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Using the Map Control

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Modified on Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:59 AM
Click to return to: Documentation | Designing Dashboards | DV Controls | Map


Elements of a map

The main elements of the Dundas Dashboard Map control are described as follows:

Elements of a map.

Elements of a map.


Viewport — The area of the map control where map data is displayed. Think of it as a viewing window positioned over the map data.

Parallels and Meridians — These elements represent the system of geographic grid lines and their corresponding latitude and longitude labels. The grid lines are automatically updated whenever the map projection is changed, or the Viewport is adjusted through scrolling or zooming.

Shapes — A shape is a map content element used to represent a geographical entity on a map, such as a political boundary, the coastline of a land mass, or the outline of a body of water.

Paths — A path is a map content element used to represent geographical entities such as roads and highways. A path can also be used to indicate the direction of flow for some physical quantity.

Symbols — A symbol is a map content element used to represent location points on a map (⪚ state capitals).

Scroll Panel — A navigation control for panning or scrolling the Map.

Zoom Panel — A navigation control for changing the zoom or magnification level of the map.

Preparing map resources

Before using the Map data visualization control on a dashboard, you must first import some map data into the system in the form of map resources.

See Adding Map Resources for more details.

Adding a map control

Once you have your map resources, go to the Dashboard Designer to add a Map control to your dashboard:

  1. Expand the Data Controls folder in the Toolbox.
  2. Drag the Map item from the Toolbox to the Canvas.
    Map item in Toobox.
  3. The Map Selection Wizard is displayed, which lets you choose map resources to be loaded into the map control. Initially, no resources are loaded, so the Select Map dialog appears automatically. Use the dialog to choose the initial map resource to add.
    Map Selection Wizard.
  4. In the Select Map dialog, expand the All Maps folder to see the available map resources. You can choose a map resource from the current project or from shared resources. Select a map resource, then click Select.
    Select Map dialog.
  5. The Select Map dialog closes and the map resource you chose appears in the Map Selection Wizard.
    Map Selection Wizard.
  6. If you want to add another map resource, click the Add New Source button. The Select Map dialog is displayed.
  7. If you want to replace a chosen map resource with another resource, click the Edit button in the grid row corresponding to the map resource you want to replace. Use the Select Map dialog to choose a different map resource as desired.
  8. If you want to remove a map resource from the grid, click the corresponding Delete button.
  9. Click Finish.

The Map Selection Wizard closes and the map resources are displayed in the Map control on the Canvas.

Map control added to the Canvas.

Map control added to the Canvas.


Tip: By default, the map is interactive - simply preview your dashboard, then try zooming in or out by using the mouse wheel, or pan the map by clicking on it and then dragging in any direction.

Preparing data for a map

At this point, you have an interactive map which displays geographical data but it doesn't show any business-relevant information. For example, you may have some product sales data in a database and you now wish to assign colors to country shapes on your map based on the sales figures for each country (⪚ apply darker colors to represent higher sales and lighter colors to represent lower sales). To achieve this, you must prepare a KPI or dataset so that it can be data-binded to your map.

In order to display a KPI or dataset on a map, the KPI/dataset must have:

  • A column that contains the names of map elements such as shapes, paths, or symbols.
  • A column that contains values (⪚ a measure column) for the shapes, paths, or symbols.

Connecting to DBF data

If your map data came from an ESRI shapefile that had a corresponding DBF (dBASE) file, you may want to use the data from the DBF file to ultimately build a KPI or dataset that can be added to your map.

As an example, consider a DBF file for a world map shapefile which contains population figures for each country. Specifically, this DBF file has:

  • An attribute column containing the names of map elements (⪚ name of each country).
  • An attribute column containing values for map elements (⪚ population figures).

The first step is to create a data connector for the DBF file by using the Microsoft Visual FoxPro / dBASE data provider.

Configuring the data connector for DBF files.

Configuring the data connector for DBF files.


Note: You may need to install the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Visual FoxPro 9.0 on your &dw; server (32-bit computers only) in order for this data connector option to work.

