GeoCommons provides excellent tools for creating and sharing map-based data visualizations. Users can select a from twelve base maps to build upon. After choosing a base map users can select from more than 49,000 public data sets or upload their own data sets. Map creators can add more than one data set to their maps. To complete the visualizations users can specify colors, shades, shapes, and apply numerous filters to determine what is or is not displayed from their chosen data sets. Completed maps can be shared as KML files or embedded into blogs and websites. The two videos below provide an introduction to creating maps with GeoCommons.
Applications for Education
Creating maps on GeoCommons is definitely a step up in complexity from creating simple Google Maps. Students could use GeoCommons to create visualizations in which they attempt to show correlations between physical geography datasets and human geography datasets.