Create a custom Power BI Map

How can we create and use a custom map in Power BI?

The choice of maps in Power BI is limited, which does not meet all our technical needs.

Here is the detail of how we can create and use our own maps, shapes or plans in Power BI with Synoptic Panel.

Synoptic Panel is a visualization tool that can be integrated into Power BI and that allows connecting zones in a custom image (called a map, not necessarily a geographical map) with attributes in the data model.

We can fill and color these areas dynamically and display more information on them.

In this article, I will explain the steps to follow to make this kind of map, for this my example will be based on the map of France (Knowing that we can follow the same steps for other maps).

As explained in the link, save the file to a directory. Then, start Power BI.

In the list of visualizations on the right, click on the three small dots to import the file you just downloaded:

1. Turn the map image into .SVG file

You need a map image in (jpg / png or svg) format, for my example I chose the following image:

We need to import the map into the free Synoptic Designer tool (https://synoptic.design). In order to turn the image into an SVG file.

Once the image appears, we can click each shape within the file to define new zone points with an ID attribute, the shape will take a number that will increment as we click on the shapes.

If the map is not too complex, we can use the magic wand tool very quickly , by clicking on any point of a closed area that we want to color and get the complete definition of the area itself.

Click on "Export to Power BI" then download the .svg file:

2. Import the Map into Power BI

Now that the map is ready, in Power BI you insert the “Synoptic Panel” visualization in your dashboard.

Before we import the .svg file, try to map a data source with the Synoptic component.

Once done, we must select the .svg map generated by Synoptic Designer from our local computer, as shown in the following images:

We will be able to change the different parameters to change the colors of the zones, the values ​​and the labels to display ...

Synoptic Panel responds to data selection like any other Power BI component. We can drag measures and see how the Map interacts with the filters.

I hope these explanations will help you in your projects.

 

5 thoughts on "Create a custom Power BI Map"

  1. Hi,
    What do you mean by trying to map a data source? Should we create a table (or specific relation)? If a database exists with the data included in the AREA fields of the map, that is not enough?

    Reply

    1. Hello,

      What I meant by that is quite simply to drag the measure and the geographic field (country, city…) into the fields of the Synoptic Panel component (in Category and Measure).
      You can use the existing model, however, you must have the same names between the geographic field used and the names of the zones defined when the map was created in Synoptic designer, or go through an intermediate mapping table.
      Hope that answers your question.

      Reply

  2. Hello,

    I have an svg file that I would like to modify to have different regions.
    The idea is then to place data on regions like eg populations and circles according to importance.

    I would first like to know:
    1) How can I create the svg from an image?
    2) I can't see how to integrate the svg into powerbi after downloading the synpotic designer? In fact, on your image I don't know where to find the local map

    Thank you

    Reply

    1. Hello,

      1. You must import your svg image into the Synoptic designer tool https://synoptic.design. once that is done, you can click on each shape within the image to define new area points with an ID attribute and an area name, you can put in these two fields the name of the region.
      After, Click on “Export to Power BI” then download the new .svg file.

      2. After downloading and installing the synoptic panel in Power BI, you must insert the "Synoptic Panel" visualization in your dashboard.
      But before importing the .svg file, try to map a data source with the Synoptic component otherwise you will see “local maps”; at least one measure must be dragged into the component, to be able to import the .svg map generated by Synoptic Designer.

      Hope that answers your questions.

      Reply

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