Data connector for the world DBF file.

Data connector for the world DBF file.


64-bit server

If your Dundas Dashboard server is a 64-bit system, note that a 64-bit driver for Microsoft Visual FoxPro is not available. The 32-bit driver can be downloaded from here: www.microsoft.com

The easiest alternative in this case is to run your IIS or application pool in 32-bit mode, so that the 32-bit drivers will function correctly with Dundas Dashboard. If this is not possible, you can try the following instead:

  1. First install the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable. This driver allows for connection to Access/Excel 2010 files as well as text files.
  2. Choose one of the options below for connecting to the DBF file:
    • Option 1:
      • Open your DBF file in Microsoft Access 2007/2010 using the dBASE III file type.
      • Create a data connector that uses the Microsoft Access data provider to connect to the Access database file (.accdb).
    • Option 2:
      • Open your DBF file in Microsoft Excel 2007/2010 using the dBase (.dbf) file type.
      • Save as a CSV (.csv) file.
      • Import the CSV file into &dw; using the Other Data Sources data connector option.
    • Option 3:
      • Convert your DBF file to CSV format by using a third-party product such as DBF Converter.
      • Import the CSV file into &dw; using the Other Data Sources data connector option.

Create a virtual table

Once you have a data connector to your DBF file, create a virtual table as follows:

  1. Expand your DBF data connector item in the Design Explorer.
  2. Expand the Tables subfolder.
  3. Select the first table, then click its menu button.
    Table menu.
  4. From the menu, choose Create Virtual Table. A new virtual table appears under the Virtual Tables folder in the Design Explorer.
    New virtual table.
  5. Select the virtual table item, then click its menu button.
  6. From the menu, choose Edit. The Virtual Table Designer is displayed.
  7. Use the Columns tab to give friendly names to the virtual table columns.
  8. Use the Preview tab to preview the data from the virtual table.
  9. Click Check In from the Toolbar to check in your changes to the virtual table.

For more details, see Creating a Virtual Table.

Create a dataset

Create and then check-in a basic dataset which includes all columns from the virtual table.

For more details, see Creating a dataset.

A preview of a dataset showing world map data.

A preview of a dataset showing world map data.


Adding data to a map

You now have a dataset or KPI containing:

  • A column (⪚ Country Name) with values that can be joined with the names of shape elements from the map control.
  • A column (⪚ Population) with values that can be assigned to shape elements from the map control.

To display this dataset/KPI using a Map control:

  1. Create or edit a dashboard, which contains a Map control with a loaded map resource (⪚ world map).
  2. From the Toolbox in the Sidebar, expand the KPIs/datasets folder to locate your dataset/KPI.
  3. Drag the dataset/KPI from the Toolbox and drop it over the Map control on the Canvas.
    Drag dataset onto Map control.
  4. The Data Settings Configuration screen appears, which lets you configure some basic KPI/dataset settings. See Using the Data Settings Configuration Wizard for more details.
    Data Settings Configuration screen.
  5. Click Next. The first step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard appears.

Binding map elements to data

To data-bind your Map control to a dataset/KPI:

  1. In the first step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard:
    • Select the option to Change the appearance of Shapes, Paths or Symbols.
      Step 1 of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard.
  2. In the second step of the wizard:
    • Use the dropdown list to choose the column from your dataset/KPI that contains the names of shapes, paths, or symbols found in your Map control (⪚ Country Name).
      Step 2 of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard.
    • Use the dropdown list to choose the column from your dataset/KPI that contains values to be associated with shapes, paths, or symbols from your Map control (⪚ Population).
  3. In the third step of the wizard:
    • Select the type of map element you want to bind to. You can choose between: Shapes, Paths, or Symbols. The example preview on the right is automatically updated based on your choice.
      Step 3of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard.
    • Select a map element property to be bound to your data values. The available properties vary depending on the type of map element:
      • For Shapes, choose one of:
        • Color
        • Border Color
        • Label Text.
      • For Paths, choose one of:
        • Color
        • Line Width
        • Label Text.
      • For Symbols, choose one of:
        • Color
        • Size
        • Shape (&ie; marker shape)
        • Label Text.
  4. In the fourth step of the wizard, define one or more states for your data values. A state determines how a data value (or range of data values) should be mapped to a property value (or range of property values), such as Color. The actual controls that you see in this step varies depending on the type of property you selected previously (⪚ Color, Size, Marker Shape, or Text). For more details, see the sections which follow.
    Step 4 of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard.
  5. Click Finish. The Map Data Binding Setup Wizard closes.

