Sergio Álvarez

4 Ideas about the CartoDB Sync Tables functionality

Sync Tables are my favorites; having almost real-time maps without having to code a single line is something that I find amazing, even if this element has been a CartoDB staple for a long time now. This is my personal tribute to the feature, and a list of ideas that I hope you find inspiring.

Sync Tables

###Data collection tool using Google Drive. It’s as easy as creating a Google Drive spreadsheet and connecting it to CartoDB. Design the form on Drive and share it with your visitors. Your maps will reflect the data you have in the spreadsheet being populated with your friends’ and/or visitors’ submissions.

###Dynamic analysis with Open Data sources. Connect data from any data portal in one of the CartoDB’s supported formats by copying the download link and connecting it to CartoDB. Imagine the amount of things you could do if you combine your own data with climate alerts such as storms or hurricanes, traffic data, or even with open311 reports.o

###Avoid data management issues with the Dropbox connector. Let’s say that you work with data across different departments but you don’t want to spend money and time on new infrastructure right now. Create a folder on dropbox, share it with your colleagues, connect those datasets to CartoDB, and tell them to override the existing files with the new data whenever they like. Your maps will be refreshed automatically when the data is changed, and you will still have a version you can control thanks to Dropbox itself. Magic!

###Monitor Mailchimp campaigns. Mailchimp connector can also make use of the Sync Tables functionality, so you deploy your email campaign, connect the data to CartoDB, create a map, and put it in “the big screen” so that you and your team will be able to see how it performs and seamlessly run powerful campaigns performance analysis.

Aren’t Sync Tables amazing? Although they are only available under the paid plans, this shouldn’t be a problem since there is a 14-day trial included with all our plans. So no excuse not to try them!

Happy data mapping!

About the author
Sergio Álvarez

Sergio has spent years bridging the designer-developer divide and making products to improve the way that decisions are made. He has a background in computer science and currently researches data visualization, information design, and interface design with a special focus on data interaction.
In 2009, Sergio co-founded Vizzuality, a company dedicated to visualization, analysis, and cloud-based services for large amounts of data, with offices in Madrid and New York.

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