Last summer Patrick Gavin created an open-source, online tool that would easily allow users to create color-coded maps. It’s a tool for use in newsrooms, organizations, etc. It doesn’t require a lot of in-depth knowledge of coding or markup languages.
In the Boston Globe newsroom, graphic artists and producers have been using it, though it could be of interest to reporters or editors who want to quickly visualize something for their own reference while working on a package. It has a lot of potential for students and the teaching environment.
The user copies the contents of a spreadsheet, pastes that into a field, clicks a few buttons and then has code for a responsive, color-coded map that can be used on any browser on any platform. It can also be modified to be used in a vector file.
The tool itself is here:
And here is a more-detailed primer on how to use it: