If you are preparing a report for any organization or even for your own use, that requires you to represent data on a global scale, then take a look at U2Maps. U2Maps is a web application that lets you represent data on maps of any countries and share it others. Some examples would be, market share of the product manufactured by your organization in different countries, imports to different countries, coal production across the world and so on.
Previously, we brought you another tool (GE-Graph) that let’s you do the same thing but on Google Earth. While the graphs produced by GE-Graph are 3D and definitely looks sleeker but because it works only with Google Earth, it requires an extra application during your presentation.
U2Maps might be the better choice for many because it creates the map in Flash that can be shared by directing users to a URL or embedding the Flash file in any HTML page, like your website, or exporting the map as an image.
A simple map I created. View map.
Let’s turn our attention to the application. U2Maps is very simple to use – the user enters the data by either clicking on different regions on the map, by manually entering data for various countries, or by uploading a properly formatted Excel file with the data. Users can choose the color to represent different regions, put labels and adjust it’s font size, color etc and make other customization. Finally, name the map and publish it.
Now here lies a problem. Each map has to be published otherwise it leaves an ugly watermark across the map. Publishing is the only way to remove the watermark. But a published map can be viewed by the entire community. So if your data is sensitive and private, it will become open to the world. One way to deal with it is to export the map as an image file and then delete the map from their server, not an ideal solution. U2Maps should provide an option to make maps private if the user desires.