Rate Three Simple Map Tools

Let’s explore criteria from the previous chapter by comparing three different tools, and reflecting on which factors you feel are most important when making decisions about your toolkit. We’ll test three drag-and-drop tools to transform sample address data into a simple interactive point map.

Each tool can geocode address data by looking up a location (such as 500 Main Street, Hartford CT) in a large database, deciding on the best match, and converting this data into latitude and longitude coordinates (such as 41.762, -72.674).

For our sample data, we’ll use this table of 9 locations in North America, with 3 intentional mistakes to test for geocoding errors.

Image: Sample address data screenshot

First, click this link and Save to download the sample file to your computer: sample-address-data in CSV format. CSV means comma-separated-values, a generic spreadsheet format that many tools can easily open. If you need help with downloading, see this short video tutorial.

Next, build a point map with the sample data, by following the tutorials for the three tools below.

Tool Step-by-step tutorial in this book
Google My Maps My Maps tutorial
Carto Builder Carto tutorial

Finally, rate your experience using each tool with these selected criteria:

  • Easy-to-learn: Which tool was the simplest for creating a basic point map?
  • Price: Which of these free tools provided the most services at no cost?
  • Customization: Which tool enabled you to modify the most details about your map?
  • Data Migration: Which tool most easily allowed you to import and export your data?
  • Error-friendly: Which tool geocoded most accurately or signaled possible errors?

Recommended: Enroll in our free online course LINK TO DO to compare your ratings to other students.