Maps Alerts

Alerts are a powerful way to utilize business data to control the color and orientation of your dashboard. CMaps Analytics allows developers to not only change the color, but also the icon style as values reach pre-defined data thresholds. This tutorial will explore three common scenarios for alerts and then present you with a complete list of Alert properties and how they work.

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Targets and % Thresholds

The most common alerting mechanism in business intelligence is measuring your values against pre-determined targets/goals and then displaying various colors based on the value meeting the threshold.

For example, if your monthly sales in California $58,000 and your quota is $50,000 you are 16% over your quota. Exceeding sales is a good thing so you would likely want to represent this as green.

Value Alerts

Value alerts allow you to set basic alert thresholds when there is no specific target. As the value crosses the threshold, the color and icon style can be assigned.

For example, in New Mexico my growth is 20% where Texas is -10% thus represented as up and down icons.


 Heatmaps / Choropleths

Heatmaps builds on top of Value Alerts functionality, where you can apply some basic calculations to your data to establish min/max and median value. As you can see in the midwest, Nebraska and Illinois are much darker, meaning their relative values are higher.

Tutorial: Create a Choropleth

Alert Value

The alerts tab uses GMaps Plugin Value property located on the general tab. Each data point or polygon can have a value assigned to it. The alert Target Type will dictate how the Value property is compared to target, leading to the appropriate alert level.

Alerts Tab Properties

Series Selector

Each series can contain independent alert definitions. When Alerts are NOT used for a series, GMaps Plugin will default to the icon and color configurations on the Appearance tab.

Alert Target Type

GMaps Plugin Target Type controls how values are compared to target. Typically dashboard designers use “By % of Target” because values are usually associated with unique targets per data point. Based on the alert target type, GMaps Plugin logic will dynamically assess how the value property measures against the target and then apply the appropriate formatting based on Alert Thresholds (see below).

Alert Target “By % of Target”

If the values bound to the Values property (located on General Tab) are measured against unique targets per data point, “By % of Target” is the appropriate alert option. When choosing this option, the “Targets” property is required to provide target values to measure against.


Bind the Targets property to a single column data range that is the same number of rows as the “Value” property. The values contained within Targets will be measured against the Value property.

Note for Shape File Alerts: When defining targets for Shapefiles the alert targets must be defined in a sort order according to the shape file key and NOT the DBF key.

Alert Target “By Value”

If the values bound to the Values property (located on General Tab) are measured against the same targets, “By Value” is the appropriate alert option. Choosing By Value forces GMaps Plugin to measure all values directly against the Alert Thresholds. If each value requires a unique target, choose By% of Target.

Alert Levels

Alert levels are manually defined per series using a numeric ticker. Because alert levels do not typically change, it is NOT a bindable property.

Alert Thresholds

Alert Thresholds control multiple thresholds where the color, and icon style (only when address/lat,long are used). Alert thresholds can be controlled through manual data input into the table or through a bindable “Threshold” property.

Range– Range provides a plain English explanation of the how each alert threshold is evaluated by GMaps Plugin.
Limits– Thresholds use upper limits to restrict when color or icon styles change.
Color– Color definitions are established for each alert threshold

Defining Alert Limits

Alert limits are entered directly into the threshold table as upper limits. The limits bind option provides control to dynamically change the alert limits. The number of limits must match the number defined in the Alert Levels property.

Choosing Color

Color pickers are available for each alert level. Alert colors are used to visually contrast data points or indicate how dashboard end users perceive the status of the point or region.

BEST PRACTICE– It is recommended to ensure the gradations between colors (intensity and brightness) to ensure dashboard end users can interpret how data points differentiate information.

Choosing Icons

Available for address/lat,long feature only, icon selection is available for each alert level. If dynamic icons are required, the Icon bind property will globally control icons for all alert levels. Bind the icon property to a data range with the same number of cells as alert levels. For a list of icon keys, view Icon Styles.

Color Order

Color order indicates how alert colors / icons are rendered. A developer can choose if high values are “Good” or “Bad”.

Example: Revenue is evaluated as “Good = Green” while costs are evaluated as “Bad = Red”.

To alleviate re-binding alert colors, Color Order property provides a single property to flip the color definitions. Color order will NOT affect the alert threshold values or targets. GMaps Plugin enables color order as a bindable property allowing runtime toggling of color order. Bind color order property to a single cell and use the following values to define the property:

high = High Values are good
low = Low Values are good