Google kills another product: Fusion tables

2 min read

Yesterday, Google announced in a support page that they will ‘turn down’ Google Fusion tables. Google Fusion tables users got an email yesterday saying that the service will be retired on December 3, 2019.

With Fusion tables, users can plot data on a Google Map without any coding. Fusion Tables is popular among journalists, scientists and other non-technical groups that use data visualization regularly. Google encouraged users to switch to other products, like its BigQuery cloud data warehouse system, its Google Data Studio business intelligence tool, or simply Google Sheets. The company says it’s also working to make other mapping tools, currently used internally, available.

In their blog post, Google has mentioned alternatives to Fusion tables. They are:

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Data Studio
  • Other tools that will be available in the coming months

The email from Google, reads: “Google Fusion Tables was launched almost nine years ago as a research project in Google Labs, later evolving into an experimental product. For a long time, it was one of the few free tools for easily visualizing large datasets, especially on a map. Since then, Google has developed several alternatives, providing deeper experiences in more specialized domains.

Any maps using a Fusion Tables Layer in the Maps JavaScript API v3.37 will be met with errors from August 2019. You can download your data in various formats before Fusion tables ‘turns down’. The available formats are CSV, KML, and KML Network Link.

A comment from Hacker news reads: “I stopped teaching FT because several years ago because it seemed clear, in an implicit way, that it wasn’t getting the traction. I hardly ever heard anyone inside or outside of Google talk/tweet/etc about it, in the same way people do for Sheets or BigQuery. I missed the easy data-to-interactive-map workflow for teaching, but for production work, FT was just too clunky (and merge far too limited compared to a SQL join) to justify using as a data store.

Seems like Fusion table never got enough traction, a story we have seem played with other recently retiring Google products like G+ and Allo.

For more details, visit the Google support page.

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Prasad Ramesh
Data science enthusiast. Cycling, music, food, movies. Likes FPS and strategy games.

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