In this post I’ll show a way of creating a detailed, custom Google Map in Google Data Studio.
So let’s say you have a list of Addresses that you’d like to map out in Data Studio. What are the steps to get this done? I’ll go over how you can do this using Google Sheets, the Geocode add-on and the newly released Google Maps chart type in Data Studio.
FYI there may be several ways of doing this but this method has worked for me so I decided to share it.
The Custom Google Map in Google Data Studio
So below is our new custom Google Map showing specific locations in Cape Town in Google Maps!
IMPORTANT = As of the moment Google Maps cannot be displayed in embedded reports.
That means in order to view the map you will need to open the report below in Google Data Studio itself.
Click on the Google Data Studio logo in the bottom right hand corner to Open the report in Google Data Studio/
PS – this is what the map is meant to look like if you’re unable to open the report in Google Data Studio.
Note: Reasons for using Lat, Long instead of Address on a Google Map
So as part of the updates for Google Maps you can now create Address and Postcodes, along with Latitude and Longitude data types.
Using the Address data type means that you can type in a specific address landmark and it will be mapped on your Google Map automatically, without any latitude or longitude needed.
However, while this works fine there is a maximum of 1000 values that you can currently have on your map. As shown below.
If you use the Latitude, Longitude data type to map bubbles on your Google Map you can have up to 10,000 data points.
So if you have less than 1000 locations for your map then use Address data type, but if you have more than 1000 then you’ll probably want to use Latitude and Longitude data type.
Step 1: Create a list of Addresses in Google Sheets
The first step is get a list of addresses, as shown below in Google Sheets. These are various restaurants and bars in Cape Town, South Africa.
Step 2: Add the Geocode Add-on for Google Sheets
To do this, we will need to get an Add On for Google Sheets.
Type in Geocode by Awesome Table to find the correct Add-on.
We then select the GeoCode from the G Suite Marketplace.
Once we click on Geocode by Awesome Table we are taken to a preview page. Click Install to add it to Google Sheets.
An Install pop-up will appear and you will need to click Continue.
You will then need to sign into your Google Account and authorize the Geocode Add-on. Once you’ve signed in and allowed access you will see that it has been installed in Google Sheets.
It is now in our list of Add-ons, and it’s time to start geocoding!
Step 3: Start Geocoding!
The next step is to click ‘Start Geocoding’.
I’ve chosen to geocode based on the data in my Address column in my list of addresses. Now
After click ‘Geocode!’ two new columns with Latitude and Longitude data will appear in each row.
Step 4: Add your Data to Google Data Studio
We now need to add our Data to Google Data Studio. To do this we use the Google Sheets connector.
Once we’ve added our data, we then need to create a ‘Lat, Long’ data field. To do this, click to ‘Add a Field’ and then use the following formula; CONCAT(Latitude,”, “,Longitude). You can name this field ‘Lat, Long’.
You will then need to change the data type to Geographic > Latitude, Longitude.
Below is our data in Data Studio, ready to be used to make a report. Note that I’ve also added in a ‘Category’ field stating if the place is a bar, pub, takeaway or restaurant.
Step 5: Add a Google Map to display your Data
So to do this we add a Google Map which is the newly released chart type.
For this map we setup the data in the following way;
Bubble location = Lat, Long
Tooltip = Place
Bubble colour = Category
Bubble size = Record count
Since each record count is equal to one the bubbles will all be the same size. They will be different colours based on the category.
Also note that while I’ve set the default map type to the regular Google Map style you can also use the controls to change the map style. As an example below I’ve changed the map style to Satellite.
I hope you found this fun, interesting and maybe as an inspiration to create your own custom maps in Data Studio!
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