Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Google Fusion Coffee Table

[Update: I noted on many of my Google Fusion Table posts that, while the data are still on Google Drive for you to view, GFT no longer offers a polygon or heatmap option, only geocoding by country centroid in its new version. Not sure why, but on this, this, this and another example posted as Iframes not Scripts preserved the old GFT maps.]

Geocurrents posted this interesting dataset from Worldbank's Ease of Doing Business website. James Fee waxed rhapsodic over Google Fusion Tables after WhereCamp5280. So I decided to see how easy it really was to map their Ease of doing Business Rank.

Well I literally did this over my turkish coffee in the lounge of my hotel in Kuwait City in about the time for the sun to set - drops like a curtain here at the relatively low latitude of 30degNlat same as Houston - hence the coffee table allusion for yet another mappliance.

And since I'm in the Middle East right now, I was interested in seeing how easy it was to Trade across Borders, such as oilfield services like Schlumberger's across the Gulf in Iraq. Now there are limitations like the Mercator projection and inability to zoom or pan. But one cannot beat the ease of uploading, sharing and mapping business data such as this...

Here are the data. Try it an see how you like it! Surely you have some data squirrelled away in spreadsheets, and Google will even geocode it for you? Surely you can't be serious...

RIP Leslie Nielsen (Regina CDN 11/02/26 - Ft Lauderdale USA 28/11/10)


  1. I'm loving Fusion Tables (and their potential) too, but this example is a bit awkward in at least one area: because of the location stored for "Micronesia, Fed. Sts." is (incorrectly) plotted along the coast of California, that record shows up when you hover over the US or Alaska. It's a bit confusing to expect "United States" when you hover over the US, and get "Micronesia, Fed. Sts."

  2. Yes indeed, go the original Geocurrents blog for the caveats around the data origins, and issues in the derivation of the statisitics. I personally think the Mercator projections sucks, but as James Fee's blog suggests, the situation may improve when GFT are part&parcel of GoogleDocs

  3. I agree; Fusion Tables dramatically drops the barrier to entry to creating and sharing this kind of data. It will be interesting to see which new and existing applications, mashups, and data migrate to Fusion Tables and which don't.