Maps are essential for any businesses that are spread across multiple geographies to perform visual Geospatial Analysis. With SAP Analytics Cloud, you get a bunch of Geo Map layers that can be customized according to user needs. Geo map is supported for Analytics Designer as well, in addition to Story from version 2019.13. In this blog, we will talk about creating Geo Locations, Base and Map layers along with some common limitations.

Geo-Location Dimension

Geo-Location dimensions are SAP featured actions that turn your raw data’s location coordinates into an enriched format to be used in the Story/ Analytics Designer. This step is a mandate for spatial analysis and can be easily modelled while importing acquired connections. However, for live data connectivity, you will need predefined enriched geo points provided by SAP BW / HANA and this seamlessly integrates with SAP Analytics Cloud.

Generic location dimensions need to be enriched within models. The two possible ways to enrich are:

  1. Using Coordinates
  2. By Area Name

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1. Using Coordinates

This option is to be used when your data has latitude and longitude attributes. Simply select the coordinates in the respective dropdowns and click Create. You can add a description and ID of the location as identifiers.
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Please note that even if your model has latitude and longitude information, you need to model geo enriched location dimensions to be used for Geo Mapping.

2. By Area Name

You need not worry if your data does not have numeric coordinates. SAP Analytics Cloud also provides an option to visualize your map by just using texts (names of country/ regions). ‘Area Name’ option can be leveraged in such cases. You can select a country from the dropdown or specify a column for the country. Moving on, you will need to map regions and sub-regions as seen in the following screenshot.
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If you are worried about supported text locations or location naming in SAP Analytics Cloud, you can download the list of supported locations from the pop-up.

Base and Map Layers

Base layers are responsible for the look and feel of the map. With SAP Analytics Cloud you get various types of base layers supported by ESRI. A total of twelve base layers are currently supported by SAP Analytics Cloud.
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Map layers are used to visualize your data in various formats. SAP Analytics Cloud includes six different types of map layers. Note that geo-map configuration differs for each layer.
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Let us see different map layers and their features:

  1. Bubble Layer – Uses circles to visualize data on a territory
  2. Point of Interest Layer – Tags data specific locations without referencing dimensions/ measures
  3. Heat Map Layer – Graphically visualizes data volumes and color codes them
  4. Choropleth/ Drill Layer – Distinguishes data across ratios and shades them on the map
  5. Feature Layer – Brings in data from external URLs for visualization
  6. Flow Layer – Illustrates the relationship between source and destination points

Following are some points to be noted when choosing a map layer:

  • Geo enriching supports a maximum of 200,000 records per model.
  • Bubble Layer clusters the data points by default if there are more than 5000 Location points. If clustering is disabled maximum 20,000 points can be plotted on the map.
  • When selecting ‘By area’ option for Geo Enriching only choropleth layer can be used. Choropleth layer is currently not supported for LIVE data.
  • Choropleth / Drill layer cascades up-to four levels of hierarchy. It also enables a default hierarchy (based on predefined region and sub-region information available). This can be used for visualization irrespective of whether hierarchies are defined or not.
  • Choropleth / Drill layer also provides you with two styling options – Choropleth or Bubble.
  • Styling options are limited in a Feature layer.
  • Customizable Tooltips are not supported for Points of Interest layer.
  • Distance Filter, Distance Slider and Intersection Filter are not supported in HANA live.sap-analytics-cloud-geospatial-analysis-using-maps

To learn more about SAP Analytics Cloud, check out the series of blogs here.

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