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Data Visualization: Map-based Tools


This tab lists some map creators. Most of them are web-based tool with public data, except ArcGIS, which could be downloaded from the university website or accessed on one of the campus computers.

ArcGIS Software On Campus

ArcGIS is a geographic information system software suite that allows users to create, manipulate, analyze and display geographic information.  Where can you access this software?

ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is another option of creating maps. It has less functions than the standalone software package, like geo-referencing is not there. However, you can still create maps with different signs and notes, and share them with the world. You will need to create a free account to sign in.

Go to ArcGIS Online.


CARTO is an easy map generator without the need to code. Some of its features include:

  • Includes census data and other data sources.
  • Accepts external datasets with geo-location information.
  • Easily customize the map of multiple layers and add images to it. 
  • Allows users to manipulate the data with SQL and the map content with CSS within the map generator.
  • The final map could be shared privately or publicly.
  • Users can also download the map in JPEG or PNG format.

Note: CATRO has a series of free online courses at Map Academy. Learn more skills of making map there!

Go to CARTO.


One really good open source GIS tool for creating maps. Download it here.

Data USA

MIT data search / visualization tool Data USA, easy search and visualization integrated into one. Good source for UAS data.