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Tips & Tricks To Build The Best Map Visualizations In Power BI

In this post, I’m going to feature shape map and other map visualizations that you can do in Power BI. Using map visuals is great way to add to the storytelling abilities of your reports and dashboards. They segment analysis based on regions or geographic areas and enable you to drill into the data efficiently. 


I’ll show you some of the Enterprise DNA tutorials around map visualizations and hopefully you’ll find them helpful. The first tutorial that I want to share with you is a quick guide on how to use the shape map visual and what you can do with its features


The shape map is probably my most favorite map visualization inside Power BI. It has great visualization features and blends well in reports and dashboards. I think it looks a lot better on reports than if you just use the standard map feature. Using shape maps is a much more compelling way to spatially showcase data inside Power BI. 


The dashboard that I have used in this tutorial as the example was part of the Enterprise DNA Webinar Series which was about effective Power BI reporting. 


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Shape map is very simple to implement, and I recommend that you explore on this more and see how you can utilize it in combination with other features in your reports. 


Here’s the full video tutorial. 



Great as it is, the shape map has some limitations of its own. Once is that there are location restrictions. Only a few countries are available for your analytical work and not every country or region is broken up the way you want it to be into shape maps. But if you’re analyzing something in the US or in other major countries in Europe or Australia, the shape map visual is great to use for your report. 


This next tutorial will show you how to modify shape maps effectively using GIS software. In this example, the shape map needs some fixing on the administrative boundaries of the shapes. 


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This is a huge step from Power BI, but it is a great skill to learn to create or repair your geographical shapes. Watch the video tutorial below and see how to repair maps in QGIS and use them as shape maps in Power BI. 



Another map visualization technique that I want to show you is on how to build a custom legend to replace the default legend in a standard Power BI map visual. The default legend doesn’t look too good and should be improved. 


In this next tutorial, you’ll learn how to build a custom legend in a choropleth map with filters for displaying both your preferred colors and segmentation. 


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Choropleth maps are great for displaying aggregated values within geographical boundaries like states, municipalities, or postcodes. Take a look at how this is incorporated within Power BI. 



This is a great technique to help elevate and improve your map visualizations in your Power BI reports. Just keep in mind that proper setup of datasets and power queries are crucial for this to work. 


Key Take Away 


The map visualizations in Power BI are amazing features that could make your reports compelling and effective. There are so many options around geographical visualization in Power BI and I have mentioned some of them in this post. 


Hopefully, you find this post helpful. I highly recommend that you delve on this topic further and implement the techniques I have shared with you. 


All the best! 





***** Related Links ***** 

Data Visualizations Power BI – Dynamic Maps In Tooltips 

Power BI Icon Map Visual: WKT Strings 

Distance Calculation On Map | Power BI Geospatial Analysis 


***** Related Course Modules***** 

Geospatial Analysis In Power BI 

Data Visualization Tips 

Dashboard & Data Visualization Intensive 


***** Related Support Forum Posts ***** 

Create A Map Reference Layer For ArcGis Maps In Power BI 

Shape Map Visual Alternative 

Map Visualization Type In Cohort Analysis Showcase 

For more map visual queries to review see here….. 


I'd love a map to show me each customer location for my stores on a map, as well as a separate and easly distinguishable marker for each store.  But I cannot figure out how to lay those two different data points in the same map.