Map charts

What is a map chart?

Map charts allow to position your data in a geographical context. They are great to visualise geographical data by location by using coloured area map, bubble map or adding different size and shape markers. Map charts allow to compare values, show different categories across geographical regions.

Not only map charts are cool to look at but they can also be very impactful when data is highly connected to specific locations. When it comes to sales per region, to market shares, to percentages of item base amounts or turnover by country, maps are very effective to geographically track and highlight the data, and tell a story by itself.

However, displaying locations is not always an essential part of the story you want to tell, therefor, you need to make sure that map that you are about to create is necessary. Maps are not just “randomly” placed dots. Dots without relevant data behind will just overwhelm your audience and bring no added value to your dashboard.

Geographical data representation

Maps can be used to show geographical distribution of stores, warehouses, offices and other sites of business interest. You can visualize not only locations but also sales values and other measures and display the value differences by bubble size or color.

Advantage: A map is a versatile visualization that efficiently presents the geographical distribution of key values related to location or area.

Disadvantages: When there is large number of values, it might be hard to get a good overview – values might be overlapping and hard to distinguish until zoomed in.

There are many reasons to put your data on a map. Perhaps you have some location data in your data source? Or maybe you think a map could really make your data pop? Both of those are good enough reasons to create a map visualisation, but it’s important to keep in mind that maps, like any other type of visualisation, serve a particular purpose: they answer spatial questions. A map can help to understand the trends and patterns in your data (but you must remember that a map chart is not always the best way to find answer for a spatial question). 

 

Read how to create a Map chart  (ir dokumentācija par to, kā uztaisīt Map charts, bet nav īsti labas lapas, kas pastāsta, kas tas ir, kad map charts labāk izmantot, utt.)

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