Fusion tables montage

Life after Google Fusion Tables

In 2009 Google launched Fusion Tables, a web service for visualising and sharing large amounts of tabular data, particularly with spatial content. Many saw it as Google’s attempt to enter the “serious” GIS market occupied by companies like ESRI with ArcGIS. Google announced that they would “retire” the service on 3rd December 2019. Fusion Tables had always been labelled as “experimental” or beta. Following their "retirement" in 2019, March 2020 was set as the date when data held within Fusion Tables would be - in Google's own words - be "permanently and irrevocably deleted".

Now Fusion Tables are a thing of the past, but what if you have exported data that was previously held in them, or are looking for a comparable solution?

These are the alternatives that Google suggested:

  • CloudSQL - managed cloud SQL databases (mySQL, PostGres)
  • Sheets - familiar spreadsheets, like Excel, supports charting and can be a source of data for Data Studio
  • Data Studio - BI tool for mashing up data from several sources and producing dashboards and visualisations
  • BigQuery (GIS) - also beta, for data analytics and machine learning

Google have also hinted at new map visualisation tools on the horizon.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point then you have every right to be. Google have a history of withdrawing experimental products and those with little take up. Their philosophy of “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” is successful (for now) but is of no help for companies wondering where to place investment in development. Apart from Sheets and light usage of the other tools, the solutions above also require significant investment - learning how they fit together, administration tools, training, as well as financial. Google are aiming to provide a suite of tools for the larger organisation but small to medium companies often require something more “immediate”, low-investment, and low-risk.

If you have already committed resources to Fusion tables and are wondering “what next?”, contact us - we will be happy to help. One direct alternative to Fusion tables is MapVision, our online mapping platform. It offers a lot of shared functionality including the ability to:

  1. Import your location data and geocode postcodes
  2. Use map layers to build a map stack
  3. Share your results with colleagues

We appreciate that many organisations can’t afford a dedicated GIS or mapping specialist, so MapVision is designed to be intuitive. Anyone can access this tool set and use it without the need for formal training, a powerful PC or a local software installation. MapVision users don’t have to be a GIS expert to enjoy the benefits of geographical intelligence and enhanced business insight.

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