Geographical Data Visualization - Efficiently visualize data on beautiful maps

Space and time are both dimensions that shape our world. In data analysis, time is a fundamental perspective. It could mean checking your activity over the last six months, or comparing one week of turnover with the previous one. Time is key, but space is another fundamental piece of the analytical process. Displaying data on a map brings you to actionable insights.

The stories revealed by data often involve location; the cities and countries where your customers are, your sales points, stock location, all related to your business. The graphical visualization of this quantitative data is both abstract (a dot on a map) and physical (the map used).

At BIME, we find this visualization aspect so effective that we refined it even more, adding several extra options. We believe the new improved map visualization is the easiest and most beautiful way to do spatial analysis available today. The cloud just makes it easier, here’s why…

An important part of spatial analysis is extracting the location from a text value. Most geographic information is not available in perfect longitude and latitude form but in text columns in databases, online services or Excel files.

BIME takes care of converting text values to longitude and latitude. If the data point is something BIME has already come across, it will return the position at lightning speed.

How does that work? Simple. BIME does this conversion only once. BIME stores the text value and coordinates in a highly available database. Therefore, the point can quickly be projected onto any BIME map and all users can take advantage of this.

BIME also gives you the possibility to re-geocode a point, in quite a particular way. For example, London also exists in the US. BIME will automatically detect London, United Kingdom, but in one click you can specify that’s it’s in fact London, Kentucky - USA.

The power of the cloud enables fast geocoding on very large volumes of data. You can map your data stored in your csv files, Oracle databases, Google BigQuery, even your Salesforce data, all from the same interface.

Choose the correct theme to make your data shine

The map theme you choose can make quite a difference. If you’re responsible for sales in several stores located in the same industrial area, you might want to represent them by revenue size at a street scale. The goal is to represent the physical reality on a map while erasing all the visual aspects that aren’t necessary.

Here are some of the suggested themes available on the fly in BIME. 

Light

The contrast is high with the default colors. This theme shows minimal information in terms of street and road names, leaving room for your data to stand out.

Street

Street names and cities have been added to be able to identify them quickly and easily. With its beautiful colors, this theme will stun everyone.

Dark

This is the inverse of the light version. It is for dashboards leaning towards the dark side, showing light colored data that is highlighted on a dark background.

Pencil

This is a beautiful theme - in fact, it’s our favorite. Almost poetic, offering a high contrast with your data points. It works great when you zoom in on an area of high population density.

Satellite

Topographic information and roads are very accurate. Maybe a director of several ski resorts would be interested in the consumption of certain foods depending on the altitude of the sales points.

Encoding your quantitative data on a map : a few tips and possibilites

Clustering

A lot of data maps out there suffer from occlusion of points. With the new BIME, map points that are too close are automatically merged. Have a look below between the old way and new way.

Before

After

This approach offers a lot of advantages

  • VIEWING - a nicer and cleaner picture of data with fewer data points.

  • PERFORMANCE - Better performance as the rendering engine doesn't have to show thousands of points on the map.

  • IN DETAILS - Details on demand. Zooming is very easy by clicking on zones of interest.

Multivariate spatial analysis

You can encode several numeric values through text, color and size encoding. Representation through these three axes is the most effective way to analyze your data.

The new BIME map also gives you the ability to analyze several categories at once via a pie chart representation. 

Heatmap

A heatmap is a visualization used to depict the intensity of data at geographical points. When the Heatmap Layer is enabled, a colored overlay will appear on the map. By default, areas of higher intensity will be colored yellow, and areas of lower intensity will appear purple.

The combination of maps and other visualizations: The efficient combo

Thanks to the ability to filter results applying to all your different graphics at the same time, selecting a point on your map will allow you to interact with the other visualizations in your dashboard.
 

Maps are a fundamental visualization as they maximize the ability of the analyst to understand data through space. They are both very easy to use thanks to default settings such as clustering, and a wealth of options that allow you to create beautiful custom maps. Let’s go, test it for free!

- The team BIME

A special thanks to Florent Odier for these improvements!