Shapefiles in CMaps Analytics are loaded independent of your business data. Instead, CMaps Analytics automatically blends data from Shapefiles with your business data to create visualizations like heatmaps.
What is a Shapefile?
The ESRI Shapefile or simply a shapefile is a popular geo-spatial vector data format for geographic information systems (GIS) software. The standard was developed and regulated by ESRI as an open specification for data interoperability among ESRI and other software products. The benefit of a shapefile is that it is highly compressed and portable, enabling software applications to load large volumes of binary, geographic data.
When obtaining your Shapefiles, you will typically get a minimum of 3 files:
- SHP- The SHP file contains the data required to plot data points that make up the shapes. The .SHP file is linked directly to GMaps Plugin, where it is rendered as a layer.
- DBF- Database file table contains all of the meta data that describes each individual shape in the .SHP file. The DBF is extremely important because the SHP file does not contain any meta data required for labels in your map.
- SHX– Index file used to combine SHP and DBF file for GIS solutions. This file is required to maintain the integrity of the files when used with GIS solutions. GMaps Plugin does NOT utilize the SHX, but it is important to keep all 3 files together in case if you need to edit the shape data within a GIS solution.
Learn more about Shapefiles from the ESRI Shapefile Specification
- CMaps Analytics only supports the Polygon, Polygon-Z and Polyline shape types.
- Shapefile projection should be WGS 84
- Shapefile sizing should be less than 2MB for the best dashboard or application performance
At Centigon Solutions, we have prepared common geo-data and collected resources for you to locate and download geo data in Shapefile format.
Get Shapefiles for use with CMaps Analytics with our Shapefile Explorer
While there are free resources on the web for Shapefiles, we have pulled together the basic resources you need to rapidly access, connect, and progress forward on your analytics project.
View Shapefile Explorer
To visualize one or multiple shapefiles into your dashboard, you will first need to upload your shapefiles onto any web/application server. This needs to be a web application server that is accessible via HTTP. Ultimately, you need to be able to access the shapefile as a URL (http://yourwebserver/yourfile.shp). If you are publishing your dashboard (SWF) to a web server, shapefiles are only accessible via HTTP and will not work if the shapefile is on your local computer or file share.
Product Specific Instructions:
Define Shapefile and Data Order Keys
A Shapefile has a very specific data index/order that will NOT match your business data queries. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that your business data or query will contain all of the locations inside of a Shapefile. Built into CMaps Plugin and GMaps Plugin is a simple Data to Shape Linking & Visibility feature that simplifies this connection. You will first bind Shape File Order Keys which is a definition of all shapes inside of your shapefile. Then you will link corresponding column of data with your business data with corresponding keys.
Learn how to extract Shapefile order keys from a DBF file
Learn how to use Data Keys with CMaps Plugin for SAP Dashboards