Online maps enable you to visualize and analyze geographic dimensions of your data. While aggregated and anonymous data can be characterized as abstract, remote ethnography can ground your data as it criss-crosses your field site. We know maps can reify political and territorial boundaries, yet data maps can also visualize relationships that extend across disconnected locales at multiple sites. In fact, generating data or making your own maps are excellent ways of thinking critically about the constructions of boundaries, territorialized power, and the deterritorialized reach of power and ideological formations.

Online Interactive Maps

  • Online maps enable you to visualize and analyze geographic locations and a wide variety of aspects about them.
  • Online maps that have a live connection to your dataset allow you to make changes to your data that will propagate to your map, wherever you have published it, and re-render it according to the new data.
  • Live, interactive maps enable users to investigate your data by filtering and selecting different layers and combinations of data.

Finding Data

When starting a project, the first (and sometimes most daunting) step is to find data. Although there is an abundance of data out on the Internet, not all data is free and publicly accessible. Here are some initial resources on how to find credible, free, and relevant data.

Creating Maps

In this section, we provide instructions on creating multi-layered maps of your data in Carto, an online mapping platform. See also our tutorial for Tableau, the advanced data visualization software that includes mapping. Another platform worth exploring is Social Explorer, an online mapping tool which has a substantial collection of government data (e.g. US Census data) built in to the mapping platform itself.