Geo Map

Map concept

A map is the best way to analyze your data geographically and answer spatial questions.

You might want to resort to a map when you're asking: "What's the landscape like near the stores with the highest revenue?" or "Which states of the US have the highest number of COVID-19 cases?"

Holistics map components

In Holistics, a map comprises of 2 components:

  • A base map: A base map is a layer with basic geographical information (streets, lakes, buildings...) that serves as a background setting for your analytical data. The base map alone does not provide any analytical information. Holistics uses OpenStreetMap as our base map.
  • A data layer: A data layer is the visualization of your raw data that sits on top of the base map and creates a full picture to answer your spatial questions. For example, we have the world map below as the base map, and each country has a different color based on its population (those with population >50m will be red). The colored shape (that aligns the country border) is the data layer in this case. Holistics uses LeafletJS to draw these data layers.

Required and optional fields

To create a map, the compulsory field is the Location field. This field will accept your location field's value as input.

Your location data can be in the form of full name or code (read more: Supported location formats).

When you drag or type in a location field to Location, Holistics will automatically expand a dropdown for you to choose the Location type for that field. This will help Holistics better detect and locate each location on the map. Read more: How to improve map precision in Holistics

Other fields are required or optional based on the type of map you are setting:

  • Legend (only required for Distribution map): Provide more dimensional information for a location. Legend accepts a dimension's value as its input. The best scenario is when your dataset has one unique legend per location. If your dataset has more legends per location, consider using Point Map to fully visualize the information.
  • Value (only required for Choropleth map): Provide a statistical meaning to your map. Value accepts a measure's value as its input.
  • Condition (optional): Help you filter your data and only see the locations that match the conditions (i.e. only see countries from continent Europe). Please remember that our Conditions only work with non-aggregated results.

Holistics supported maps

In Holistics we support three main types of map:

  • Filled Map
  • Point Map
  • Heatmap

1. Filled Map

Filled Maps are maps that have polygon shapes often defined by the geographical borders (i.e. country's border, state's border), and each shape will contain a different color based on the value it carries.

In Holistics we support 2 sub-categories of Filled Map based on the fields required to set up those maps: Choropleth and Distribution Map. Besides, we support creating custom Filled Map in case you have special geographical datasets.

Choropleth Map

Choropleth Maps are Filled maps but the regions are colored based on a numerical value, most typically ratio data like per-capita income or population density.

More specifically, choropleth maps use color progression to represent the spatial difference, most common of which is a single hue progression (as in the image below) or a transition from a color to another.

Choropleth Maps require at least one Location field and one Value field. Learn how to set up Choropleth Maps here.

Distribution Map (Coming soon)

Distribution Maps are Filled maps but the regions are colored based on the presence of a subject such as a living species (i.e. the habitat of the Rusty Blackbird - image a), or human (i.e. supporters of Trump and Hilary - image b)

In Distribution Maps, each subject will carry a differentiated color.

Distribution Maps require at least one Location field and one Legend field. The Legend field has the data of the subjects.

Custom Map

If your company has hyper-local geographical data that Holistics has not supported (see: Supported location formats, worry no more because you can use our Custom Map feature to build it.

To build your custom map, you should prepare a GeoJSON file that contains the polygons of the locations you want to visualize on the map, upload it to Holistics and use it when building the map.

For more information about how to create custom maps, click here.

Custom map of Alabama counties' population

2. Point Map

Point maps plot geographic latitude/longitude data to visualize the location of data on a map. The point is identified by either a value or a subject, and depending on the visualization of the point we divide Point Map into 2 sub-categories: Bubble Map and Heat Map.

Bubble Maps are Point Maps where points on the map are visualized by circles (or bubbles). The bubbles can communicate information using both their size and color.

Learn how to set up Point Maps here.


Heat Maps are basically Point Map but points on the map are not visualized by concrete circles, but rather areas of color. The color reflects the concentration of data clusters or of the value of those clusters in a given area.

Learn more about how to create a Heat Map here.