The speed at which new data is created on the web is mind boggling. Sources from Twitter to Dropbox are helping us organize everything from our thoughts to our spreadsheets. At CartoDB, we have been trying to help you organize your geospatial data and help you share the insights you gain from that data with the world. However, keeping up with the speed at which new data becomes available can be a daunting task.
Today, we are releasing a new feature that lets you plug your CartoDB account into data sources across the web. We call the feature, synced tables, and it allows you to point your account at any supported file format available on the web and have CartoDB sync to that data keeping it real-time forever. With a synced table you can create maps, design multilayer visualizations, and publish maps to the world. When the data changes on the external site, your CartoDB maps will update to show those changes live!
Getting started creating synced tables
For the time-being, to begin using synced tables you will need at least a John Snow account on CartoDB.
When you import a new dataset from a URL, a new menu will appear directly below the form field.
And presto, you’ve got a synced table!
How to use synced tables
We put together a few examples for you to help you work your way around the new feature. In the first video we’ll show you how to use spreadsheet stored in your Dropbox Public folder to sync data to your CartoDB account. In the second, we’ll show you how to create a real-time rain map from NOAA data using synced tables.
Sync spreadsheets from Dropbox
You can use the methods in this video on any spreadsheet of data, if you would like to try with the fake data provided here, you can download it from, http://bit.ly/HxhluF
Sync NOAA real-time rain data
See the map live here, http://cdb.io/1dyoyWY
You can use any online source of geospatial data to create a synced table. In this tutorial, we use data from the National Weather Service, you can find that link here, http://1.usa.gov/1gfrv2j
The CartoCSS style applied to the map can be found here, http://bit.ly/17Ab63I