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Google Maps reference

Visualize your data in Google Maps.

Adding Google Maps to your reports gives your viewers a familiar interactive environment where they can explore geographic data. Google Maps in Looker Studio are highly customizable and integrate with any data source that contains valid geo fields.

In this article:

See your data plotted on Google Maps

  1. Edit your report.
  2. Navigate to the page that will contain the chart.
  3. In the toolbar, click Add chart icon.Add a chart.
  4. Select one of the preset Google Maps:
    1. Bubble maps show your data as colored circles.
    2. Filled maps show your data as shaded areas.
    3. Heatmaps show your data using a color gradient.
    4. Line maps show your data as lines or paths over a geographic area.
  5. Click the canvas to add the chart to the report.
  6. Use the properties panel on the right to add or change the Location or Geospatial field so your map displays the desired locations.
  7. Refer to the following sections for information on configuring the rest of your map.

What you need to use Google Maps in Looker Studio

To add Google Maps to Looker Studio, you'll need a data source with one or more geographic dimensions. Data sources that are based on Google Analytics and Google Ads automatically include fields that you can use, such as Country, City, Region, Metro area, Store location, and so on.

For other data source types, such as Google Sheets or BigQuery, make sure that any geographic fields have the right data type:

  1. Edit the data source.
  2. Locate the geographic dimension(s) that you want to use in Google Maps.
  3. Use the Type menu to select the appropriate Geo field type (Country, City, Region, for example).

Learn more about geographic dimensions.

Configure Google Maps

Configure a bubble map

Example

Here's a bubble map that shows airline arrivals in California. The number of flights is represented by bubble size. Average arrival delay is represented by bubble color.

Bubble map showing airline arrivals in California. Number of flights is shown using bubble size. Average arrival delay is shown using bubble color.

Data properties

Location

A dimension that determines where the data appears on the map. Note that this field can be of any data type, as long as Google Maps can geocode the values appropriately.

Tooltip

(Optional) A dimension that provides tooltips (labels) for the data. Providing a tooltip lets you override the default label provided by the location dimension. For example, you can base the map location on the store address but use the store name in the tooltip.

The Tooltip and Color dimensions must have a unique value for each location. If the values are duplicated, you'll see an error message:

Can't show Google Maps

The Tooltip dimension has multiple values for the same location. Choose a Tooltip dimension that has a unique value for each location.

To fix this, use a dimension that has a 1:1 relationship with your location dimension.

Color dimension

(Optional) A dimension that provides the categories used for the color of the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color metric option.

For example, the following map uses Country as the location dimension, but uses Sub Continent to provide the bubble colors. Each country is shown using a color representing the sub-continent in which it's found.

Example bubble map.

Be sure to use a color dimension that has a 1:1 relationship with your location dimension. You can instead apply color based on a metric. If you do, you can't set a color dimension.
The preceding example works because a country can only be in one sub-continent.

Color metric

(Optional) A metric that provides the values used as a color scale for the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color dimension option.

Size

Use the size of the bubbles to convey relative metric values.

Style properties

Bubble Layer

Max number of bubbles

Sets the maximum number of bubbles appearing on the map.

Slider control

Sets the relative size of the bubbles.

Opacity

Sets the opacity of the bubbles.

Border weight

Sets the thickness of the bubble borders.

Configure a filled area map

Example

Here's a filled area map that shows median house prices by U.S. ZIP codes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Filled map showing U.S. ZIP codes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Data properties

Location

A dimension that determines where the data appears on the map. Note that this field can be of any data type, as long as Google Maps can geocode the values appropriately.

Geospatial field

A dimension that defines the polygons that are displayed on a filled map. This option is only available when you connect to a BigQuery data source that contains GEOGRAPHY data. When you use a Geospatial field, the Location field merely provides information for the card that appears when you hover over a data point on the map.

Click here for a tutorial.

Tooltip

(Optional) A dimension that provides tooltips (labels) for the data. Providing a tooltip lets you override the default label provided by the location dimension. For example, you can base the map location on the store address but use the store name in the tooltip.

