How to customize the points in your Projection map

Our Projection map template features a powerful Points layer that can help you visualize information about specific locations on your map. In contrast to a traditional region map, a point map uses latitude and longitude coordinates to display area-specific information.

In this article

Circles vs spikes – what's the difference?

The Projection map template allows you to use circles or spikes to visualize your points. While it's very easy to switch between the two in the Flourish editor, these symbols can serve different purposes.

While circles are a very popular way of indicating specific locations and their respective values, they come with a few downsides. Due to the fact that the bubbles grow in all directions, circles tend to cluster and obscure the map more than other shapes. 

In contrast, spikes only grow in height, making lower values easier to spot.

Plotting negative values

A further benefit of the spikes mode is the ability to plot  negative values – something you cannot achieve with points. Since spikes increase in height, negative values will cause spikes to be rendered downwards, rather than upwards.

How to create a point map

1
To add points to your Projection map, you need to add data to the Points layer in the Data tab. Click here to learn more about adding data to any Flourish template.

2
In order for your points to display, you need to provide longitude and latitude coordinates, as well as a numerical value to size the points by.

You also have the option to add another column that will determine the color of your points. If you need all points in the same color, you can leave the Colour category column binding blank.

3
That's it! You can now edit the look of your points in the Preview tab.

Customizing the Points layer

1
Under the Points layer in the editor, select the shape of your points.
2
For circles, select the minimum and maximum radius for your symbols. To make each bubble more visible, increase both values – but keep in mind that this may cause a frequent shape overlap. 

For spikes, select the maximum height and base width. You can also add a maximum value which will hide all points above this number.

TIP: Sometimes, spikes positioned at the top or bottom of your map may get cropped. To fix this, add padding to the top or bottom of your visualization under the Projection settings in the template.

3
Customize the style of your symbols using the opacity and stroke settings. You can also choose a different design for your highlighted points via the Highlight settings.

4
Keep in mind that some template settings are divided into two categories – regions and points. If you need to adjust the categorical legend or point-specific popups, look at the section divisions under each main setting.

Get started with your own Projection map now! »