Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics tool fit for non-technical and technical users to manage, analyze, visualize and share data with others.
One of its key features is visualization — that is, present data and insights using appealing visuals.
Among the visuals available in Power BI are maps.
There are 4 types of core or built-in map visuals:
- Map (Basic)
- Filled Map
- ArcGIS Maps
- Shape Map
Both Power BI Desktop and Service support maps. However, if you would like to create a Shape Map, you might have to use Power BI Desktop since this feature is still in preview.
Also, each of these types has its own strengths and weaknesses which we will go through later.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of how each map looks using data from the free “Retail Analysis Sample” dataset:
Before going through, think first if a map is really necessary for your data. Power BI maps are great if you would like to answer questions related to geospatial or distance between locations.
Using a map is also a good idea if you would like to show insight about quantity or something related to numbers that are connected to certain locations.