So I have been tasked to create a visual map of case volume shipped to each region from each of our warehouses. I think the most effective way to visualize this data is to create an intensity (bubble) map based on total shipped volume to each city. I know in my head of what I want to see but not sure what program is best to visualize this data. I have access to Microsoft Map Point 2006. I was thinking maybe Google Fusion Tables could also translate this but I have never used that tool.

Ideally, I was thinking if i can have a radio button that represents inbound (like stock transfer orders) /outbound orders (customer orders), then a drop down for the warehouse selection, and have a map automatically generate the intensity/bubble map, would be great.

I currently have my raw data in excel, I can pivot the data with the warehouse as a filter, and sum of cases by city & state. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations of free software that can be used? Thank you!


I think a Dorling Cartogram would fit your needs nicely.

From the ProtoViz site:

Cartograms distort the shape of geographic regions so that the area directly encodes a data variable. A common example is to resize countries proportional to population or GDP. Many types of cartograms have been created; in this example we use the Dorling cartogram, which represents each geographic region as non-overlapping circles.

In your case, you could use the regions as circles and the sum of cases per region as the size of the circles.

enter image description here


Not sure if this is still valid but you can use www.mapsdata.co.uk to load up your excel data and create a georeferenced bubble map. Your data would need to be geotagged using latitude, longitude, UTM or US Zip Code. You can select the value you want to show as the bubble from within the app and customise the coloring, opacity, etc.


I don't know if you want a desktop program to create a nice map or some framework like Google Maps or OpenLayers to program it.

If the second, OpenLayers have different format readers (GML, txt, KML, ...) and can render the "point features" as "points geometries" with different radius and color (and some text in the middle if you desire) with different colors: http://openlayers.org/dev/examples/styles-context.html

In addition , you have extra (non-official) heat layers like this: http://www.websitedev.de/temp/openlayers-heatmap-layer.html (go to Europe to see the heat).

Updated: Also take a look to http://geocommons.com maybe it can help you.

  • Thank you Neil! I played around with the Geocommons site and that is more in line of what I was looking for! Thank you! – Nielsen Feb 15 '12 at 22:08

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