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How to Display Azure Maps in Power BI Paginated Reports

by Fabian Ortiz
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Integrating Azure Maps into your Power BI paginated reports can significantly enhance your data visualization capabilities.

Whether you’re part of a team offering power BI consulting services or an individual looking to improve your reporting skills, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Why Use Azure Maps in Power BI Paginated Reports?

Azure Maps provides rich mapping capabilities, including detailed geospatial data and interactive map features. By incorporating Azure Maps into your Power BI paginated reports, you can:

  • Visualize Geospatial Data: Display data on interactive maps.
  • Enhance Report Interactivity: Provide users with a more engaging experience.
  • Improve Data Understanding: Help users better understand spatial relationships and patterns.

Getting Started: Prerequisites

Before you begin, ensure you have the following:

  • Azure Subscription: Access to Azure Maps.
  • Power BI Premium or Power BI Report Server: Required for paginated reports.
  • Basic Knowledge of Power BI and Azure Maps: Familiarity with these tools will help.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Set Up Azure Maps

First, you need to set up Azure Maps in your Azure portal:

  1. Log in to Azure Portal:
  2. Create an Azure Maps Account:
    • Navigate to “Create a resource.”
    • Search for “Azure Maps” and select it.
    • Click “Create” and fill in the required details (e.g., name, subscription, resource group).
  3. Obtain Authentication Key:
    • After creating the account, go to the Azure Maps resource.
    • Click on “Keys” under the “Settings” section.
    • Copy the Primary Key; you’ll need it later.

2. Prepare Your Data

Prepare the data you want to visualize on Azure Maps. Ensure your dataset includes geospatial fields such as latitude and longitude. You can use any data source supported by Power BI.

3. Create a Power BI Paginated Report

Next, create a paginated report in Power BI Report Builder:

  1. Open Power BI Report Builder:
  2. Create a New Report:
    • Open Power BI Report Builder and select “New Report.”
  3. Add a Data Source:
    • Click on “Data Sources” in the Report Data pane.
    • Right-click and select “Add Data Source.”
    • Configure your data source (e.g., SQL Server, Excel).
  4. Add a Dataset:
    • Right-click on “Datasets” and select “Add Dataset.”
    • Choose your data source and write a query to fetch your data.

4. Insert Azure Maps

Now, integrate Azure Maps into your report:

  1. Add a Map:
    • Go to “Insert” tab and select “Map.”
    • Choose “New Map Layer Wizard” and click “Next.”
  2. Define Your Map Data:
    • Select “SQL Server spatial query” or “Map gallery” based on your data source.
    • Click “Next” and configure your map data source.
  3. Configure Azure Maps:
    • In the “Map View” pane, right-click on the map and select “Map Layers.”
    • Add a new tile layer and choose “Azure Maps.”
  4. Set Up Authentication:
    • Go to the tile layer properties.
    • Enter the Primary Key you copied from Azure Maps in the “Authentication” section.
  5. Customize Map Layers:
    • Add point, line, or polygon layers depending on your data.
    • Bind your data fields (latitude, longitude) to the map layers.
  6. Style Your Map:
    • Customize the appearance of your map (e.g., colors, labels).
    • Use the “Map Tools” to add legends, scale bars, and more.

Example Table: Data Source Configuration

Here’s an example of how to configure a SQL Server data source for your report:

SettingValue
Data Source NameMySQLServer
Connection StringServer=myServer;Database=myDB;
CredentialsWindows Authentication
QuerySELECT Latitude, Longitude, Value FROM MyTable

5. Preview and Publish Your Report

Preview Your Report:

  1. Click on “Run”:
    • In Power BI Report Builder, click the “Run” button to preview your paginated report. This allows you to see how your Azure Maps and data integrations look.
  2. Review Data and Maps:
    • Check that the data points are correctly plotted on the Azure Maps.
    • Ensure that the map layers, legends, and other visual elements appear as expected.
  3. Make Adjustments:
    • If something doesn’t look right, go back to the design view and make necessary adjustments.
    • You might need to tweak the data bindings, map settings, or visual styles to get the desired result.

Publish Your Report:

  1. Save Your Report:
    • Save your report locally or to a shared location. Use a meaningful name that describes the report content.
  2. Publish to Power BI Service:
    • If you’re using Power BI Service, go to the “File” menu and select “Publish.”
    • Choose your workspace and upload the report.
  3. Deploy to Power BI Report Server:
    • If you’re using Power BI Report Server, save the report as an RDL file.
    • Open the Power BI Report Server web portal, click on “Upload,” and select your RDL file.
  4. Set Up Data Refresh (if needed):
    • Configure scheduled data refresh to ensure your report always displays the most up-to-date data.
  5. Share Your Report:
    • Share the report with your team or stakeholders. You can set permissions to control who has access to the report.

Example Table: Publishing Options

Here’s a comparison of the publishing options for your paginated reports:

PlatformStepsBenefits
Power BI ServiceFile -> Publish -> Select WorkspaceEasy sharing and collaboration
Power BI Report ServerSave as RDL -> Upload to Report Server -> Set up permissionsOn-premises deployment and control

Conclusion

Following these steps, you can successfully integrate Azure Maps into your Power BI paginated reports, creating dynamic and interactive data visualizations.

Whether you’re part of a power bi consulting services team or an individual aiming to enhance your reporting skills, this guide provides a clear path to achieving your goals.

Remember, previewing and publishing your reports ensures that your data is accurately represented and accessible to your audience. Embrace these tools to transform your data into powerful stories and drive informed decision-making.

Happy reporting!

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