The Map control is now bound to your dataset/KPI. Click the Preview button in the Toolbar to view your dashboard, then check in your changes.

Using color states

The map below uses two color states:

  • Low Population (colored green and representing data values from 0 to 30,000,000)
  • High Population (colored red and representing data values from 30,000,000 and above).

A population map with two color states.

A population map with two color states.


To create this map:

  1. In the fourth step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard, set up the Low Population state as follows:
    • Enter the name of the state in the Name box.
      Low Population state.
    • Enter the legend text for the state in the Legend text box. This text will automatically appear in a Legend control that is associated with your Map control.
    • Specify the minimum data value for the state:
      • Uncheck the Use default option.
      • Enter the minimum value in the box provided.
      • Select the Inclusive option.
    • Specify the maximum data value for the state:
      • Uncheck the Use default option.
      • Enter the maximum value in the box provided.
    • In the Color Properties section:
      • Click the Color rectangle. The Select a Color dialog appears.
        Select a Color dialog.
      • Use the dialog to choose a color, then click OK.
  2. In the fourth step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard, click the plus sign button below the list of states to add a new state. Set the name of this state to High Population and repeat the above steps in order to configure a second state to represent population values from 30,000,000 to 2,000,000,000.
    High Population state.
  3. Click Finish to complete the data settings configuration for your Map.
  4. Click Preview in the Toolbar to view your dashboard.

Using a color range

The map below uses a single state that defines a color range. The entire range of population values is divided into 5 population intervals (or data groups), and each interval is automatically assigned a specific color. A legend control shows the population values for each interval and its corresponding color.

A population map using a color range, with associated legend.

A population map using a color range, with associated legend.


To create this map:

  1. In the fourth step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard, set up the Population state as follows:
    • Enter the name of the state in the Name box.
      Population state.
    • Enter #MIN to #MAX in the Legend text box. This text will automatically appear in a Legend control that is associated with your Map control. See Keywords for more details.
    • Specify the minimum data value for the state:
      • Uncheck the Use default option.
      • Enter 0 as the minimum value in the box provided.
      • Select the Inclusive option.
    • Specify the maximum data value for the state:
      • Select the Use default option.
    • In the Color Properties section:
      • Select the Specify a range? option.
      • Click the Start Color rectangle. Use the Select a Color dialog to choose the starting color for the range.
      • Click the End Color rectangle. Use the Select a Color dialog to choose the end color for the range.
      • Click the Data Grouping Method dropdown list and choose Equal Distribution. This option divides the entire data range so that an equal number of data points (⪚ countries) can be slotted into each data interval (or data grouping).
      • Enter 5 in the Number of Groups box.
  2. Click Finish to complete the data settings configuration for your Map.
  3. Drag a Legend control from the Toolbox to the Canvas.
    Legend control.
  4. Go to the Properties grid for the Map control and set its Legend property to Legend1.
  5. Click Preview in the Toolbar to view your dashboard.

Data grouping

The following data grouping methods are available in the fourth step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard:

  • Equal Interval - The data range is divided into equally spaced intervals (or groups). For example, if you have a population range from 0 to 100,000,000 and you want to have 5 groups, the first group will cover the interval from 0 to 20,000,000. The second group will cover the interval from 20,000,000 to 40,000,000 and so on. This is not the best option when your data is distributed unevenly. For example, you may find that most of your data points are slotted into a single or a small number of groups.
  • Equal Distribution - The data range is divided into intervals or groups such that each group contains the same number of data points, resulting in a more uniform-looking map.
  • Data Range - The data range is mapped to a color range in a continuous fashion, so there aren't any distinct color groups.

