Thursday, June 4, 2020

Visualizing Plans for the Class of 2020

Many high schools publish a list of the plans of their graduates, but wouldn't it be fun to visualize this list on a map, to see where a school's students will disperse after graduation?

Here's a very simple template for any high school who wishes to display the plans of their 2020 graduates in a fun visual map format. Clicking on a row in the table will zoom in on the Google map to show the location, and the user can even use the "Pegman" to take a look around at Street View. Clicking the row again will bring the user back to the entire list/map.

To make your own version of this report, first create a simple Google Sheet with a single column with a header of "List." This column should have a single entry related to each student in the class, although the list would not include student names. So, for example, if two students are attending Cape Cod Community College, then "Cape Cod Community College" would appear twice in the first column of the spreadsheet. It doesn't matter what order the list is in. Most high school guidance departments would be able to export this list from Naviance or other college and career platform.

 After the Sheet is put together, you can make a copy of the report by clicking Use Template in the upper right corner of the report link. You can then connect your new Sheet as the data source for your copy of the report. If you need additional information about how to connect a report to a data source, please refer to these instructions.

You will want to check that the List field is of the type Geo > Address. You can check this through the Resource menu > Manage added data sources > Edit and check the Type column for the List field.

A few notes: Some Sheet entries may need to be tweaked to display correctly. For example, there may be multiple colleges with the same name (like Trinity College) so you may need to add a city/state in order for it to display correctly. Non-location generic entries such as "2yr college", "Employment," etc. will not display on the map but will display in the list.

You can then customize the colors, logos, etc. of the report to make it your own. (Tip: Try Extract Theme from Image using your school's logo!) I would love to see what you come up with - and congratulations to the class of 2020!

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