Interactive Map Visuals

An interactive map paints geographic maps sourced from a 3rd party provider, with several optional overlay layers for data display. It is an excellent choice for displaying large amounts of geo-based information in relevant detail.

Developer Notes:
  • To use this feature, an Admin user must first specify, through the Site Settings interface, the API keys granted to your organization. This is described in Enabling API Keys for Interactive Map Visuals.
  • This visual type supports zero, one, or two field aggregations on the measures shelf. If no measure is supplied, the map will paint with an assumed value of 1. With one measure, all layers use that measure. With two measures, the Heatmap, Cluster and Marker layers use the first measure only, while the Circle Marker displays both measures.
Tip. Remember that to place information onto a map or interactive map visual, the records must contain geographical information, such as valid latitude and longitude pairs, zipcodes, states, and so on. To learn how to cast dataset fields into usable type, see Change Type and Geo Type.

The following steps demonstrate how to create an interactive map visual on the dataset National Geographic Features. The data for this dataset came from the United States Board on Geographic Names; we recommend choosing the download of the AllStates zip file because it is easier to process. For an overview of shelves that specify this visual, see Shelves for Interactive Map Visuals. Additionally, you may wish to use Feature Class Definitions and State Abbreviations to supplement the dataset.

  1. Start a new visual based on dataset National Geographic Features dataset; see Creating Visuals.
  2. In the visuals menu, find and click Interactive Map (row 5, column 2).

  3. Note that the shelves of the visual changed. They are now Geo, Measures, Dimensions, Tooltips, and Filters.

    The only mandatory shelf for interactive map visuals is Geo.

    shelves of interactive map visual type
  4. Populate the shelves from the available fields (Dimensions, Measures, and so on) in the Data menu.

    • Under Measures, select prim-lat-dec and drag it over the Geo shelf on the main part of the screen. Drop to add it to the shelf.

      Cast this to the appropriate Geo Type: click the filed on the shelf, and in the Field Properties menu, select Change Type, and select Latitude.

    • Under Measures, select prim_long_dec, and drag it over the Geo shelf on the main part of the screen. Drop to add it to the shelf.

      Cast this to the appropriate Geo Type: click the filed on the shelf, and in the Field Properties menu, select Change Type, and select Logitude.

    Notice that the two converted measurements have a (globe) icon tag. This indicates that these feels can be 'understood' as geographic fields.

    See Change Type and Geo Data type.

  5. Under Dimensions, select feature_id, and drag it over the Measures shelf. Drop it on the shelf.

    Change the aggregation from sum(feature Id) to count(Feature Id), by selecting Aggregates Count.

    If you leave the Measures shelf empty, the system uses the value of 1, and does not require an aggregate.

  6. Add the following fields to the Filters shelf:

    1. Field feature_class, set to Woods
    2. Field sate_alpha, set to CA
  7. Click Refresh Visual.

  8. The visual appears.

    The one we have here is a Google INEGI map.

  9. Notice that in this representation, there is noticeable overlap on the Heatmap Layer. However, you can see the boundaries of each region by hovering the pointer over a section of the map. The total count of measurements in each region is in the circle inside the region. This comes from the Cluster Layer. Both the Heatmap and Cluster layers are on my default.

  10. To see more detail, manipulate the map through magnification changes. You can also click on the map and manually 'pan' it to the area of interest. The following image shows that the regions automatically adjust into smaller sections, and you can see both greater detail and more individual 'totals'.

  11. The 'interactive' part of this visual is that after clicking on a region to zoom-in and reposition, to the level of an individual marker, you can enable click behavior.

  12. Change the title to California Woods.
  13. At the top left corner of the Visual Designer, click Save.

    clicking to save

There are many interesting visualization options. To change the tile layer, or the base map from Google to Mapbox, see Changing Tile Layers for Interactive Maps. To configure the various layer options, see these articles: