Create: Collaborative data gathering

You have a table that holds data provided by several groups. You want each group to update their own data securely and not edit anyone else's data. Fusion Tables can make this easy to do.

The big picture

Start with a table that has the columns of data you want to collect from each group. Then, filter and create a view for each group. This creates a new table document just showing the rows they own, and you can give them ownership of it. As they add, edit and delete rows in their own view tables, the changes will instantly appear in your original table too.

Use the New look for Fusion Tables to get this set up.

Try it yourself!

Imagine you're working together with several groups to encourage bicycle use in the Washington DC area. Most of the bigger governmental buildings have outdoor bike parking and a few have indoor parking too. The data needs to be accurate, so you want someone from each department to maintain their data on a regular basis within their own table.

Here's what you'll do:

  • Apply filters: pick out the data for just one specific department, the public schools.
  • Share a new table with just some of the data: share only the filtered results from your table.
  • Give them permission to edit it: make the public schools' data maintaintable by them.


We've created some sample parking data for you, with all the Washington DC departments listed.

dc parking


Apply filters

Start with one specific department: the public library. Set up a filter to identify data for your contact at the public library group to maintain.

You can get a feel for this by starting on a public table, or choose File > Make a copy to work with a table you own.

To filter for the public library's parking data:

  1. Click Filter from any tab.
  2. Choose "Department" from the dropdown menu. A filter box is displayed on the left side.
  3. Click on "PUBLIC LIBRARY". This matches 27 rows.

    public libraries

This is the data you want to give to your contact at the public library to keep updated.

Share a part into a new table

Now set up these rows as a separate table so that only your public library group contact can edit it. That's easy to do in Fusion Tables: you create a view with its own specific permissions.

A view is a new table with just the selected rows and columns in it. It isolates these rows as the ones to update, prevents accidental edits of other group's rows, and any new rows are ascribed to the public library in your original table too.

To create a view:

  1. Choose File > Create view or choose the Create view command on a row or card tab menu.
  2. Uncheck "Department," the column you've filtered on. (This way, PUBLIC LIBRARY will be automatically entered for any new rows from their table.) 
  3. Optional: Uncheck other columns you don't need them to see or maintain for you.
  4. Click Create view.

This creates a new table with the title "View of DC Bike Parking Proposal - example table" that only has the public library data.

Give it to your collaborators

New tables are private by default. Change the permissions to allow your library contact to edit the table.

To give edit permissions:

  1. Choose File > Share.
  2. Type in your contact's gmail account. (You need to have a Google Account to edit or view a table.)
  3. Make sure the "Can edit" option is selected.
  4. Click Share & save.
  5. Optional: Go ahead and give them ownership of this table. To do so:
    1. Find the "Can edit" pull down next to their name and change it to "Is owner."
    2. Click Save.
  6. Click Done.

An email is sent to your contact informing them that they can now edit the table. As they edit their portion of the table, your original table's data is updated. Only those with permission can edit that data.

Now, they can keep the table's information accurate, as they can add, delete, and edit their own rows, and even do bulk updates.

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