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NC for Hire

Back in 2010, I showed you how to map your members on Ning 2.0, but this process needs a little bit of updating.

What you are making...

Keep These Things in Mind:
  • The only way this will work is if you have a question in your profile questions which asks for exact location, geodetic coordinates or similar.
  • This will have to be reprocessed in the following fashion EVERYTIME you want to update your map
  • This will only work as a top level admin or NC
  • Its best to have a Gmail or Google Account to complete this tutorial, so get one if you do not have already.
  • For networks with less than 1000 members, the process described in my last post using Mapalist should do just fine.

Short Steps for Mapping Your Members:

  1. Export your member data
  2. Import the CSV to google docs
  3. Convert spreadsheet into a fusion table
  4. Geocode the Location Column
  5. Set privacy to anyone with link
  6. Embed in a page..


Steps for Mapping Explained:

Export your member data - Go to the admin dashboard of your network and go to the Member Management section, scroll to the bottom right and you'll see a link to "Export Member Data".  In a few minutes you'll recieve an email with your member data.  Download that spreadsheet/csv file to your computer.

Import the CSV to google docs- Now import that spreadsheet to google drive/google docs converting it into the google spreadsheets or CSV format. Try to make sure that ALL COLUMNS HAVE AT LEAST SOME DATA IN THEM because if you have too many empty cells in the spreadsheet, it will not process in the next step. Now assuming you do not want all of your member data to be public, you'll want to delete a few of the columns such as Email,Recieving Broadcasts, Date Joined, Age, Gender... these will be entirely up to you.  Now click Share> Anyone with the Link

Convert spreadsheet into a fusion table- Create a new fusion table like so:

*If you do not have fusion tables you can add them as a Drive app by clicking Create>More Apps and find Fusion Tables App.

*Sometimes when creating a fusion table and trying to import strait from Google Docs, you'll get an error. When this happens, go to the spreadsheet and click File> Download As> CSV File   then reupload that csv file to the Fusion Table Interface.

Geocode the Location Column- Now that you have your spreadsheet converted into a Fusion Table, click File> Geocode and select either the column for "Location" or "Country" and let this process run while it converts the Location names into Latitude/Longitude. Networks with many members will obviously take longer than smaller networks. Setting privacy to anyone with link will allow you to embed your map into a page on your network.

Embed Map into a Page - Now you can embed your map by clicking Map of Locations>Publish and grab the HTML to embed as Iframe.

Updating the Member Map - From time to time, you'll want to repeat this process again to update the map.  The best way to do this is to repeat the process and then go to File>Merge and merge the new table with your former table.

There are a variety of ways that you can customize the display of your map and placemark info, which I can cover in future posts, if requested in the comments below. In fact I can think of a few follow up posts which could be helpful such as Exporting the Data as KML for Google Earth, Adding custom icons, styling the info window, adding a search field...the sky is the limit! If this process looks daunting to you, I am happy to help you map your members for you for a small fee and you can send me a request through my profile

Enjoy Creators and let me know your thoughts below...

Oh yeah.. the final result:

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  • I tracked down your old post last month and tried it out with BatchGeo for my display on my 3.0 member pages. Worked like a charm.  Thanks again!

    • NC for Hire

      Sweet!  That's good to hear Kos!  Just curious.. how many members were you able to process through Batchgeo?

      • I'm guessing 50-60 b/c we're a very small site and I didn't initially require location so it's missing on many profiles.  One of the numerous things on my "to do" list for 3.0

        • NC for Hire

          oh I hear ya on the "to dos".. list grows deeper every day..

          • and then we migrate and *kaboom!* it's like a chemical explosion.......grows and mutates exponentially.  lmao!

  • Thank you for this tutorial!  I'm new to Ning, and to have something work for a feature i want on my site is exciting!

  • NC for Hire

    just added  3.0 Mapping Tip: Make Your Member Map Responsive for those of you who are following this subject

  • NC for Hire

    still the technique to use

  • JF I just need some confirmation here.  So I need the answer (which Google reads) to be in CSV format, right?  *sigh*  I have a site where their 'location' response is already being used and they want me to create a map for a Summer project, which will have different locations then what was previously entered.  Crap.  Does it have to be in CSV?  Can it be converted somehow?  My brain hurts.  Augh

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