Putting records on a map protocol
Putting data on a map helps you visualise the people you're working with or incidents you need to support. This protocol describes using Google My Maps.
Before putting data on a map
- Check the data you're putting on a map is allowed to be processed using Google's tools.
How to put records on a map
- If your sheet does not have a record number, add a new column to your sheet, and fill it so the first record is 1, the next record is 2, etc.
- If you have a large spreadsheet, you can autofill the numbers instead of typing each one manually. (See, for example, this help page)
- Make a copy of your spreadsheet of records (volunteers, people needing support, etc) and remove all identifying details, leaving just a postcode and the record number.
- Alternatively, you can use the IMPORTRANGE() function in a blank Google spreadsheet to copy data across from another Google spreadsheet in a way that will remain synchronised as you make changes to the original. This requires a little more knowledge of how to work with Google sheets but makes it easier to update the map when changes occur. (See, for example, this tutorial.)
- Open Google My Maps and click the + button in the lower right.
- Click on the text "Untitled layer" to open a box where you can rename the layer to something that makes sense to you - maybe "Volunteers" or "Needs Support".
- Click "Import" below your layer and select your spreadsheet from Google Drive. (or upload a spreadsheet from your device)
- Select the column with your postcodes in for "Choose columns to position your placemarks" and press Continue.
- Select the column with your record number for "Choose a column to title your markers" and press Finish.
Your records now appear on a map.
To match it with your data, you can take the record number and match it to the line in your spreadsheet.
You can add multiple datasets, sanitised in a similar way, as different layers, appearing in different colours.
You can share your map by pressing the share button above the layers menu- share it to as fewer people as possible.
To update the map when changes occur you will need to delete the existing layers and add the new data as new ones.