3D map – an overview

What is it for?

Use this template for visualizing large geographic datasets over time. You can input any data with locations in latitude and longitude format, but it becomes especially powerful with data including timestamps, such as website traffic or financial transactions. Events are shown as pulses on an interactive map, optionally scaled and coloured based on the data.

In addition to the points layer, you can also add GeoJSON regions to this template. This is useful if you'd like to add (optionally extruded) regions on top of a base map along with your points.

How to get started

    At a minimum, you need a spreadsheet of events with columns for latitude and longitude, for example:
    latitude longitude
    -6.081689835 145.3919983
    -5.207079887 145.7890015
    -5.826789856 144.2960052

    If you only have place names and no latitudes and longitudes, you'll need to geocode your data. Various online tools, for example latlong.net, can help with this.

    This will display events on the map, but the timeline will be hidden without a Start time binding for your events. Be sure to set the date format in the "Events" section of the settings panel so that it matches your data. Keep in mind you can also overwrite the date format by using d3-time-format syntax.

    If you've added your start times and your events aren't displaying, you've probably added the wrong date or time format.

    You can also supply the following information in your Points layer:
    • Category: used to track separate categories of events in the event counter, and determines the colours of your events when using a categorical color scale.
    • End time: the end time of the event in the same format as the main timestamp.
    • Value (scale): numerical data, used to determine the scale at which to draw the event.
    • Value (colour): numerical data, used to determine the colour of events when using a sequential or diverging colour scheme.
    If you would like to have a regions layer, upload your regions to the "Regions" tab. You can learn more about this here.
    You can also display an inset map to help the viewer put the current map view of a larger area. By default, if enabled, the inset map shows a globe. But you can set the map to show any region you like by uploading one or more regions (in GeoJSON format) to the "Inset Map Regions" data sheet. Alternatively, if you just want one or more countries, you can copy the relevant row(s) from Regions datasheet of our Projection Map template.
    The map will automatically sets its initial zoom and centre to contain all your points and regions. If you want to override this you have two options. 
    • Restrict the bounds of the map (under Base Map > Viewport)

    • Create a story: hit the "Create a story" button and drag the map into whatever zoom/pan state you like, and it will be automatically saved. If you don't want the navigation bar at the top, choose "None" from the "Navigation" menu. You can learn more about single-slide stories here.