Manage Map Information for Analyses

This chapter describes how you set up map information for dashboards and analyses, so that users can visualize and interact with data through maps.

Set Up Maps for Dashboards and Analyses

As the administrator, you define how data columns that you've modeled are displayed on maps. You configure the map data, then users can analyze the data in map views.

Map views allow users to display data on maps in different formats and to interact with data. As the administrator, you must configure the metadata that defines the mapping between business intelligence data and spatial data.

Spatial features such as shape definitions are managed by database administrators for your instance. If a shape geometry definition doesn’t exist for a particular column value, then the shape can't be shown on the map and might affect user interactions on the map.

  1. On the Classic Home page, click the user profile icon, Administration, and then click Manage Map Data.
  2. On the Layers tab, click Import Layers from the toolbar.
  3. In the Import Layers dialog, select the layers you want to use and click OK.
  4. Back on the Layers tab, select a layer and click the Edit Layers button.
  5. In the Edit Layer dialog, associate layers with columns so that users can display data in the map view.
    1. In Name, specify the layer name to display to users who work with map views.
    2. In Location, specify which background map the layer originates from. Click Location to select a different layer.
    3. In Description, specify information to help users when they hover over the layer name in the Map Formats area.
    4. In Layer Key, specifiy the column of spatial data that you can associate with data. Each column value corresponds to a "shape" that originates from the background map. For example, a MY_CITIES layer might have a layer key called CITY. The default value is a "best guess". Select the appropriate column from the list.

      There are various reasons why a country such as Mexico might be drawn as a white area on a map:

      • The column has a null value for the country of Mexico, but a shape exists for Mexico in the spatial column.

      • The column has a value for the country of Mexico, but no shape exists for Mexico in the spatial column.

      • The column has a value for the country of Mexico and the shape exists for Mexico in the spatial column, but the names are mismatched. The data columns might have the value MEX and the spatial column might have MXC.

    5. In BI Key Delimiter, Review the single ASCII character (such as a comma or underscore) to function as a delimiter for combining the data columns that form a key. This value is available only when multiple columns are specified for one key.
    6. In Geometry Type, specify whether the layer is a polygon, point, or line geometry layer. The type that you select affects the formatting that users can apply to the layer.
    7. In BI Key Columns Area, secifies the columns of data that you want to associate with the layer. You can have multiple columns associated with a single layer. You can select multiple columns from one subject area or from multiple subject areas. The columns and delimiter that you select must exactly match the name of the Layer Key value. Suppose the Layer Key value is STATE_CITY. You must select the STATE and CITY BI data columns and specify the underscore character in the BI Key Delimiter field.

      Use the various options in this area:

      • Add — Displays the list of available subject areas. Select a subject area and select all the data columns that you want to associate with the layer.

      • Delete — Deletes the selected key column.

      • Edit — Lets you edit the data columns associated with a layer.

      When a content designer creates a map view, a default main map is selected as the basis for that map view. If at least one data column from the analysis is associated with a layer that's associated with a main map, then that main map is selected by default.

    8. In Show Qualified Names, specifies whether to display the fully qualified name of the column in the BI Key Columns Area or simply the column name.
  6. Click OK to close the dialog.
  7. Click the Background Maps tab, then click the Import Background Maps button.
  8. In the Import Background Maps dialog, select the connection in the Look in field and the main maps to use, then click OK.

    The connection that you select for the main map can be different from the connection for the layers or images.

    Description of map_layers2.gif follows
    Description of the illustration map_layers2.gif
  9. See Editing Background Maps for the steps required to prepare the background maps.
After you've added background maps and map layers, you can use the information to create a static image for a map. The static image is displayed to content designers and users who work with map views.

Edit Background Maps for Dashboards and Analyses

You edit background maps to ensure that users have a seamless experience with map views in dashboards and analyses.

A background map is a non-interactive map that serves as a base for the map view. It might display a satellite image or a map with roads. The background map specifies the order of layers on the map view.

The ordering of map layers is very important. You must pay close attention to ensure that users have a seamless experience while navigating on the map (that is, drilling and zooming). In the Edit Background Map dialog, you assign each layer a minimum and maximum zoom range. Given that the map zoom slider can slide only from bottom to top vertically, the layers with lower minimum zoom levels are placed at the bottom of the slider. Ensure that the layer grid on the Interactive BI Layers section of the dialog follows a similar pattern, so that you place layers with lower minimum zoom levels at the bottom of the list.

