Create Interactive Maps in BI Projects

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A Map is an interactive display of geographic information that helps to answer questions and display information like:

  • What are the relative sales for each store?
  • Compare data by sales territory
  • Display Sales categorized by customer demographics, based on customer location
  • Where is growth happening?
  • Where are our sales growing the most?
  • Where are our customers?

Contour BI integrates OLAP and GIS technologies and handles both geographic (locational) and attribute (descriptive) data for the purpose of data mapping, managing and analysis. It displays multilayer maps, combining vector layers, and displays statistical and business information in the form of gradient-filled regions, points, and diagrams.

Features Linked to Cube Data

A map becomes part of an OLAP report; all interactive manipulation of the OLAP report is immediately displayed on the map. The setup procedure of the map is simplified - data layers appear on it automatically, as configured in OLAP report settings and further user actions.

Data Formats

Contour Reporter supports spatial information formats of leading manufacturers, such as ArcGIS from ESRI, database spacial datatypes, and several other formats. Spacial data can also be stored in an OLAP cube and change in time together with the data.


We will create a report to display Air Passenger Traffic and Flights in Canada for the years 2015 and 2016 in an interactive Map. By means of a Bubble Layer we will show the provinces where the greatest number of flights took place over that period.

 In this example we assume that we have a BI project with source data downloaded from here. It already contains a Grid that displays the source data.

The map image type we will use to display map regions are Shapefiles downloaded from DIVA-GIS.

Now we create a Map in the project:

  1. Select the Slice object under the Report cube in the project tree panel
  2. From the dropdown list, selectAdd Map
  3. The Map object will immediately be created under the Slice
  4. The Map object inherits the dimensions and facts defined in the Slice
  5. Now we create map layers. A Map Layer refers to feature data. This can include city boundaries, rivers, road network, etc.

To add a layer to a map:

  1. By default two groups are created: Legend and Geography. We use both groups.
  2. First we create a Label layer inside the Legend group (represented as folder). This will allow us to display the province names. Click on the group name and click  Add layer and select the Label layer type from the dropdown list:

    We set the following basic properties:

  3. Then we create a Bounds layer to draw country and provincial borders (A bound layer is used to display regional boundaries):

  4. We also want to create a Polygon layer to fill regions with colors:

    To color the regions, we define colors using the option Edit colors from the layer toolbar:

  5. The last layer is a Bubble layer to display the air passenger traffic (A Bubble layer is commonly used to display information where the size of the bubble can be proportionate to the data values. For each region in the map, a dot is drawn, the size of which is proportional to the value of the fact):

  6. Finally, our project is ready. If we display the project in the BI Portal the result is:

  7. The full project can be found here.