The Tooltip and Color dimensions must have a unique value for each location. If the values are duplicated, you'll see an error message:

Can't show Google Maps

The Tooltip dimension has multiple values for the same location. Choose a Tooltip dimension that has a unique value for each location.

To fix this, use a dimension that has a 1:1 relationship with your location dimension.

Color dimension

(Optional) A dimension that provides the categories used for the color of the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color metric option.

Be sure to use a color dimension that has a 1:1 relationship with your location dimension. You can instead apply color based on a metric. If you do, you can't set a color dimension.

Color metric

(Optional) A metric that provides the values used as a color scale for the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color dimension option.

Style properties

Filled Area Layer

Max. number of polygon vertices Sets the maximum number of data points that can be plotted. Only available for BigQuery data sources.

Opacity

Sets the opacity of the filled areas.

Border color

Sets the color of the filled area borders.

Border weight

Sets the thickness of the filled area borders.

Configure a heatmap

Example

Here's a heatmap that shows bike share statistics for London, U.K.

Heatmap showing London bike share data.

Data properties

Location

A dimension that determines where the data appears on the map. Note that this field can be of any data type, as long as Google Maps can geocode the values appropriately.

Weight (optional)

A metric that determines how much each individual point contributes to the appearance of your heatmap. By default, every point has the same value. You can specify a field with weights if you want to assign different values to the points.

Style properties

Heatmap layer

A heatmap aggregates points to create the visualization. To create the map, a circle is drawn around each point, and values in the circle decrease as the distance from the point increases. These settings control the appearance of the circles.

Heatmap aggregation

When multiple circles overlap, their values are aggregated in one of two ways:

  • Sum. The values on the overlapping portions of the circles are added.
  • Mean. The values on the overlapping portions of the circles are a weighted average of the nearest points.
Slider control

Sets the relative size of the circles.

Opacity

Sets the opacity of the circles.

Color domain min/max

Sets minimum and maximum values for the color range.

Intensity

Adjusts the range of colors in the heatmap towards the high or low end.

Tip: Heatmaps in Looker Studio are based on the deck.gl visualization library. You can learn more about these settings in the heatmap layer documentation.

Configure a line map

Example

Here's a line map that shows roads in the state of New York. The map is filtered by route_type to include only "I" (interstate) roads.

A Google Map showing interstate highways in New York state. A tooltip appears over the mouse cursor, identifying the selected route as I-90, and showing "route_type" as "I".

This example was created using the BigQuery US Roads public dataset.

Data properties

Location

A dimension that determines where the data appears on the map. Note that this field can be of any data type, as long as Google Maps can geocode the values appropriately.

Geospatial field

A dimension that contains BigQuery linestring data. This option is only available when you connect to a BigQuery data source that contains GEOGRAPHY data. When you use a Geospatial field, the Location field just provides the default tooltip, unless you override it with a different Tooltip dimension.

The example line map above uses road_geom as the Geospatial field.

Tooltip

(Optional) A dimension that provides tooltips (labels) for the data. Providing a tooltip lets you override the default label provided by the location dimension. For example, you can base the map location on the store address but use the store name in the tooltip.

The Tooltip and Color dimensions must have a unique value for each location. If the values are duplicated, you'll see an error message:

Can't show Google Maps

The Tooltip dimension has multiple values for the same location. Choose a Tooltip dimension that has a unique value for each location.

To fix this, use a dimension that has a 1:1 relationship with your location dimension.

The example line map above uses full_name as the Tooltip field.

Color dimension

(Optional) A dimension that provides the categories used for the color of the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color metric option.

The example line map above uses route_type as the Color dimension field.

Color metric

(Optional) A metric that provides the values used as a color scale for the geo data. If you choose this option, you can't use the color dimension option.

Style properties

Line map Layer

Max. number of polygon vertices Sets the maximum number of data points that can be plotted. Only available for BigQuery data sources.

Opacity

Sets the opacity of the lines.

Slider control

Sets the thickness of the lines.

