Spotfire: Map Charts

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Tibco has made several smart acquisitions and integrated capabilities from acquired technology companies to its existing suite of products. One such acquisition is that of Maporama Solutions, which helped Tibco tremendously improve Spotfire’s geospatial analytic capabilities.  As a result, Spofire 6.0 release introduced many features which help develop rich map visualizations for analysis especially allowing to integrate GIS data and the OpenSpirit connect.


The map chart allows adding four types of layers which can be superimposed upon each other to increase the detail of analyses performed.

Adding layers is easy and some knowledge of appropriately combining these layers (their interoperability) with your data can be used for many important use-cases across industries.

Below we are adding multiple layers in the visualization to increase the level of detail. The Marker layer holds the data we want to view in a certain context, which in turn are introduced by Map, Feature and WMS layers.


By adding these new layers, zoom visibility can be configured for each layer – so you can only see the relevant details at each zoom level. That is, you would not want to see the roads in a country at the highest zoom level (offering a continent view of the world). This is a very good feature in Spotfire which greatly improves the map navigation and readability across various zoom levels.


Depending on the business requirement, we can use data to add different marker layers.

As in below visualization, we can locate various stores a company has in a particular area (using the data on marker layer). However, at any given point, we can use data from only a singly marker layer – by checking on the relevant marker layer from the chart.


Below I have marked some specific stores to see their performance and showing complete data from your marker layer for each selected point – using Detail-on-demand feature.


We can control which map, marker or features layer has to be seen at a given point.

Now I am adding a WMS layer to pull data via the WMS URL from National Atlas service.


We can superimpose WMS sub layers in a single chart to combine our view of background layers or simply create separate WMS layers (with single sub layer) in order for separate viewing.

I have added “People – Density 2000” sub layer from this WMS service to see how is the population density in my market area.


You can combine multiple WMS sub layers in single chart along with your Marker layer (which holds the data you want to analyze) and build detailed visualizations.



To note, only Marker and Feature layer can be used for interactivity with in the chart. WMS layer only adds the detail into the chart from the webservice – that is just the underlying layer to view your data from Marker layer.


Gartner Report – Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, 2014


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