Data Visualization Toolkit: Maps Tools

Map icon

Ground your data with mapping, a quick and powerful way to display summary data or services by location or region. Effective maps can be static and simple, or they can be complex, dynamic, and interactive online objects that enable your stakeholders to compare service providers, schools, programs, performance metrics, and demographics.

Maps Tools

Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables is Google web application, like Google Sheets. It’s a free data management tool that makes it easy to sort large data sets, collaborate with others, and create interactive web visualizations. For more general information on Google Fusion Tables, see the Interactive Displays section. One of the most powerful features of Google Fusion Tables is its ability to manage and filter large data sets (up to 100MB per set —enough for hundreds of thousands of rows). It’s easy to make maps with Google Fusion Tables. All you need is a column in a spreadsheet containing location information.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used platforms for analyzing and displaying data. Excel Maps is available free with Excel 2016.

Tableau Public

Tableau has many capabilities, and mapping is just one of them. Mapping capabilities include geocoding data, providing preset data layers of known U.S. census data, and creating individual points and polygonal maps. For more general information on Tableau Public, see the Interactive Displays section.


BatchGeo bills itself as the “fastest way to create Google Maps with your data.” Like Google Fusion, BatchGeo allows you to layer your own data over Google Maps’ mapping resources. The tool has six map styles, with preformatted data window settings and area coloring, but it limits your options for further customization.

Suggest Additional Tools or Resources

Are there additional mapping tools or resources that you use to present data effectively? Suggest tools or resources for inclusion in the toolkit.