There are lots of tools available to you that can help you create all sorts of multimedia: from maps and infographics to interactive timelines and images.
Here’s a list of tools we think our students have found useful. The list is not exhaustive, so feel free to find your own tools (but let us know so we can add it to the list!).
Excel/Google Sheets – It’s important to understand that data underpins many infographics and visualisations. Excel and Google Sheets are really useful tools for collecting and storing data. The data can be cleaned, transformed etc. Excel, CSV or Google Sheets files are accepted by many different platforms.
Mapping is a powerful way to visualise location data and It’s surprisingly simple to make interactive maps. Here are a few mapping tools.
Google Maps is the obvious first contender. Google offers a few ways to make Google Maps:
- Google’s My Maps is linked with your Google account and is the easiest way to create and share maps. https://www.google.com/mymaps
- The Google Maps API is a bit more complex but much more flexible. https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/embed/
Both versions of Google Maps can speed up the process of creating interactives by letting you import data from a variety of formats. Data could be Excel/CSV files with Latitude/Longitude data or KML and GPX files generated from GPS devices (bike/running computers) or various smartphone tracking apps e.g. running, hiking or cycling apps.
Silk provides data visualisation in many forms as well as maps https://www.silk.co
MapBox Studio is another mapping app. https://www.mapbox.com/studio/
MapBox Studio is great with data importing but can be difficult to get the hang of – but the guides should help.
MapBox Classic is a bit easier to use! https://www.mapbox.com/studio/classic/styles/
Story Map lets you create interactive maps with a slight twist. https://storymap.knightlab.com/
Tableau Public – Tableau is the daddy of data viz tools! Tableau Public is the free version https://public.tableau.com/s/
In a nutshell, throw some data at Tableau and it will try and visualise the data for you. There are lots of formats to choose from charts and tables to maps.
Tableau isn’t available on the University PCs, you need to install it on your own PC or Mac.
Google Charts – Does what it says on the tin: it makes charts!
Google Charts comes in two flavours:
- Google Charts API which is really flexible and customisable, but a bit technical https://developers.google.com/chart/
- Google Charts in Sheets – dead easy, just select data in a Google Sheet and choose Insert > Chart. Less configurable, but easy!
Chartist.js – if you fancy a bit of web coding, Chartist.js is a good start. http://gionkunz.github.io/chartist-js/
Various infographic and visualisation web apps
Here’s a list of various web apps for infographics and visualisation. Most of them are really useful, but you will need to sign up for them and often the good features are only unlocked if you pay!
Here are a few tools you might find useful for embedding audio onto web pages:
Making VR content is becoming easier. Here are a few useful tools:
RoundMe lets you create interactive 360° tours, a but like Street View https://roundme.com/
If you want to try adding 360° images to your own web page, here’s a quick guide to embedding into any web page.
Thing Link lets you create interactive images and videos. Also supports 360° media. https://www.thinglink.com/
Timeline.js helps you create interactive timelines https://timeline.knightlab.com/