JTools: Mapping

As of January, 2017, this JTools unit is not being updated. 

4 Ways  to make  maps:

  • A. One  location mapping with Google maps.  Simple and free.  One location. Save map as a photo to use in other media. Most students already understand how to do this.
  • B. Multiple location mapping using BatchGeo. Simple and free. Based on an excel spreadsheet. The limitations are that it publishes ads on your map. The text not customizable.
  • C. Multiple location mapping with Google Maps. Free. No need to know excel. Text is somewhat customizable.
  • D. Customizable, multiple location mapping with Google Fusion.  Free. Based on Excel spreadsheet. Requires a bit of coding but most students can figure it out.  Text is customizable.

A. One location map

If  you don’t know how to make a one location map and save for use in a video, on  NCC News or a powerpoint,

  1. Open a mapping program such as Google Maps and put in the address.
  2. Draw a rectangle around the portion of the map you want to save.
    • PC: Use the snipping tool (Start Menu – Accessories — look for the icon that is a scissors.)
    • MAC: Use Command+Shift+4. note: video says “3” but it’s “4” and it should be in your downloads folder 
  3. “Find the file — usually in your  Download or Pictures file.
  4. Paste this into a Powerpoint, add it as a picture to NCC News or import as a graphic into a video.

B. Multiple locations with Batch Geo

Can you cut and paste?  You can make a map to embed on a website in less than 5 minutes. You just copy a spreadsheet (it must have addresses) into the the BatchGeo website and it makes the map and even gives you code to embed it online. See this sample map on a NCC News post. 

If you are doing this as a class exercise, your professor will likely give you the latest Syracuse Homicide spreadsheet.  

Here are the steps:

  1. Use the spreadsheet  from your professor or adapt  the one on the BatchGeo site (look for Spreadsheet Template in blue type near bottom of the screen).
  2. Review and double check your data.  For example in the homicide spreadsheet, what is categorized as a homicide?  Is it the killing of a human being? The police say it is an “unlawful killing of a human being” which means anyone killed by police is not categorized by it as a “homicide.”
  3. See the 1-2-3 directions on the Batch Geo website  for how to create a map . Make sure you include the column headings, as BatchGeo will look for a heading of “location” or similar to know which column to geo-code.
  4. Save the map. Give BatchGeo your email and it will email you the URL for the map, a URL for changes or updates and the embed code that you can copy into a webpage.  For NCC News Online, remember to click the “text” tab and paste the embed code in the location you want it to appear on the page.

C. Multiple location maps with Google Maps

see the video here

Here are the simple steps:

1. Go to Google MyMaps and create a new map and title it.
2. Add the first location by typing them into the address box, then click on the pointer that appears and in the box that opens, click on “add to map.”

a. Click the pointer and in the box that opens add a title/label  for the location and any description.

b. Change the color or shape of the pointer by clicking on the address for that pointer, listed at the top right , and clicking on the paint bucket

c.  Make the title/label appear for each pointer by clicking on “Individual Styles” and clicking on “labels”

4. Do the same for all the locations
5. Save, share or embed.

D. Customizable, multiple location maps using Google Fusion Tables

Examples to Review

note: here is Google’s  Tutorial


1. Put your data in a spreadsheet

  • Input your data and/or download a spreadsheet. Check each cell for accuracy.  Check it again!
  • For Google Fusion you need the address, city  and state in the same column.  If they are in separate columns,  use Excel concatenate function to merge them  into one column. To do that, first add a new column. In that column put the formula:  =concatenate(G2, ” , “, H2) which means combine what’s in column G2 with column H2 and put a comma in-between.  Replace G2 and H2 with the appropriate columns in your spreadsheet.
  • Consider rewriting the copy that will appear in the  pop-up  window. For example for a chart on Syracuse homicides you might want it to read:

    • example:Police report that the victim, ______, was killed by ______, at _____ by the assailant, _______.  
    • In each of the blanks content would appear from one of the columns on your spreadsheeet.

2. Sign into  Google Drive  with your gmail account

3. Create a table

  • Search to find the file to upload from your computer and click through several  NEXT buttons on the screen to import it.
  • Make sure Google knows which column is location data to geocode. Click on FILE, then GEOLOCATE to specify the column you want mapped (full address) 

 4. Make the map

  • Click the VISUALIZE tab (Classic version) or File -> Geolocate in new version.
  • When the map appears zoom in so that your map locations fill the screen, but the screen includes them all

5. Configure the pop-up info window

  • Replace the code. Here’s where you have to know a little code.
  •      for the Syracuse homicide example, copy in this code in orange (see explanation in blue):
 <div class=’googft-info-window’ style=’font-family: sans-serif’; width: 330px; height: 20em; overflow-y: auto;”>  <h2 style=”color: red”>{Date}</h2><p> Police report that the victim, {Victim}, was killed by {Method} at {Full Address}  by the assailant  {Alleged Assailant} . {Details} </p> </div> Explanation: First  is the sizing info and typeface. Note the date is red and the headline size is H2. Next is is the narrative, with info in {  } being inserted from the respective column in your excel sheet.

6. Set the map for sharing

  • Click on SHARE in upper left and determine the settings you want
  • Click the type at the top:  “Get Embeddable Link.”  Copy the link to share or copy the embed code and paste into the html tab on a website

7. See your map archived

  • Go to Google Drive and you should see it there. It can be opened and edited.
  • For help, or advanced mapping options, see Google Tutorial
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