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6 Powerful Map Layers for Location Analytics

Learning Article
  • Location analytics helps you gain insights from geographic components in your business data. By adding maps to your stories you’ll be able to share and consume your data in a whole new way.

    In SAP Analytics Cloud, location analytics display in layers on a map. You can use multiple layers on a single map and can interact with these layers in your story.

    Start mapping your data in minutes with your SAP Analytics Cloud 90-day trial.

    Start mapping your data

    Your model must contain at least one location dimension in order for you to add geo maps to your story. Location dimensions are the combined latitude and longitude columns in your data set. You must define a location dimension to add maps to your story.

    Choose from 6 types of map layers:

    • Bubble
    • Heatmap
    • Choropleth
    • Point of Interest
    • Feature
    • Flow

    Let’s see how the different layers give us location-based insights of our data. In the example maps below, we are using sales data from a fictional beverage company.

    Bubble layer

    Bubble layers are useful when you want to take a look at exact locations. Bubbles can communicate information using both their size and color. Identifying trends and anomalies in data is faster with visualization.

    On the map below, the bubble color indicates store revenue while bubble size indicates gross margin. The bubble layer shows us that revenue and gross margin is low in Nevada stores and that the best performing store is in California.

    Bubble Layer Example

    Heatmap layer

    A heatmap layer shows concentration by combining individual data points to show trends. Typically, the more of a measure there is in the area, the warmer the color.

    The bright red on the map below indicates a high quantity of products sold in and around Los Angeles.

    Choropleth layer

    Choropleth layers display aggregated information as opposed to a localized information. Navigating hierarchies within the choropleth layer gives you more details on a region.

    In this example, the color of the region relates to the total gross margin of all regional stores. You can see that the average gross margin in all US stores is good. Go down a level, you can see that California is outperforming both Washington and Nevada. And at the most granular level, you see which regions in California have the highest gross margin.

    Point of interest

    A point of interest (POI) layer does not depend on measures or dimensions. Import a POI layer to pin relevant location points to your map. For example, a bike rental chain may want to pin the location of local parks. Or a healthcare chain may want to see clinics and hospitals.

    You can use a distance filter based on your POI layer to display locations depending on how far they are from a POI.

    In the example below, the POI layer is comprised of local universities. An added distance filter means we are only showing stores that are within 10 miles of a university.

    Map Point of Interest Layer

    Feature layer

    Use a Feature layer to provide additional context on top of your existing geo-map. It allows us to add layers to geo maps that use Esri ArcGIS web service URL’s. These are similar to point of interest layers based on shapefiles, but are hosted on websites, rather than downloadable as files. Note that we can edit or hide the layer using the token, if required.

    In the example below we will display emergency services in Indiana. After selecting feature as the layer type, we then enter the URL for the web service. When we zoom in, we can see the data points from the web service as seen below. Note that we can edit or hide the layer using the token, if required.

    Flow layer

    Use a flow layer to show connected start and end locations. A flow layer can communicate up to two measures that are dependent on a route. One measure via line color and another measure via line thickness. You need at least two location dimensions in your data set to use a flow layer.

    In the map below, the color of the line represents delivery time and the line thickness represents mileage.

    Map Flow Layer Example

    Gain valuable insights using your own geographical data and location analytics. Start mapping your data in minutes with your free 90-day trial of SAP Analytics Cloud.