I'll demo this using one of my favorite geospatial party tricks: A really, really interesting dataset on the Holocaust.
I found some data here:
Note the origin. I thought this was really, really useful data for teaching about the Holocaust, but I hated the display. I'd much rather have this data displayed on a map.
- I organized this data into one, unified spreadsheet: Jewish demographics circa Holocaust -sheet 2.csv
- ...and then merged this data into a GIS map (sorry, this was done in ArcMap, so I'm not posting the file set required)
- ... ...and then I pushed that data into an ArcGIS.com map: https://arcg.is/05arLC
How is this a more complex file than the previous one we looked at? How is GIS a more powerful environment for exploring and analyzing the file than Google Earth? (Also: Note that I have a tragically wrong map for this data...how can I get a correct map?)
(And note that you can also plug the .csv into ArcGIS.com...but it will render as a set of points. The info is still there, but it's much harder to interpret, visually. To get polygons, I had to do the step where I worked on it in ArcMap.)