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The mighty MapBox visual for Power BI
Part two of a five-part series of blogs

Marie Woltman is a Power BI guru whose maps we often reference on our courses. In this blog she explains why MapBox is her preferred mapping tool, and shows how to use it to create custom styles and layers.

  1. The mighty MapBox visual for Power BI
  2. Why use Mapbox? (this blog)
  3. Getting started with MapBox
  4. Custom background map styles
  5. Conclusion and examples of Mapbox maps

Posted by Marie Woltman on 27 April 2020

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Why use Mapbox?

Firstly, what sets Mapbox apart from other map visuals available in Power BI?

Advantage Details
Better data limits MapBox has a more generous data limit of 30,000 rows (the standard maps and many others have limit of 3,500; for ESRI it's variable and complicated, depending on the data type you're showing).
Flexibility You can use Mapbox maps in reports you've published to web or securely embedded in private or SharePoint pages (sadly not possible with ESRI maps).
Multiple data set support You can load multiple custom datasets such as polylines, polygons, point data and text labels all at once in the background (not something other map visuals can do).
Background base map sets There's a wide choice of standard background base maps, and you can completely customise these.
Lots of types of map Using latitude and longitude data you can easily create cluster maps and hotspot maps, and with regional type location data you can create area choropleths and 3D area extrusions.
Speed Everything just seems to work faster. And the autozoom experience is quick and seamless.

I have said this already but I repeat that you can customise your background maps!! The sky's the limit! For example you can change the colours and tone of the background layers, switch on and off text labels, adjust what's displayed at different zoom settings, change colour opacity for different layers too - great if you want to control for which datasets you want to see more detail (or which you want to de-clutter!) at a lower close-in zoom level.

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