The software makes mapping data to Google Maps painfully easy!
The steps to create a data visualization are:
Copy your data including the column headers from Excel
Paste that data into BatchGeo
Click to create your map ... and the basic service is free.
What's even more amazing all the data from your Excel columns will be as close as a mouse click on any geo point. Let's investigate an example ... the most recent results of the Cincinnati Half Marathon. The data elements (i.e. Excel columns) for each runner are:
Obviously, your data could have any fields, but given this service is about mapping ... location should be present (city, state, country, etc). Here is the finished GeoMap (partial screenshot given below). Given most of the competitors were from the Ohio area, drill down into the map to gain a perspective. Once you have the map at a reasonable resolution, click on a few "elements/data points!" The service also incorporates search against all the data in your database.
If you would like to try the service, I've included an excerpt of the marathon database (i.e. 260 records out of the original 1,241 runners). Remember to copy the field headers as well as the Excel data. When you browse to BatchGeo, just paste your data in the large window indicated ... you can't miss it! You then should either click on <Validate & Set Options> or <Map Now>. While you could just click "map now" select the validate option. You don't actually have to validate any data elements, but it does give the option to group your data by any desired variable. Given this service is oriented towards geo mapping, the logical grouping will normally be focused upon some "location variable". I chose "city".
If you want to try other examples, the easiest way to find Excel data is by using Google Advance Search. Use the file drop down to limit your results to <xls> files (i.e. Excel).
Did you know the Northstar Nerd is actually four people, or five, or six people?! As crazy as that may seem, I just received an answer back from Google tech support on an anomaly I had noticed on both historical WebTrends, and current Google Analytics data. Here is the situation, my company has around 120k employees. Web metrics data from both systems stated that in a 30 day period over 220,000 unique visitors had visited our internal employee portal.
There were two ways I could interpret this data:
Wow ... what great usage stats!
Eh gad ... this can't be correct ... we only have 120,000 employees!
I chose option #2, as I doubted that my company had recently hired 100K employees. My other action was to contact Google and provide them the data from both systems, and explain the scenario.
Earlier today I received a nice answer back from Google. After much internal discussion, they felt my data was correct, but I had to remember what the term "unique visitors" actually indicated. Almost all web anlaytics services (Google, Omniture, WebTrends, etc) use tracking cookies. Cookies track unique browsers, not unique people or vistors.
Let's consider my own example. I have four computers: an engineering work station, a laptop, an iPad and an Android smartphone. On each system I use mutliple browsers for various technical reasons (Atomic for iPad, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari). Thus, since cookies are measuring unique browsers (i.e. cookies) during a 30 day period, I might represent 12 unique users in a web analytics report. Remember, when I use a different browser on a different computer, I will be assigned a new unique tracking cookies for that computer and browser.
While most users might not use as many computers and browsers as the NorthstarNerd, it is not unusual for a typical user to have more than one browser, and visit your site from both home and work. Thus, most people would at least score a "four" on the unique visitor / cookie count ... I suspect more.
The moral to the story is be careful if you report "unique visitor" data. Your users might not be as unique as you thought. Finally, Google also told me that based upon my data they are working on trying to determine a way to account for this issue.