A–Z of geospatial data visualisation

Geospatial data visualisation sounds complex, but it’s the only way for companies to derive valuable insights from huge, location-specific datasets. 

Essentially, these techniques enable raw figures to be plotted in a manner that’s easy to interpret using a digital map – enabling anyone to draw actionable, accurate conclusions. 

In this article, well introduce you to seven of the key geospatial data visualisation techniques that Periscope® facilitates. 

Integral geospatial data visualisation techniques 

With this location intelligence system, you can create all of these visualisation types and many more automatically using your own company data in addition to other authoritative sources: 

1) Choropleth map 

Choropleth maps contain defined areas that have been shaded to a gradient or patterned in such a way as to denote a statistical variable. 

For example, the map might attribute areas with higher concentrations of potential customers to a darker colour than those with lower concentrations. 

This therefore makes this technique ideal for gaining a quick, representative overview of trends within a defined area. 

2) Connection map 

Connection maps involve linking two or more locations together using straight or arching lines. 

Among the most simple of data visualisation types, this type of map can be used to denote an association and direction of travel between two locations (such as a distribution centre and network of stores). 

You can use this type of map to quickly express how locations, customers, stock and other variables interact with each other. 

3) Dot distribution map 

Dot distribution maps involve plotting a scattered series of dots across a defined area to represent the positioning of the features you are analysing. 

You can adapt these dots in terms of size or colour, in order to add an extra layer of insight and help the viewer derive conclusions at-a-glance. 

4) Heatmap 

Heatmaps are similar to choropleth maps, but tend to be much more precise. 

Rather than pre-designating certain areas and shading them as applicable, heatmaps can illustrate trends in specific areas across the entire area under consideration. 

This therefore makes heatmaps ideal for mapping metrics such as footfall, customer locations or the number of amenities/complementary services within a given area. 

5) Proportional symbol map 

Proportional symbol maps are similar to heatmaps in that they involve linking data to specific locations within the area under consideration. 

Each of these symbols (you can use any shape you choose) are sized to reflect the frequency or amount of the metric under consideration in locations close to the centre of the shape. 

6) Radius map 

Radius maps denote distance or travel times (driving/public transport) from the centre of the shape. This could, for instance, be one of your locations, an associated location, or a competitor’s location. 

Traditionally, this radius has been circular, leading to a degree of inaccuracy. However, more advanced location intelligence systems such as Periscope® enable users to create a radius of a bespoke shape in order to more accurately reflect transport networks or other significant features. 

7) Territory outlines 

Possibly the simplest of data visualisation types, territory outlines simply involve outlining the catchment of a particular location. 

They are therefore ideal for denoting the territories of stores or franchise branches within a larger organisation. 

With all these data visualisation types and many other capabilities alongside, there is so much more potential to discover with Periscope®. 

Optimise your company’s data processing capabilities with Periscope® from Newgrove; sign up for a free, 10-minute demo today.