How to Make an Interactive Map in Google Data Studio

How to Make an Interactive Map in Google Data Studio

So in this post I’ll show you how to create what I’ll call an Interactive Map in Google Data Studio. This map will cities you can click on to filter the images displayed.

First I’ll show you the actual map in Data Studio so you’ll know what I’m talking about and then I’ll show you method of making your own.

The Interactive Travel Map

So here is the map. It’s focused on photos I’ve taken in various cities in South Africa.

Step 1: Add your photos to Imgur or another image sharing platform

I chose Imgur as a place to host my images, but you could use any other platform. Curiously it doesn’t seem like you can add images to Google Drive and share from there.

images uploaded to imgur

Step 2: Format your Google Sheet with data and links to images

So in a Google Sheet I’ve created the following columns;

  • Display order
  • City
  • Country
  • Info
  • Read more URL
  • Art image link (for Image field)
  • Famous building link (for Image field)
  • Landscape link (for Image field)
  • View of City link (for Image field)

Now the data in Google Sheet will look something like this.

data in google sheets

Step 3: Add your Google Sheet as a Data Source in Data Studio

The next step is to add your Google Sheet as a data source in Google Data Studio. Once we’ve done that the next step is to add Image fields for each of the existing links to photos.

I’ve covered how to add images to a Data Studio report in a previous blog post, so won’t go into too much detail here.

You click to ‘Add a Field’, then use the IMAGE function, add a link to it and it will display the image from the link in the report. So your image fields should look like the example shown below.

You click to 'Add a Field', then use the IMAGE function

Step 4: Creating the map in Google Data Studio

So for the cities to appear on the map they need to be correctly assigned as the data type ‘Town/City’ in your data source.

City as Town/City geographic data type in Google Data Studio

So we can add a Geo Map with our Dimension as City, our metric as ‘Record count’ and the zoom area being South Africa.

Adding a map of South Africa to Google Data Studio geo map

Step 5: Adding the single image Tables to the report

So for each of the images displayed we will choose a different one of our four image fields. To create this add a Table. Choose the Image field as your dimension. Remove any chart headers, border colours, pagination, and row numbers from the table. Remove any metric from the table.

Change Rows per Page to 1. And for this report I’ve set it to Sort by Display order > ascending so it will display the images in the order I’d like them to be displayed.

To create this add a Table. Choose the Image field as your dimension. Remove the chart headers, pagination, and row numbers from the table. Remove any metrics

Step 6: Adding the finishing touches to your interactive map

So below I’ve added in some custom colours to the report, and added in the images how I’d like them to be displayed. You can click on any of the cities to display different photos.

Cape Town selected as part of the interactive map in Google Data Studio

So hope you found this post about making an an Interactive Map in Google Data Studio useful and interesting!

My Other Blog Posts

If you liked this post you might enjoy some of my other blog posts on digital marketing, web analytics and data visualization.

Download Google Data Studio Templates

If you’d like to download one of my Google Data Studio reports as a template to use for your own data, you can visit Data Studio Templates and purchase one.

Michael

Author Michael

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