From Scraping to Mapping the local currencies: the Outwit Hub/Fusion Table combination (part 2)

What follows is the description of my personal experience of mapping the unmappable, through a classic “trial and error” learning.

Google Fusion Table is a really useful and versatile tool, that can be used for multiple tasks, like merge two tables or even create charts. However, I have personally used it mostly to map specific locations, like cities or others.

Once in Google Drive website it is sufficient to click on “create/Fusion Table” and import the spreadsheet from our computer. After the preview and having inserted the description of the project it is possible to see this page.

Local currencies

At this point I’d suggest to see what the map visualize clicking on the “Map” button on the top.

The locations are supposed to be more then 100, but just about half of the group is de facto visualized. What’s the reason? It’s really simple. Most of them are not indeed proper location. There are places called “locale”, “francophone”, “movement national”, or “All communities”. They simply describe generally where these systems can work, so, while some of them are proper mappable locations, some others are not.

So, what to do? In case we desperately need this map I’d suggest ignorantly to modify each of them in order to have at least a country as a locations. In this way “Scheme UK wide” will become just “UK”, or “Francaise” will be “Belgium” (it refers to the French part).

Does it look better? Yes. Is it what we had in mind? Absolutely not. Again, as I have found this topic really interested as I wrote in part 1, I really had the intention to show it. The worst part came when I studied a bit the trends of these currencies.  What I wanted to do was a trend chart which would have shown how many local systems were created yearly, and I thought to take into consideration the numbers represented in this page.

However, digging in the site, I have found that they don’t refer to their date of creation, but just the date in which the joined the website system. Which means that other important systems may exist but, as they might not know this website, they are not registered. And what I wanted to should might be just a part of the entire topic.

Do you think it is another failure? Probably, but this experience could lead to another open question: the lack of direct data and the impossibility of their collection in some circumstances.

In case you are interested in the map I obviously couldn’t embed it in this wordpress site, This is just snapshot. Enjoy!

Local currencies

 

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