Has anybody been using Google Fusion Tables at all?
I often get requests for a map showing all of something in the area. Recently, I got a request for a map of all the hospitals and all the urgent care facilities. I used to always put these together in GIS, make a PDF of the map and then attach a second PDF with the details for each location. This works fine but produces a very static product, especially if the end user doesn't have the ability to access ArcMap and manipulate the data themselves. The final product is always very cumbersome and works out to multiple pages, is a PITA to print, etc.
Last week somebody told me about Google Fusion Tables which allows you to import .XLSX tables and shapefiles converted into .KML files and I thought that this would be a much more useful way to display information for more people to use so this morning I decided to give it a try and in just about 10 minutes I was able to put together a one page interactive map that any end user with an internet connection could use to locate the medical facilities and access the contact information, number of beds, etc. and do so from an email with an embedded link or through a map I post up on one of our websites.
As a further experiment, I'm now working on a map to show the changes in housing prices for each community in the area over time since I like that the Fusion Table maps provide you with the ability to embed a chart into the pop-ups.
Has anybody else on here been experimenting or using Fusion Tables at all and have any good resources for tutorials, ideas, and examples?
I feel like I could easily imagine Google Maps replacing ESRI ArcGIS for simple mapping out of locations/facilities and showing community boundaries with graduated colors for values of a particular variable (population density, unemployment, income levels, etc.).