Common style properties

All map types share these settings.

Background Layer

Controls the appearance of the base map.

Map | Satellite Sets the default map background.
Style

Sets the color theme for the map. Use the report's current theme or select one of the preset map styles. To create a custom map style, edit the map's JSON code.

Roads, Landmarks, Labels Use the sliders to select the level of background details to display in the map background.

Layer Type

Determines how locations on the map are shown. You can show locations as:

  • Bubbles
  • Filled areas
  • Heatmap
  • Line map

Colors

Sets the bubble or filled area colors:

  • If you use the Dimension section's Color option, the colors are managed in the dimension value color map.
  • If you use the Metric sections's Color option, you can create a color scale by picking maximum, middle, minimum, and dataless color values.

Map Controls

Show or hide the interactive map view controls.

Allow pan and zoom Lets viewers adjust the map display with their mouse and keyboard.
Show zoom control Shows the Add icon. and Remove icon. buttons on the map.
Show Street View control Lets users display Street View images for supported locations.
Show fullscreen control Lets users display the map in fullscreen view.
Show map type control Lets users switch between map view and satellite view.
Show scale control Lets users display the map scale in kilometers or miles.

Size Legend, Color Legend, and Weight Legend

Legends help your viewers understand the map by describing the colors and bubble sizes used.

Size legends describe the size metric in bubble maps. Color legends describe the color dimension or color metric. Weight legends describe the weight metric. Thickness legends describe the line thickness metric used in a line map.

If your map has a color dimension, the color legend uses distinct colors for each value. If your map has a color metric, the legend uses a color gradient.

Examples:

Sports venue capacity of NCAA team conferences.

Example of a bubble map showing the venue capacity metric using bubble size, and the sports team conference name dimension using bubble color.

Average time on page by region.

Example of a filled area map showing the Average time on page metric using color scale.

  1. Size legend based on the venue capacity metric.
  2. Color legend based on the conference name dimension. View additional conference legends by clickingKeyboard arrow right..
  3. Color legend based on the Avg. Time on Page metric.

Background and border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container.

Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. Border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart's opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Adds a shadow to the chart lower and right borders.

Chart Header

The chart header lets viewers perform various actions on the chart such as exporting the data or viewing the chart in the Explorer tool. Chart header options are:

Show on hover (default) Three vertical dots appear when you mouse over the chart header. Click these to access the header options.
Always show The header options always appear.
Do not show The header options never appear. Note that report viewers can always access the options by right clicking the chart.
Color Set the color of the chart header options.

Tips and limits for working with BigQuery GEOGRAPHY data

A Google Map in Looker Studio can plot up to 1 million points (polygon vertices).

If your query returns more data, the map will show as many polygons as it can within the limit, and you may notice missing polygons.

To reduce the number of points:

  • Apply a filter.
    • Filters on a GEOGRAPHY field can select up to 1 GB of data. If your filters return more, you’ll get an error.
  • Simplify the polygons in BigQuery using the ST_SIMPLIFY function.

Blended and extracted data sources don’t support GEOGRAPHY fields. To join a table containing your GEOGRAPHY field with another table, perform the join in BigQuery using SQL.

Limits of Google Maps

  • Filled area maps don't support Latitude, Longitude or Address geographic field types.
  • For bubble maps, Postal Code can be a U.S. ZIP code (for example, 94043) or an international postal code (example: L4L 9H8). For filled area maps Postal Code can be a U.S. ZIP code.
  • Maximum data limit:
    • 1 million bubbles for Latitude, Longitude fields.
    • 1 million points (polygon vertices) for Geospatial fields (BigQuery GEOGRAPHY).
    • 3,500 bubbles or filled areas for other geographic field types.
      Increasing a map's data limit can make it load more slowly.
  • You can't enable drill down in Google Maps.
  • Google Maps doesn't support using optional metrics.

Geo functions

Looker Studio provides a number of geo functions that you use to work with and transform geographic information in your data sources.

To learn more about these functions, view the Looker Studio function list and filter the functions by Geo type.

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