Sep 192011

One of my course tutors was kind enough to share with me a provisional list of secondary schools in the London area that may be able to offer placements for PGCE ICT students from my university. I was given strict instructions not to contact any of the schools and due the confidential nature of the data I will not post it here.

Thinking about this data and the challenge of allocating schools to students, I wondered whether there would be an easy way to plot the schools onto a map. With a little bit of research, I found that Google Fusion Tables Beta makes this task incredibly easy!

  1. Sign into Google
  2. Open Google Docs
  3. Create a new Table
  4. Choose Import new table…
  5. Select an existing file (my data was saved in an Excel spreadsheet)
  6. Select the columns you want to import
  7. Edit the document properties (table name, etc.)
  8. Modify columns; specifically, you’ll need to have a column named “Location” and set its data type to “Location”
  9. Visualize… Map
  10. The Geocode should run and create a lovely map for you to admire!

Being Google Maps, the output is fully interactive. Features can be clicked for further information (this will depend on your table data) and the map can be zoomed and scrolled. It could look something like this:

Low-resolution screenshot of school data (non-interactive)

Other things to look at are sharing of the map and Google Table. If I have time I may also look at whether it’s possible to merge this data with another source (e.g. underground stations identified by postcode) and have different colour markers.

  21 Responses to “How to plot multiple UK addresses (by postcode) on a Google Map”

  1. Thanks so much for that….I’ve used it to plot customer’s locations for my husbands business, it’s brilliant!!!

    • It’s great to hear that it worked well for you! I’ve used it several times recently and apart from a few errors – including wrong county and country – it mostly seems very good.

  2. I’ve not used google docs before and I’m struggling with this step :
    set its data type to “Location”

    Spent a while looking at all the options and help files and can’t find it..!

  3. Ignore me – just realised I was in Google spreadsheet not table – Doh

    Sorted now

    • Yes, I’ve not really found much use for Google Tables other than plotting map data. Glad to know you figured it out.

  4. Hi
    This is superb, but all I can do is plot the locations, not have the speech bubble which picks up the other data off the sheet – how do you add the address detail to the map??

    • I haven’t done this for a while, but if I recall correctly so long as the address data is in the table it is somehow included in the “speech bubble”. I have to plot some more data in the next few days, and if I find time I will post an updated article that addresses your questions.

  5. Thank you for this VERY useful!!!

  6. Thank you!

  7. Is there any way of grouping all the individual place marks into groups, for example, into counties?

    • Could you group them by colour? (e.g. Hampshire, blue; Wiltshire, red; etc.) I seem to remember an option somewhere for colours.

  8. Can anyone help me with this? I can’t trace any reference to Google Table in my Google pages – could this be a UK version problem?
    All I can find is spreadsheets, and this doesn’t cater for data type to Location, or anything like that

    • Things have changed a bit since I last tried this.

      Assuming you already have a Google account, you will need to login and open Google Drive ( Click the button labelled “Create”. This should reveal a menu with various document types including Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, etc. Select “Connect More Apps” and use the search box to find “Fusion Tables”. Click Connect and this will add Fusion Tables to your document types.

      Let us know how this works for you.

      • Thanks for this, just tried and got working Fusion tables. all pretty straight forward really and leaves you with a nice visual, interactive map. Good stuff!

  9. […] where people are that you are trying to reach? Where is the best place to hold an event. With a little help from this blog post on ICT and Computing blog – about it, I got to […]

  10. Much appreciated..

  11. […] How to plot multiple uk addresses (by postcode) on a […]

  12. Thank you so much, will start mapping multiple postcodes.

  13. Brilliant!! This made my week!!

  14. You have no idea the work this has saved me thank you so much!!!

  15. Worked well for me using a Fusion Table. Many thanks.

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