This intermediate workshop was given by Ramiro Aznar on November 5, 2016 at GeoInquietos Madrid. As taught, it was 3h hours long.
  • Trainers:
    • Ramiro Aznar · · @ramiroaznar
    • Jorge Sanz · · @xurxosanz
    • Ernesto Martinez · · @ernesmb
    • Andrew Thompson · · @andrewbt
  • November 5th, 2016
  • Medialab-Prado event
  • GeoInquietos Madrid meetup, repo


Introduction to CARTO BUILDER



  • Laptop
  • A modern browser (Google Chrome would be perfect)


You can take a look on those resources if you want to warm up with CARTO


  • Email to
  • Some questions could be already anwered at GIS Stack Exchange carto tag.


  1. Getting started
  2. Demo: Spies in the sky

Setting up

  • The instructors will provide you a user and passwor to access your account
  • Log into your geoinq-cartoXX account going to

1. Getting started

1.1. Create a map

  • Click on NEW MAP.
  • Clik on SEARCH and type “world borders”.
  • Select world_borders dataset.
  • Click on CREATE MAP.
  • You can rename the map and layer title as “Countries & Cities” and “Countries” respectively, doing double click over them.


A view of BUILDER main dashboard

1.2. Layers

  • Add a new layer:
    • Click on ADD.
    • Click on SEARCH and type “populated places”.
    • Select ne_10m_populated_places_simple dataset.
    • Click on ADD LAYER.
  • You can rename the title of this new layer as “Cities”.
  • Click on the layer to show its components:
    • DATA
    • STYLE
    • POP-UP
    • LEGEND


A view of BUILDER layer main menu

1.3. Styling

  • Create a bubble (proportional symbols) map:
    • Click on STYLE.
    • Click on point-size number.
    • Select BY VALUE.
    • Select pop_max column.


A view of BUILDER bubble map

  • Create a chroropleth map:
    • Click on marker-fill column.
    • Select BY VALUE.
    • Select pop_max column.
    • You can customize your map further changing (and flipping) a different color palette, the number of buckets and quantification method.


A view of BUILDER bubble & choropleth map

  • To learn more about how this works behind the scenes check out the CartoCSS panel.

1.4. Widgets

  • Add widgets to “Cities” layer:
    • Click on DATA.
    • Select point count in order to show the number of cities.
    • Select name in order to filter by city name.
    • Click on EDIT in order to customize both widgets.
  • Add widgets to “Countries” layer:
    • Click on LAYERS.
    • Click on “Countries” layer.
    • Click on DATA.
    • Select name in order to filter by country name.
    • Click on EDIT in order to customize both widgets.
  • Now you can filter and autostyle by country and city name.


A view of BUILDER widgets

1.5. Analysis

  • Go back to the main menu.
  • Click on ADD ANALYSIS just below “Cities”.
  • Select Filter by layer analysis.
  • Click on ADD ANALYSIS.
  • Set the parameters as follows:
    • FILTER BY LAYER: “Countries”.
    • SOURCE COLUMN: sov_a3.
    • FILTER COLUMN: iso3.
  • Now fitering by country, you are also filtering the cities within that country.


A view of BUILDER filtering and analysis power

1.6. Publish

  • Click on SHARE.
  • Set to LINK or PUBLIC.
  • Click on PUBLISH.
  • Now you can share the map as link or embed.

2. Demo: Spies in the sky

2.1. Use Case

This use case is based on a data journalism research published in buzzfeed in April. The authors used data from FlighRadar24, where thousands of collaborators upload flight information using automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology. You can have a look at how they built the dataset in this github repository. The research reveals that each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft (from FBI and DHS agencies) take to the skies and slowly circle over American cities.

Back in the day, the authors used CARTO Editor SQL and CartoCSS. Now because of BUILDER, you can do the same but in just a few minutes!

2.2. Instructions

  • Click on NEW MAP.
  • Copy and paste this url:*
  • Explore the visualization. Could you observe any clear pattern? The expected pattern are straight lines, but what about the circles?
  • Add flight_id category widget.
  • If you go to San Francisco area, one of dots showing the circle pattern is the 8366cde flight.
  • Add filter by column value analysis, selecting 8366cde as the flight_idp.
  • Remove widget.
  • Drag the analysis node out.
  • Add time series widget.
  • Add connect with lines analysis.
  • Drag the analysis node out.
  • Add centroids analysis to dot points.
  • Drag the analysis node out.
  • Style: dots, lines and centroids layer.
  • Add widgets to get insights.
  • Publish.

2.3. Result & Bonus!

  • Bonus: you can connect with lines the flight data points to their centroid.