Note: Parts of this post may be deprecated due to Splunk version.
When Splunk started using their own mapping visualization in version 6, it left something to be desired. Sure, you can still use Google maps, and depending on the type of data you’re trying to visualize, those options may be the best way to go. But let’s say you’ve got some data you want to put into a map, and that data is not sensitive. If that’s the case, then you are in luck.
Enter CartoDB, a service that allows you to simply drag and drop data (csv etc) into their web interface to create awesome-looking maps – even maps that animate. And are you ready for the best part? No coding required to get set up with a simple animated map. This tutorial won’t go over every specific detail on how CartoDB works, but they have some awesome documentation if you’re interested in learning more.
If you want to follow along, you have two paths you can take – you can either watch the screencast below or you can follow along with the steps taken in this blog post. Of course, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could always do both.
This tutorial assumes you have some data in Splunk you feel comfortable exporting to an external service like CartoDB. You also need an install of Splunk and access to the command line for your Splunk install.
“Creating amazing maps with your data” Screencast
CartoDB Python File created by Andrew W. Hill
Sensitive Security Precautions **Please Read**
As said above, make sure you aren’t using sensitive data. You will be exporting your data to their database and while they say its secure, you probably don’t want any sensitive personal or company data being exported to them. Also, by default, your maps and data are publically available. They do offer an Enterprise edition, that allows you to use your own databases, but by default your visualizations and tables are publicly accessible. You can make your table data private and your map public, but not with a free account, so at the very least you will need to sign up for a free trial of one of their paid plans in order to make your data private.
Note: If you make your map private, you won’t be able to embed it into Splunk.
Let’s Get Started with Our CartoDB Setup
If you haven’t already, go to www.cartodb.com and sign up for a free account. Once you have that all set, go to your CartoDB dashboard and click on New Table > Start from scratch > Create empty table. You should then be taken to a blank table with something like this showing: