Carto is definitely easier to use than other GIS tools like ArcGIS which I appreciated since my previous experience with GIS mapping has been limited to Google Maps, Google Fusion, and StoryMap. However, it is still more complex than other tools I have used so I appreciated the step-by-step guide directions on the course guide. The Carto website also has excellent and extensive guides to help users create and customize maps. Despite the lower threshold for entry, users still need some prior knowledge in dealing with GIS data. They must know that the datasets they use for the maps must be made of clean, tidy data that can be read by the tool. Although Carto began as a recent start-up, it sounds like they have sufficient funding to maintain and update the tool.
I’ve attached a handout I created for using Carto as a first-time user. The background information and steps are based on information from their website including online guides, online tech pieces, and my own experience as a first-time user of the service.