Google Fusion Tables


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Google Fusion Tables : A guide to visualizing patent data

Published in: Technology, News & Politics

Google Fusion Tables

  1. 1. Google Fusion TablesA guide to visualizing patent data By Alicia Wallace
  2. 2. From your Google Docs tab, click on “CREATE”
  3. 3. From the “CREATE” tab, select TABLE
  4. 4. Upload your file. (I created an Excel document containing data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Census)
  5. 5. The Excel chart in raw form. Google Fusion can geocode by location, but I uploaded latitude and longitude for each state (from just to be certain.
  6. 6. Once uploaded, you’ll be given a chance to verify the information.
  7. 7. Name the file, provide attribution, include a description and any necessary links.
  8. 8. The spreadsheet data is funneled into the Google Fusion Table
  9. 9. After clicking on the Visualize tab, select map to visualize the data.
  10. 10. By clicking on the red markers, you can view the information included in the table. You can clean up the look of how the information is presented by clicking on the “Configure info window” link.
  11. 11. From here, you can select which tabs you’d like to have shown. By clicking on “Custom,” you can tweak the html coding and add in some style.
  12. 12. I’m going to make the state name a bigger font, have it colored blue and delete the title to eliminate redundancy.
  13. 13. This is what results from those changes. However, to bring more meaning to thismap, I’d like to compare the states’ patents per 100,000 citizens. To do this, I’ll “fuse” this map with an existing map to show the geographic boundaries of the states.
  14. 14. To search for other Google Fusion Tables, visit:
  15. 15. After searching for U.S. states, what I’m looking for are the “KML Boundaries,” which will result in the borders and context.
  16. 16. This is what the U.S. States file looks like in table form. To view it as a map, click the Visualize tab and select Map.
  17. 17. And here it is in map form. The next step involves bringing the two maps together.Click on the Merge button to combine this publicly created map with the one created earlier. (Be sure to have the original patents map publicly available).
  18. 18. When merging tables, you’ll want to make sure that you match one of the columns of data. In this case, both tables have the state postal codes. Name the new table. (NOTE: The information in these columns need to be exact or the data may not visualize in the charts or map as expected.)
  19. 19. Now that the tables are merged, let’s configure the info windows like they were in the previous table.
  20. 20. Configure the info windows through the selection of cells and, ifdesired, through the custom html styling. These can be styled further with html and made more pleasing to the eye, but this will do for now.
  21. 21. Now, when you click on a state, this is the information you see. I want to go astep further and make it easier to see this data. Click on “Configure styles” to create a gradient of the states’ “Patents per 100,000 citizens.”
  22. 22. From this panel, you can incorporate various styles on the map. The gradienttab is a good way to show a comparison of this statistic; however, I’m going to use the Buckets tab to break these out into four distinct number classes.
  23. 23. The intensity of patents per 100,000 citizens across various states.