Easy – Plotting items on a map using Power BI

This example shows how easy it is to plot items on a map using Power BI. With a few clicks data can be gathered, a map created, and markers plotted onto the map. Simple!

Background

The example involves using Open Data to plot monuments in Dundee (UK) onto a map using Microsoft’s Power BI. This data has been select because it is open for all to use.

As this example uses Open Data, it may be the case that the data when you come to use it has been altered hence your map may end up slightly different. If you want to ensure that the layout is the same as shown in the images on this page, the csv file used for this example can be found as a separate file at the end of this article.

Let’s get started!

Download the data

The data for this example can be found here on data.dundeecity.gov.uk website. Download the file to your computer.

Please note that if your csv file is saved to your local computer then any updates you make to the csv file will require the file to be reuploaded (explained more below).

If the file is save in a OneDrive location then it should automatically update, failing that clicking the Refresh button should update the contents.

Instructions

There are two sets of instructions below and which one you use may depend on your familiarity with Power BI. The detailed instructions are more suitable for beginners to Power BI.

If you are familiar with Power BI, the next step contains the quick and simple instructions to allow you to create the product. More detailed instructions with screenshots can be found further down this page.

Quick instructions

  1. Open up Power BI desktop or online app.
  2. Go to ‘Find data’ section to download the data.
  3. Select ‘Get Data’
  4. Select Text/CSV option. From there navigate to where you saved the csv file, select the file.
  5. In the Visualizations section of the page:
  6. Click on map icon.
  7. Click and drag the Latitude from the Fields section and drop it into the Latitude box
  8. Click and drag the Longitude from the Fields section and drop it into the Longitude box
  9. At this point you should see circle markers appearing on the map
  10. Click and drag the Monument_Name from the Fields section and drop it into the Tooltips box
  11. Now when you hover over a circle a pop-up providing additional information should appear.

There you go you have a simple map with all the points plotted. 

Detailed instructions

Please note that Microsoft is continually updating PowerBI hence what you see on the screen in Power BI may differ slightly to that shown in the screen prints below.

Either in the top ribbon or on the opening screen select Get Data.

Then select Text/CSV option as the data was saved in a csv file.   If required press the ‘connect’ option and you should then be taken to your locally stored documents. From there navigate to where you saved the csv file, select the file and, if required, select open.

An extract of the csv file should now appear on your PowerBI desktop.

Press Load.

The data has now been loaded into Power Bi.  You should see this as the fields on the right-hand side of the page will now contain names of the columns.

In the Visualizations section, click on map icon.

Staying in the Visualizations section:

  • Click and drag the Latitude from the Fields section and drop it into the Latitude box
  • Click and drag the Longitude from the Fields section and drop it into the Longitude box

At this point you should see circle markers appearing on the map

  • Click and drag the Monument_Name from the Fields section and drop it into the Tooltips box

Now when you hover over a circle a pop-up providing additional information should appear.

Well done! You’ve created a map showing monuments in Dundee using Open Data and Power BI.

What else could you do?

You could add further data to or tidy up the data in the csv file. For example, you could add in links to the items in Wikipedia, tidy up the names are some are a bit vague, delete whatever you don’t want, change the descriptions.