Power BI

Creating Filled Maps in Power BI Desktop

Map visualization is a major topic covered during our power bi training in Sydney and Melbourne. This is because map visuals are one of the best communication tools to convey information related to the distribution of measureable quantities across different locations. Filled maps give us an overview about the Data Distribution across the Geographical Locations. Filled maps are used when we need information about defined regions instead of defined points. Let’s first have a look at the dataset required to build maps. Maps are supported in Power BI for a data set containing spatial features. These features include any information related to the location such as longitude, latitude, zip, City, State, etc.  The data set also contains records for a value measured (for example Units Sold) at the particular locations. It might seem easy to create map visuals just like any other visual in Power BI desktop by dragging and dropping the required fields to the targeted values, but this may land you in trouble. Therefore, Spatial data must be preprocessed to provide accurate mapping. There are a few mistakes that need to be avoided for accurate visualization of spatial data. Before you can start working with the map visualization: This blog walks you through four steps to create a filled map in Power BI. Let’s look at the data set we will be using in this blog. The data set used for this exercise contains information on sales figures across 11 states in the United States of America. This is what sample data looks like.

Selecting the Filled Map visual in Microsoft Power BI’s inbuilt visuals.

To Create a Filled map using the Microsoft’s inbuilt visual:

1.Click on Filled Map visual in the Visualizations Pane.

Creating Map in Power BI training

Assign the Spatial Fields required for mapping

2.Drag and Drop the Longitude to the Longitude Value. Set the summarization to Average.

3.Drag and Drop the Latitude to the Latitude Value. Set the summarization to Average.

4.Drag and Drop the State field to the Location value.

Creating Map in Power BI training

Formatting the Map to show distribution of values across the map

5.Click on the Format Tab in the Visualization Pane.

6.Click on Data Colors.

7.Click on the three dots in the Data Colors section and click on Conditional Formatting.

A pop-up menu appears.

Creating Map in Power BI training

8.From the drop-down menu under Based on field, click on Units Sold from Spatial Data – USA.

9.From the drop-down menu under Summarization, click on Sum.

10.Click on the check box at the left of Diverging.

Creating Map in Power BI training

11.Click OK.

Creating Map in Power BI training

A filled map is created where the regions in the red represent the least amount of units sold and the region in the green represent the maximum amount of units sold.


Maps are used to represent the distribution of measureable quantities at different locations. This involves the use of spatial data to get the information related to geographical locations. This type of data cannot be Used directly in Power BI and must be preprocessed for accurate mapping. However, once the data is preprocessed, the next important step is to choose the map visual that fits the visualization requirements. Filled maps are used when we want to visualize some quantity across different regions instead of different points. This blog post summarizes the method to create filled maps in Power BI using the default filled map visual and conditional formatting.

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