Layer ordering becomes irrelevant when the zoom ranges of layers don’t intersect on the scale. Ordering becomes very important when layers have a common minimum and maximum zoom range. Use care to ensure that detailed layers aren’t hidden by the aggregated layers during drilling or zooming operations.

  1. On the Classic Home page, click the user profile icon, Administration, and then click Manage Map Data.
  2. Click the Background Maps tab, select a map, then click the Edit Background Map button to display the Edit Background Map dialog.
  3. Specify the name and description of the map, which is displayed as a tooltip for the map when selecting a map from the list, when editing the map view.
  4. The Location field displays the location of the background map in the data source. Click the Location button to change to a different map. If you select a background map that includes a different number of zoom levels, then the zoom levels are automatically adjusted for the layers that are associated with the map by scaling their ranges.
  5. Click the Add Layers button to display a list of the layers that have been imported on the Layers tab, then select the layers to add to the map. This button is unavailable when all layers from the Layers tab have been added to the background map.

    When you add a layer that’s part of the map definition, the layer displays at its default zoom levels. If the layer isn't part of the map definition, then specify the zoom levels yourself.

    The layers are listed from bottom to top, in terms of how they’re applied to the map. A sample order is Countries, States, Cities. The lower level layers generally have the lower zoom levels. For example, if you have a States layer and a Cities layer, then include lower zoom levels for State than City.

    Description of map_layers3.gif follows
    Description of the illustration map_layers3.gif
  6. Click the Sort Layers By Zoom Level button to list the layers in ascending or descending order based on visibility on the map. This button is unavailable when layers are listed in the proper order.
    The sort order that’s specified here doesn't affect the order in which layers are applied on the map. Instead, the sorting order affects the zoom levels. For example, the States layer might have zoom levels 1 through 3 and the Cities layer has zoom levels 4 through 9. The lower layers have the lower zoom level numbers. The zoom levels that you specify correspond to the tick marks on the zoom slider on the map.
    You can include both layers that have been associated with a column by using the Edit Layer dialog and layers that haven't been associated. Ensure that BI layers are ordered higher than non-BI layers. If a non-BI layer is ordered higher than any BI layers, then the non-BI layer is displayed on top of the lower BI layers on the map, which prevents the BI layers from being interactive.
  7. Click the Turn On Layer Visibility or Turn Off Layer Visibility button to control the visibility of layers on the map. Use the buttons to indicate whether the layer is visible in the Preview map in this dialog only. The layer is still visible on a map view. You can modify the zoom levels for a layer with a visibility turned off.
  8. Click a cell under a zoom level for a layer to affect the zoom level:
    • If you click a blue cell that’s between other blue cells, then you see a popup menu with Clear Before and Clear After buttons, which allow you to change the zoom level in either direction. For example, if you click the cell for zoom level 4 and click the eraser on the right, then all cells to the right are cleared for that zoom level.

    • If you click a blue cell that at the end of a line of blue cells, then the cell turns white to indicate that it's no longer part of that zoom level.

    • If you click a white cell, then you increase the zoom level on either side of the existing blue cells. For example, suppose cells 4 through 6 are colored blue to reflect the zoom level. If you click in cell 2, then the zoom level becomes 2 through 6.

    If you don’t set any zoom levels for a layer, then that layer doesn't display on the map.
  9. Click the action icon beside the layer name to display a menu from which you can make various selections:
    • Delete — Removes the layer from this background map. The layer continues to be available on the Layers tab and can be added to this area again.

    • Move Up or Move Down — Moves the layer up or down so you can specify the order in which layers are applied to the map.

    • Reset to Default Visibility — Resets the current visibility range for this layer as defined in the underlying map definition. If this layer isn't natively associated with the map, then this option is disabled for that layer.

  10. Use the yellow border that surrounds the column of boxes for a zoom level to determine which zoom level is currently displayed in the map area.
  11. Use the panning and zooming controls to specify how the map is displayed to users. If you hover over the zoom slider, then you see tooltips that specify the names of the layers that are currently associated with that zoom level.
  12. Click OK.