Generating symbols using positional data

This example shows how to automatically generate symbols on your Map control by data-binding with a dataset that contains positional (⪚ longitude and latitude) information for the symbols:

  1. Prepare a dataset (⪚ Cities) that contains longitude and latitude information for world cities.
    Dataset with positional data.
  2. Add a map control to your dashboard that displays a world map.
  3. Drag the Cities dataset from the Toolbox and drop it on top of the map control. The Data Settings Configuration Wizard is displayed.
  4. Click Next. The first step of the Map Data Binding Setup Wizard is displayed.
  5. Select the option, Generate symbols using positional (X,Y) data, then click Next.
    Select Generate symbols option.
  6. In the second step of the wizard:
    • Use the dropdown list to choose a column from the dataset to provide names for the symbols. Or, select the Auto-Generate checkbox if you want to use generic names (⪚ Symbol1, Symbol2, etc).
      Select columns from dataset.
    • Use the dropdown list to choose a column from the dataset to provide the longitude (or X) values for the symbols. Longitude values range from -180.0 to +180.0 (or 180 degrees West to 180 degrees East).
    • Use the dropdown list to choose a column from the dataset to provide the latitude (or Y) values for the symbols. Latitude values range from -90.0 to +90.0 (or 90 degrees South to 90 degrees North).
  7. Click Finish.
  8. Set default symbol properties for the map control.
    Default symbol properties.
  9. Save, then preview the resulting dashboard.

Dashboard with a map control showing symbols generated from positional data.

Dashboard with a map control showing symbols generated from positional data.


Navigation

By default, a map is interactive - simply use the mouse to pan or zoom to an area of interest on your map while previewing or viewing a dashboard.

Mouse panning

Panning refers to the ability to navigate across a map by clicking on a point in the Viewport and then dragging it directionally. Any location in the Viewport can be clicked, not just the areas occupied by map elements. As you drag with the mouse, the entire set of map contents (including parallels and meridians) will appear to move in the direction in which you are dragging.

Dashboard designers can enable or disable mouse panning by setting the map's Enable Mouse Panning advanced property.

Scroll Panel

Every map has a Scroll Panel which gives you another way to pan across the map. The Scroll Panel offers a set of eight directional buttons. Click a button in the panel and the Viewport window will appear to move in the direction indicated by the button.

Scroll Panel.

Scroll Panel.


By default, a map's Scroll Panel is collapsed (&ie; hidden). To display the Scroll Panel on a map, a dashboard designer must set the Visibility property of the map's Scroll Panel to Visible.

Mouse wheel zooming

Using the analogy of the Viewport being a window overlooking a map, the act of zooming in can be visualized as the change in view that occurs as you move the window closer to the ground. Zooming out would then correspond to the change in view that occurs as you move the window higher up and further from the ground.

To zoom in, scroll your mouse wheel forward.

To zoom out, scroll your mouse wheel backward.

Dashboard designers can enable or disable mouse wheel zooming by setting the map's Enable Mouse Wheel Zooming advanced property.

Zoom Panel

Every map has a Zoom Panel which gives you another way to zoom in or zoom out.

Zoom Panel.

Zoom Panel.


To zoom in, click the plus sign button.

To zoom out, click the minus sign button.

To set a precise zoom level for the Viewport, type a value in the text box, then press ENTER or click somewhere on the map.

By default, a map's Zoom Panel is collapsed (&ie; hidden). To display the Zoom Panel on a map, a dashboard designer must set the Visibility property of the map's Zoom Panel to Visible.

Keywords

You can use map-specific keywords in combination with .NET value formatting options in the tooltip text of map elements, or the legend text of color states, and more.

See Text Keywords for details.

Related topics


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