I have been using Fusion Tables for many years and I have just started my project on the platform and got an email saying that in August 2019 the data-related API will stop communicating and on December 3rd the whole platform goes offline. The whole storm stopped, and a brief report showed that besides this project there are also 83 tables using Fusion Tables in different visualizations and projects. Most are related to population visualizations and bike statistics, and I need to find a different format and visualization by the end of 2019. Because the main thing in the e-mail is – “We stop the platform, you can download your data from here.” No, we are huge Google and unfortunately we stop tables, but can continue to use them in Google Doc, Google This or Google That… Fusion Tables for me has always been like carving a boat from pine bark – rude, simple and fun. Without any special skills in coding, API documentation, or server space requirements. The simplicity of the tables is complemented by the fact that Google’s options for saving on hard disk or online of the available information is as CSV and KML files. Table or map. Sounds good, but … there’s a catch.
You can open the CSV file in almost any spreadsheet program – from Google Docs, Excels and even online readers – but you should always be alert to encoding (most of my tables are in Cyrillic) and you will not get a map outside of Gagle Maps if you use for location address or KML shape. The KML file is handy but you can not access a table outside the Google Map, and if you download a new KML file from an active map, no matter how many rows you have in the table, everything will be reduced to a name and description, you lose the autonomy of rows, which makes the information in them meaningless as a source of visualization.
Although there are many similar platforms like CartoDB , Tableau, , EasyMapMaker and a few more similar ones where you can visualize tables in a similar way as Fusion Tables, they are available at a charge of, let’s say, $ 70 per month, if not more. In the “free” DataWrapper , the only free is one map and 10,000 table views. Despite the prices, I suppose there will be consumers who will migrate to these platforms.
What does Google offer to those who will stay in Google’s cloud? As a high-tech company, Google offers a bunch of apps to visualize tables. As BigQuerty or DataStudio … Instruments with which, according to Google ads work the big brands, so we need terabytes of cloud space. For which prices do not differ much from those on external platforms. Where am I with my tables of 200-300 kb. Google offers me to do my boats from pine bark with a 3D printer. Because we are 21 century… How tempting…
For good or bad, the only adequate alternative to visualizations on Fusion Tables is to work with GeoJSON files. This will allow you to use custom info windows, heatmap and many other statistical functions in order and value. And that means, besides converting, and writing at least one HTML document with at least one API or Java Script code in it for each table. And trust me on Google Maps writing is not worth it, since there are platforms such as Mapbox , OpenStreetMaps and Kartograph.js .
Writing the code will be “easy” with a little read. The question remains with reformatting CSV and KML from Fusion Tables to Geo and regular JSON files. If we stay in Google Docs, we will have to convert again with the same settings after each change. Change, download, convert, upload. Even for one letter. Therefore, once GeoJSON passed, it is best that the subsequent edits be JSON’s editor. Like http://geojson.io , for example. In a nutshell, the suspension of Fusion Tables is out of Google products at all the statistical maps.