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First post

Welcome to the very first post of geovisualist. I’d like to start with with a problem that was actually what finally inspired me to start this blog. I have some data. The data consists of a list of about 40 countries with a number of fields related to mercury use in a particular industry. The exact nature of the data is not really important. It’s preliminary, but when I have finalized data I will describe it in more detail. What I’m interested is how these data can be displayed in a map format. I don’t have GIS software, so I’m looking to do this online in a way that’s easy, free, and looks good. So far I’ve found three tools. The first is Many Eyes, a project sponsored by IBM that let’s users post data and experiment with different visualizations (not limited to maps). I was able to make a nice interactive bubble marker map:
2012 Capacity

The next tool is called CartoDB. It’s exclusively for making map-based visualizations, and is a bit more slick that Many Eyes in that respect. Here’s the interactive bubble map.

Finally there’s Google Charts. This method uses ready made chart libraries that create a javascript interactive object that you can embed in a website. WordPress.com apparently does not like embedding javascript, but you can see what I created here.

Now, all of these tools were more in-depth than what I originally wanted to do with the data, which was create a map that I could publish as a simple image file. Still, the interactive nature of these visualizations is pretty neat. But I would still like to find a free tool that will let me display the data and export as a high-quality good looking still image.