Target Map is a new service that allows anyone to create mapped displays of data sets. Users of Target Map can importa and map their own data sets, use data sets from other users, use data sets found online, or manually input data onto a map. When I created my sample map, I choose to manually input data.
Target Map allows you to map data for a country, a region, or for the whole world. You can customize the display to make borders appear faint or bold and alter the look of data points. Although at first glance Target Map’s user interface might not appear to be terribly intuitive, it is actually quite easy to use if you follow the directions.
Target Map is free to use if you agree to publish your maps to the public gallery. If you want to keep your maps private you can do so for a small fee. The first time you create a map on Target Map it is reviewed for quality before it is added to the public gallery. Below you will see a map from the Target Map gallery. (Click image to launch map with data key).
Applications for Education
Data sets on their own can be difficult for some students to analyze. Target Map could be an excellent way for students to visualize and analyze data sets that they create or find online. Target Map makes it possible for students to visually compare economic, demographic, scientific, and other statistics. I can see myself using Target Map in my World Studies course to have students create maps comparing economic growth data from different countries around the world.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Fusion Tables – Data Visualization Made Easy
New Visualization Charts in Google Docs
12 Resources All Social Studies Teachers Should Try