How to make a map in Google Fusion Tables

This free data tool isn't as well known as Google Maps or Spreadsheets, but Fusion Tables provides an easy way to map a data set by regions such as states or counties.
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Why Fusion Tables and not Maps?

It's easy enough to map addresses with markers using Google Maps: Enter your address list and you're done. But what if you want to map data by regions such as states, counties or ZIP codes, with each one color-coded based on a specific data set? That's where Google's Fusion Tables comes in. Still listed as "experimental," this  Google Docs feature has nevertheless been used by media outlets and others to quickly create so-called choropleth maps without writing custom code. Here's how. (See an example on

This Computerworld tutorial is part of a series on free data tools. See 30+ free tools for data visualization and analysis for more.

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