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Uber’s Kepler.gl is a Wonderful Open Source Tool for Analyzing Location Data (No Coding Required)

Overview

  • Uber as open sourced kepler.gl, a visualization tool for analyzing geospatial data
  • You don’t need to do any coding to use it; it is data-agnostic and currently accepts ‘csv’ and ‘geoJSON’ files
  • Currently being used by companies like Airbnb and Atkins Global

 

Introduction

Location data has become an invaluable resource for organizations recently. From ride-sharing to sports and architecture, businesses are riding the geospatial Big Data boom to gain an advantage over the competition. But the current process of visualizing and analyzing data can be a long-drawn one. Add to that the high cost associated with the tools required for this – and it phases out individuals looking to get into this field.

Developed and released by Uber, kepler.gl is a powerful web-based geospatial analysis tool that enables visual exploration of large-scale location data. You can make neat looking data-driven maps without having to code and waste time on cumbersome data preprocessing steps.

The current process is tedious and resource consuming – it involves data collection, cleaning, visualization using either a library or another tool, and then finally exporting that visualization into JavaScript. Kepler.gl takes care of most of these things allowing you to focus on analyzing and extracting insights for your business.

You can get started with doing your own analysis right now! Just go to this link and import your dataset. Currently the tool accepts ‘.csv’ and ‘GeoJSON’ files.If you don’t have a file handy right now, don’t worry! Uber has uploaded a few sample datasets that you can load and get started with straight away.

How do you make it work? There is no coding required so even non-programmers can work on this tool. You only need to select your dataset and the tool automatically captures the variables and data points and lays it out on a pretty looking map visualization. You can add filters, apply scales and perform visual aggregations “on the fly”.

The tool has been built on top of Uber’s deck.gl – another web.gl data visualization tool. It is built on Redux and React, frameworks that are widely accepted and used in the developer community. Companies like Airbnb and Atkins Global are already making use of this tool to enhance their business processes.

I have mentioned a few resources below which will help you get started with this wonderful tool:

The below video shows what kepler.gl is capable of:

 

Our take on this

By open sourcing kepler.gl, Uber has made it publicly available for anyone who wants to analyse location specific data. The visualizations are pretty neat, and thanks to GPU support, you can analyze huge datasets as well. It doesn’t require you to know any code so both technical and non-technical folks can gain valuable insights from the data.

I really liked their ‘Getting Started’ guide. It’s comprehensive and covers each aspect that a data scientist might require to make the geospatial data useful. If you work on analyzing location data, make sure you leverage this awesome free tool.

 

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