Google Fusion Tables for Trip Planning

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I recently started using one of the new experimental ‘apps’ for Google Drive called ‘Google Fusion Tables‘, which lets you do a variety of things, but most importantly to me it let’s you create a table of information and geocoded addresses and then display that information on a map.

We’re just about to start a few weeks of touring Ontario so I dumped in all the locations we want to visit, put in any important info like cost, hours, address, and generated the incredibly convenient map below. Each location is clickable to view the info from the table, and the locations are colour coded by day we plan on visiting.

Love it! Now let’s just hope our phone’s don’t die.

How to Create a Fusion Table Map

  1. Open Google Drive and go to Create > Connect more apps. Search for Fusion Tables and click the Connect button. fusion-1

  2. Create a new Fusion Table from an empty table.

  3. Go to Edit > Add Column and add any info you want to track (and also make sure you select the correct data type for each column).

  4. Go to Edit > Add Row and add the information for any locations you want to visit. fusion-2

  5. Click the ‘Map of Location’ button and it should automatically geocode (map the address to an actual GPS location) any addresses you’ve entered in the table and display them on the map. If it failed to do so for any of your addresses, go back to the table and fix the address or click the geocode button when editing the table row.

    That’s about it. But there’s a few things you can do to make the map prettier.

  6. Click the ‘Change feature styles’ button > Points > Marker icon > Buckets. This screen lets you display different icons for different groups of points (I used it for displaying a different colour icon for each day of the trip). From this page you can also toggle displaying a legend in the bottom corner of the map. fusion-3

  7. Click the ‘Change info window’ button > Custom. In here you can enter custom HTML for the hover window that display when you click each marker point. You can use this to put in web links, or even display pictures from the table. fusion-4

  8. And finally, go to the drop down menu in the Map of Location tab and click Publish. This will give you a webpage for the map (to view on your phone for instance), and code for inserting it into a webpage if you wish.

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