Get familiar with Google Maps Engine Lite
If you haven’t tried it yet, try it now: Google’s Maps Engine Lite.
The stripped-down version of Google’s corporate-level Maps Engine, Lite, still in beta, lets you get geospatial without cost or high-level mapping skill. Lite debuted in late March, but the latest good example of its use can be found in a recent blog post by multimedia consultant Robb Montgomery.
“It’s a great tool for learning to build maps with data, making tailored maps without a lot of clutter and for adding database information to location and routing maps,” he writes.
Montgomery’s example was a small map he drew to show a travel route through downtown Berlin. But Maps Engine Lite also allows users to download small spreadsheets and up to three data sets for a much more nuanced presentation.
As Montgomery demonstrates, for most journalists, Maps Engine Lite is a great tool for devising simple locators that can fit neatly and effortlessly inside news sites, blogs and mobile apps, and best of all it doesn’t require a degree in cartography to master. Start with the tutorial, which takes newbies step-by-step through their first map.
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