Many of us already know the perks of having a Google account: checking email, sharing documents, and chatting with friends, of course! In addition to the many wonders that a Google account can give you access to, you can also use that handy account to use Google Fusion Tables, a neat way to visualize data.

Google Fusion Tables is a modern data management and publishing web application that makes it easy to visualize and publish data tables online. You can import your own data and visualize it instantly on tables, maps, graphs, and more.  That’s right. You can take that Excel data sheet you’ve been working on all summer and actually SHOW others what all those facts and figures mean for your research. You can also:

  • Share tables with other publicly or view other public tables
  • Merge your own data or merge other people’s data
  • Other data visualization tools available: line graph, bar graph, pie, scatter, motion, timeline, and storyline

Use Google Fusion Tables to visualize data in your table, on a map, or on an intensity map. What’s an intensity map, you ask? Here’s an example below:

Using Google Fusion Tables to visualize civil liberty scores

Google uses geo-coding to take data for each country in the world and uses different colors and shades to represent intensities of data. The darker shades represent lower scores of civil liberties, in this case.

To get started, you will need to have a Google account. On Google’s Homepage (, Select More > Even More > Fusion Tables.  If we haven’t convinced you yet, Google provides additional tutorials on how to best utilize the Fusion Tables.

Consider using Google Fusion Tables for your research this semester! If you have additional questions on how to use it, just drop by the lab and ask a consultant.