In this post, we will use Power BI Maps to visualize data. As a sample dataset, we will use the Unemployment Rate by City dataset that can be found in Data World site under the link:
The data is organized as in the following screenshot:
We can see that there is an “Area” column, which we will use to create Map visuals.
As a first step, we need to connect Power BI to this dataset. Recently, Power BI Desktop introduced a Data World Connector that enables connection with datasets stored in Data World site:
As we can see, this connector can be found under the Online Services menu.
Once we click connect, the Preview connector warning is opened. We click Continue.
After that, the DataWorld.Dataset connector is opened, where we must enter Owner and Dataset ID:
These elements can be found in the dataset webpage: Click Download and then Connect to third-party apps:
Next, we click Power BI:
After we click OK, we will get the dialog to log into Data World with our account.
We can use OAuth v2 or API token options. Sometimes, the OAuth v2 authentication throws an error so we need to use the API token option. The API token can be found in Data World site, after we log in of course, under: Profile >> Settings >> Advanced >> Read/Write API token.
Therefore, we must make some transformations before we can start creating map visuals. We must go to Power Query Editor and create City and State Abbreviation columns by using an Area column.
We will rename this column City.
To extract the State abbreviation, we will use another significant Power BI feature – Column from Examples. We select the Area column and then choose Column from Examples >> From Selection.
Now we close and load data.
We see how the map is created, with bubbles pinned to States, where bubble size represents the Average Unemployment Rate, the bigger the bubble, the bigger the Unemployment Rate in that state.
Since we have created a hierarchy State – City in our visual, we can use drill-down options just like with other types of visuals. For example, we can click the button in the middle to go to the next level in the hierarchy:
So, we can easily navigate and explore data for every state that we are interested in.
We can see that Map is a very nice visualization that makes Location data very attractive to work with.
Then we can choose to turn off the Auto Zoom option, so the map will stay as we set it up once and it will not zoom automatically based on our selections. If we turn this Off, then the zooming can be done using mouse scroll.
And there are common options like Title, Background, etc.
Now we will see other types of Map visualizations available in Power BI. We can easily switch from one type to the other by just clicking the visuals. Here how it looks with Filled Map visual:
The darker the color, the bigger the size of the Unemployment Rate. We can customize the appearance of this visual too. For example, let’s change the Data Colors.
And so on, just as in the Map visual.
Not all of these can be used in our case because some of these require Latitude and Longitude values as inputs, which we do not have in our dataset.
Now you have the tools to build robust Power BI maps with much more functionality.
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