Make sure also to check your charts to make sure they make sense

DUE: 10/29 by 8pm (6% of final grade)

 Instructions:

Creating Data:

  1. Create (or use) a gmail account separate from your Hawkmail account.
  2. Navigate to http://www.sheets.google.com.
  3. Make sure you’re signed in (click on the small circle in the upper-right hand corner of the screen and make sure it has your name and correct account information. If it doesn’t, you are logged out or logged in with the wrong account: try logging in again)
  4. Click the big green circle with a white plus in it in the bottom right-hand part of the screen to create a new spreadsheet
  5. Click where it says “Untitled Spreadsheet” in the upper left-hand corner of the page. Give your spreadsheet a title.
  6. Choose at least four columns for your data, and write a column name in each of the boxes of the top row of your spreadsheet (i.e. “Name,” “Image URL,” “Year,” “Number of Members,” “Genre,” “Location”)
  7. Make sure you choose categories that have overlapping data (for example, if you’re doing books, music, or movies, choose a “Genre” category and make sure to have a couple media items of each genre)
  8. Start to enter your data
  9. For image URLs: do a Google image search, choose a relevant image, click on it to select it, and right-click on it. Choose “Copy image URL,” “Copy Image Address,” or “Copy Image Location” depending on your web browser (follow these directions for more info: http://email.about.com/od/usingfreeemailtothemax/qt/How_to_Copy_an_Image_s_Web_Address_URL.htm). Paste this URL in the corresponding section of your Google Spreadsheet
  10. For location, you must enter a place using latitude and longitude with the form “number, number”; Google Fusion Tables will not recognize any other format. You can find the latitude and longitude information by doing a search for a place on http://maps.google.com, then select “What’s here” and copy the two numbers separated by a comma into the “Location” space on your spreadsheet.
  11. When you have entered data for at least 10 different items, you’re ready to move your data into Google Fusion Tables.

Importing Data:

  1. In Google Sheets, click on the big blue “Share” button underneath your email on the upper right-hand side of the screen.
  2. In the new popup window, click on the little grey icon of a chain link labeled “Get Sharable Link.”
  3. Make sure the sharing is set to “Anyone with the link can view.” If it is not, click on the downward-facing triangle to open a drop-down menu, and then select “can view”
  4. Navigate to Google Fusion Tables (http://tables.googlelabs.com) and make sure that you’re logged in with your non-Hawkmail Google account
  5. If you get a popup window asking you to authorize Google Fusion Tables to synch with Google Docs, click “authorize” or “accept.”
  6. Click on the blue rectangle labeled “Create Fusion Table” in the left-hand side of the screen.
  7. Click on “Google Spreadsheets” on the left-hand side of the new popup window.
  8. Click on the spreadsheet you’d like to import into Google Fusion, then click the blue “Select” button
  9. The new pop-up window will give you a glimpse of your data. Click the blue “Next” button.
  10. In the next popup window, give your table a name, and include a URL to the website where you got your data. If you made your data yourself, leave that blank. Click the blue button labeled “Finished.”
  11. You’ve now imported your data.

Editing Your Data:

  1. To properly create visualizations from your data, you will need to adjust your data types
  2. Click on “Edit” in the upper left-hand side of the screen, then select “Change Columns.” You can now see each category.
  3. Make sure you have the correct types and formats in your data:
    • Anything with words (Type: text; Format: none)
    • Image URL (Type: text; Format: 4-line image)
    • Anything with a number (Type: number; Format: none)
    • Location (Type: location; Format: none)
    • Anything with a Date (Type:
  4. Click the blue save button at the bottom of the window.

Creating Visualizations (Maps, Charts, and Others):

  1. If you entered your information correctly, your “Card” view should be ready. Click on the tab labeled “Cards 1” next to the tab labeled “Rows 1.” Take a screenshot of your card.
  2. Your map should also be done. Click on the tab labeled “Map of Locations” to view it. Use the slider bar on the left-hand side of the map to adjust how far in or out you zoom, and take a screenshot.
  3. To create the other charts, click on the small red box with a white plus in it next to the tab labeled “Map of Locations.” Click “Add Chart.”
  4. NOTE: For each chart, click “Change appearance” and give the chart an informative title and label the axes.
  5. NOTE: Pie and bar charts won’t work if you don’t have any columns with type “Number”; make sure you have at least 1 column with type “Number” to fix this problem.
  6. To make a bar graph, click on the image of a bar graph on the left-hand column.
    1. Choose a category that you want to compare (for example, NOT Location or Image URL), and select that category from the drop-down menu labeled “Category”
    2. If you want to compare the rows to each other (i.e. Comparing page lengths across books or batting averages across people), then do not click the “Summarize Data” checkbox.
    3. If you want to compare how many of your items share something (i.e. Comparing the total number of English majors to the total number of Journalism majors), then click the “Summarize Data” checkbox.
    4. Take a screen shot of your chart.
  7. To make a pie chart, click the red box with a white plus and click “Add Chart.” Click on the image of a pie chart on the left-hand side of the window below the bar chart icons.
    1. Choose a category that you want to compare (for example, “Major at New Paltz” or “Year at New Paltz,” NOT Location or Image URL), and select that category from the drop-down menu labeled “Category”
    2. If you want to compare the pie slices to each other (i.e. Comparing page lengths across books or batting averages across people), then do not click the “Summarize Data” checkbox.
    3. If you want to compare how many of your items share something (i.e. Comparing the total number of English majors to the total number of Journalism majors), then click the “Summarize Data” checkbox.
    4. Take a screen shot of your pie chart.
  8. To make a network visualizations, click the red box with a white plus, and click “Add Chart.” Then click on the image of circles connected by lines right below the pie chart icon.
    1. If the network visualization contains many pairs of circles connected by lines, you will want to change the categories selected in the drop-down menu on the left.
    2. To make a good visualization, choose 2 categories that share items (i.e. Title and Publisher or TV Show and Genre)
    3. Click the “Color by columns” checkbox to have the category names appear in orange to make your network visualization easier to read.
    4. Click the “+” and “-“ keys to zoom in and out to get the best image for your screenshot, and take a screenshot.
  9. You also need to include the link to your data in your blog post, which means that you need to share it.
    1. Click on the blue “Share” button in the upper right-hand side of the window.
      1. You will see a new window that says “Who has access,” and then lists you and “Private—only you can access.”
      2. Click on the word “Change” in blue across from “Private”
      3. Select the circular checkbox next to “Anyone with the link”
  10. Copy the URL in the box labeled “Link to share” and paste it in your blog post.
  11. Click the blue “Save” button

Wrapping Up:

  1. Make sure you have a link to the spreadsheet and screenshots of the map, network visualization, pie and bar charts, and card layout.
  2. Make sure each chart is labeled.
  3. Use the correct category for your blog post.
  4. After posting your blog, check the blog page for your class to make sure it has posted and that all the links work and the images show up.

 

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