Ewan Maalerud

Ewan Maalerud

Ewan is part of the Digital Customer Experience team for SAP Analytics Cloud, based in Vancouver, Canada. He’s passionate about data analytics and communicating the value of using data to optimize business outcomes.

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geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

Geo maps can add a lot of value and context to your data analysis. SAP Analytics Cloud offers a variety of geographical mapping options to display your regional data, trends, flow, and so much more.

In this post, we cover how to make the most out of your stories by using geo maps.

Geo enriching your data

You may have seen the Geo Map icon in your story and wondered how it works.

Geo map in a story

Geo maps are actually created in Modeler using location data. This acts as the foundation for the map in your story.

There are two ways to geo enrich your data:

  • By Coordinates
  • By Area Name

geo map in modeler

Geo enriching your data by coordinates enables you to use longitude and latitude coordinates. Your data may already include this information, but you could also enter it manually. These coordinates are used to create a map anywhere in the world. You can also have different levels of granularity so you can drill down from country, region, sub-region 1, sub-region 2.

Geo enriching your data by area name enables you to create geo maps without the need for exact longitude and latitude coordinates, but it’s limited to United States. This option is great if your company does business in America and the transactional data doesn’t include latitude and longitude coordinates. One other thing to be aware of is that geo enriching by area name doesn’t allow for drilling down past the city level. Enrichment is for state and county.

Creating a geo map in Modeler

We showed you two ways to geo enrich your data, now we’ll run through a quick demo of how this works. Using our dataset, we have two location IDs: Store ID and Receiver ID — both have latitude and longitude coordinates.

geo map in modeler

This is good because we can create a flow map, charting the course of our shipments. If we only had one location ID, we couldn’t show this flow.

When we select the geo enrichment option, ‘Geo by Coordinates’, a new dialog window opens, allowing us to create our new location dimension. There are three fields we need to complete:

  • Dimension Name — we can create a dimension name which will help us identify it in our story
  • Identifiers — we can select the Location ID for our store locations
  • Coordinates — we need to map our latitude and longitude to the correct location dimension

geo by coordinates SAP Analytics Cloud

Once we select ‘Create’, a new location ‘Shipping’ dimension is created.

shipping SAP Analytics Cloud

We can now repeat this process on the Receiving ID measure to create a ‘Receiving’ dimension.

Receiving location SAP Analytics Cloud

Now that we created both shipping and receiving dimensions, we can use a flow map to chart the shipping routes. Note: It doesn’t draw the actual route, rather it connects the origin and destination with an arc.

Creating a geo map in a Story

Once your data has been geo enriched in modeler, you can use that model to create a geo map in a story.

Geo map in a story

In the example below, we created a map showing all the locations of our retail stores. We used a Choropleth layer

geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

Since each of these datapoints represents a layer on the map, we can toggle the layers on and off.

feature layer geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

There are a few other ways we can customize our map. We can change our map type, add new layers, apply filters, and link it to other charts in our story.

changing basemap SAP Analytics Cloud


Layers are a way to add information to your geo map. There are six different types of geo map layers:

  • Bubble layer — shows data as points on the map where you can control the color, opacity, and size of the bubbles
  • Heat map layer — uses color to visualize the data density of the selected measure
  • Choropleth layer — applies blocks of shading to different geographical locations
  • Points of interest layer — does not rely on measures or dimensions, instead it pins relevant location points to your map
  • Feature layer — uses external data from valid service URLs. This data is layered on top of your existing geo-map to provide additional context
  • Flow layer — shows connection between two locations such as shipping routes or flight paths

changing layers SAP Analytics Cloud


We can apply filters to our geo maps by drawing a shape around a particular region to isolate it from the rest of the map.

In this example, we used the lasso tool to draw a rough shape around New York. This allows us to focus on just that region.

drill down lasso geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

We can also apply other types of filters to restrict data points based on their relationship to objects in a point of interest layer. For example, if we run a chain of coffee shops, we may want we see where our coffee shops are located in relation to universities.

Linked analysis

You can create a link between elements in your geo map and other elements in your story. When you drill down on one element, the other elements in your story automatically filter to reflect that change.

linked analysis geo map SAP Analytics Cloud

To create a linked analysis, we first select our geo map, and then click the Linked Analysis icon. Now we can choose which charts to link to.

We have three Linked Analysis options:

  • This chart — Only the chart selected
  • Linked chart set — Only the chart selected and all the charts on the page in the set based on the same model or with linked dimensions to this chart’s model
  • Entire Story — Only the chart selected and all the charts in the story based on the same model or with linked dimensions to this chart’s model

linked analysis SAP Analytics Cloud


There are two types of thresholds you can apply to a geo map:
  • Thresholds defined in a Model
  • Thresholds defined for a Story

Thresholds defined in a story will override those defined for a model.

To learn more about geo maps in SAP Analytics Cloud, please check out our Addition Resources section.

Additional Resources

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