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 as well as GeoJSON regions and polyline features, 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.

In this article

How to get started

    Creating a 3D point map or heatmap
    At a minimum, you'll 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:
    • Start time: Determines when the circles appear. If left blank all the points will appear at once. If selected, creates a timeline and shows dots over time. The date format must be specified in the settings panel.
    • End time: Determines when the circles disappear. If not specified the circle remains for the default duration specified in the settings panel.
    • Animation group: Use this to animate points between different values at different times in the timeline. Rows with the same content will animate from one set of values to another based on their start time.
    • Counter category: Used to categorize points, and to determine their color when using a categorical color palette.
    • Counter value: Determines how much each row is counted for by the counter. If not bound to a column, each row's count is treated as one.
    • Scale: numerical data, used to determine the scale at which to draw the event.
    • Metadata for popups: One or more columns to show in the popups.
    • Label: Labels to display next to the points.

    TIP: To display your points data as a heatmap, you can choose to display your points as a heatmap in the Points settings. Learn more about this in this help doc.An example heatmap

    Creating a 3D regions map
    If you would like to have a regions layer, upload your regins to the Regions tab and make sure your Geometry and Name columns are bound. You can learn more about this here.

    TIP: Struggling to find the right regions for your map? Check out our GeoJSON repository where we've sourced, checked, and resized various region files ready for you to download and use in Flourish.

    You can also supply the following information in your  Regions layer:
    • Value: Used to shade regions by a numerical value. Used with a sequential or diverging color palette.
    • Height: Used to extrude regions by a numerical value. 
    • Category: Used to shade regions by a categorical value. Used with a categorical color
    • Metadata for popups: One or more columns to show in the popups.

    TIP: To extrude your regions by a value in your data, you can add a Height column binding and extrude them in the Regions settings. Learn more about this in this help doc. An example extruded regions map

    For lines
    Just like your regions, your lines can be supplied in GeoJSON format. In addition to Polygons and MultiPolygons which are used in the Regions sheet, the GeoJSON uploaded to the Lines sheet can also contain Line and MultiLine features. If you upload Polygons or MultiPolygons to the Lines sheet, they won't have a fill and will look like closed lines. That means you can upload any regions to your Lines sheet and they will be rendered as lines.

    You can also supply the following information in your Lines layer:

    • Series: Used to describe the type of line. You may want to include both rivers and borders on your map. This binding lets you distinguish between the types of lines and will allow you to style them differently later on.

    TIP: Unlike regions and points, lines are passive features, meaning that you can't interact with them or supply information in popups. You can learn more about adding lines to your map in this help doc. An example 3D line map

    Additional settings 
     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.
    • 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.