Pro & Con
The main advantages of these services are; you don’t need to purchase a desktop GIS software, you don’t need to know how to use ArcGIS or QGIS, and they provide a variety of polished base maps. The main drawback is the functionality is more limited than a full desktop GIS software package. For some maps, this lack of functionality will be a deal breaker. For the map below, however, it wasn’t an issue. Not only that, but CartoDB allowed me to make the map faster than I would have been able to with ArcGIS. That being said, CartoDB could use better instructions. Their writing was a bit too sparse in places.
Conclusion from my first map in CartoDB
I think for quick maps, especially for maps that are largely points, a single path, or already created more complex layers overlaid on a base map, CartoDB is something I’ll continue to use. In a future post, I’ll try out MapBox and then Leaflet.
“A Map of My Geology Experience” – built with CartDB