Filtering and Drilling Shapefiles

An important feature, required by many business users is the ability to view performance across multiple geographic grains and levels. In many cases you want to drill from region to state to county and beyond.

This article introduces the CMaps Plugin and GMaps Plugin properties and techniques that can be employed by dashboard developers to create filter and drill paths.. Understanding that SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius) developers have different skill sets, connectivity options, and business needs, we have provided several ways to navigate data within GMaps Plugin.

Learning the following three navigation configurations will sharpen our dashboard development skills and make you a map design guru!

  1. Dynamic Data / Shapefile swapping
  2. Series Visibility
  3. Shapefile data and order keys


1: Dynamic Data / Shapefile Swapping


What: Use data connectivity and/or multiple shape files within one series to scale your dashboard.When to Use: When there is a high volume of data required to populate the dashboard.

Typical Use Cases:
When there are many unique data points to be displayed within a single map, you can use parameterized web services to filter and return data based on selected values or regions within the dashboard.

When shape files contain many unique shapes. Zip code or neighborhood level boundary data are 2 scenarios that contain tens of thousands of regions. Because GMaps Plugin processes and draws shape data in real time so you want to utilize multiple shape files so an end user can navigate and view all details for a large area. For example, with over 40,000 zipcodes in the united states you can dynamically swap each state’s zipcodes rather than viewing all zip codes at once.

2: Series Visibility

What: Toggle the visibility of each series based on user selections.

When to Use: When there are multiple grains (zip, county, zip, state) or views that end users need to navigate and view.

Typical Use Cases: 
Creating drill paths from region, to state, to county requires a unique series for each data type. As a user clicks on a region or selects other filter criteria in a dashboard, series visibility provides the mechanism for showing or hiding a series based on any criteria (selection, zoom level, values, etc).

When a single map has different views, series visibility can be utilized rather than inserting mutltiple maps into a dashboard. For example a single map could show sales by store, and then show top 100 customers. These two views are un-related, but could be toggled within the same map.

Turning on/off layers within the map for end users is a common map visualization technique where a control panel with checkboxes allows an end user to analyze and “mashup� different data sources with a common geographic dimension.


Shape File Bound Colors
Preview | Download

3: Shapefile Data and Order Keys

What: Toggle the visibility of individual shapes within a shapefile.

When to Use: When the dashboard needs to restrict or filter shapes within a specific shapefile.

Typical Use Cases: 
When a single shapefile contains all of the variations required for populating a dashboard. For example Europe by country shapefile can be filtered using shapefile data and order keys to show any combination of countries based on user selection.


Shapefile Filtering
Preview | Download