The existing GeoMap tool works well. It does the job of visualizing data on a map, but it's not beautiful. The flexibility and analytics provided in BOARD with respect to time analytics is great. I think it's time to improve the GeoMap tool to keep pace with other offerings.
- Shape Datatype - Keyhold Markup Language is a common language for defining geographic shapes. Aside from geopolitical boundaries, there are numerous sources where geographic regions are defined in terms of KML data definitions. Below is an example where KML is used to define the terrestrial ecoregions of the world. If another format is more efficient, just being able to load KML into a BOARD datatype is sufficient.
- Path Datatype - Be able to store the geographic path from one point to another. Below is an example of a submarine cable map showing the general path connecting points around the globe.
- Gradiant Bucketing - When trying to display a cube value across 100 regions, we could use gradient colouring to convey smallest to largest buckets. This could be done using column algorithms now, but is a nice-to-have.
BOARD is a beautiful tool with the ability to show rich dashboards. With some updates, the geomap tool can be a powerful piece of beautiful dashboards. Drill-anywhere already allows users to explore data in any direction. Visualizations like these help them see which directions need the most urgent attention.
Consider these examples
- Defining Shapes - Terrestrial Ecoregions - Built using Google Fusion Tables - Based on KML shape definitions, data can be plotted against numerous geographic regions. If the KML shape definitions change over time, so too does the visualization.
The Atlas of Global Conservation
- Submarine Cable Map - Based on path information, this shows submarine cable connections around the world. Visualizations like these could be used in supply chain management monitoring.
- Texas Percent Change in Population 2000 to 2010 - Based on defined KML regions gradiant shades are used to show increasing intensity as the value grows. Visually, a person's eyes are drawn to the specific regions where the colour is most intense, and the percent change in population is highest. A dashboard like this could be built using the existing geomap tool, but would require manually setting the location of each cockpit point in each region. If we were able to understand the KML shape of the region, this manual effort would not be required.
Building these kinds of tools in BOARD may already be possible, but I don't know how to do it. If someone can help me understand how to identify and store shape and path data in BOARD, that would be very helpful. Anyone can edit this idea. Please feel free to edit the document to improve and incorporate other ideas or concerns.
- Using a cockpit to fill regions of a static image - How to create a zone map? by Jonathan Baetens
- Using lat/long coordinates on a geomap object - e-Learning