CARTO (formerly CartoDB) is an open platform for creating data visualisation on the web.

The CARTO map academy

The CARTO user guide is excellent and there is no better place to start than with the CARTO map academy.

  1. Head over to the beginners course at the CARTO map academy

  2. Work through the materials to create a range of visualisations

  3. Head back over here when you are finished!

Uploading your own datasets

So far you have been loading pre-existing datasets which are either available within CARTO or are available from an online repository. CARTO provides a platform for storing and visualising any spatially referenced data you hold. here we will upload a file held locally and undertake some visualisation.

  1. Navigate to the Exercise 5 folder and find the listings.csv file. This is a data file containing all Airbnb listings for London, which I downloaded from Airbnb is a site which allows people to advertise space in their home to people who want to stay and Inside Airbnb have scraped these data from the web.

  2. Open up CARTO in your web browser and make sure that you are logged in.

  3. Click on NEW MAP, then CONNECT DATASET. From here, you can either browse to the listings.csv file, or you can drag the file from your file explorer and drop it anywhere in the CARTO window.

  4. Click CONNECT DATASET in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  5. You will see a series of points which represent all Airbnb listings in London.

  6. Create an intensity map of the points

  7. Create a bubble of the prices column

  8. Experiment with other options - what can you visualise using the Airbnb dataset?

Alternative ways to connect data

As I downloaded the listings.csv file directly from the web, it is possible to connect directly to it using the CONNECT DATASET option in CARTO. Try this out:

  1. In CARTO, navigate to NEW MAP, then CONNECT DATASET. Instead of dragging the saved CSV file, type or copy

  2. Click on CONNECT DATASET. This will connect to the same listings.csv file I have provided as a download.

  3. If you have time, head over to and explore some other cities using CARTO