There are many tools for map data, some are stand-alone applications and some are functions or specific data sources. Which tool you use will depend on what you want to do with the data: in some cases, all that may be needed is a static map of the data; in others, it may be that a tool to do spatial analysis is required.
For a one-time mapping project or for individuals who just want to explore some of the possibilities, there are other less time-intensive options.
For more robust applications that allow geospatial analysis, there are a couple of programs that are supported at Texas A&M:
Fusion Tables, in Google, is one such option. It is an application offered within Google Drive (formerly Google Docs). As such, it is accessible from any computer with web capability. It does not require the user to download any software or applications and as of this time, it has no cost. It can host and share data as well.
Fusion Tables offers the following features and functionality:
Step-by-Step for Fusion Tables
You may use a dataset that you have compiled or created, provided that it has some recognized geographic reference. However, it will also require an additional dataset with that same geographical reference and the spatial data (think of them as coordinates) to map it.
Once you have these and you have a Google Drive account:
For more information on advanced GIS, please refer to the Map & GIS Services at Evans Library The gold standard for mapping data – Geographic Information Systems or GIS – is ArcMap from ESRI. The Map & GIS Services offer a number of resources and services in support of GIS research.
It can manage large datasets and has many features that allow analysis and representation of the data in a geospatial context. However, it does require an investment to develop the familiarity with the system to use it - At a minimum, 25 hours to become capable in the basics. Generally, it would be a solution for a long-term project or an individual who wanted to acquire and use this skill regularly.