The combination of ArcGIS Maps and Power BI takes mapping beyond the presentation of points on a map to a whole new level. Choose from base maps, location types, themes, symbol styles, and reference layers to create gorgeous informative map visualizations. The combination of authoritative data layers on a map with spatial analysis conveys a deeper understanding of the data in your visualization.

TIP: GIS stands for Global Information Services

The example below uses a dark gray canvas to show regional sales as a heatmap against a demographic layer of 2016 median disposable income. As you'll see as you read on, using ArcGIS maps offers almost limitless enhanced mapping capability, demographic data, and even-more compelling map visualizations so you can tell your best story.

TIP: Visit esri's page on Power BI to see many examples and read testimonials. And then see esri's ArcGIS Maps for Power BI Getting Started page.

User consent

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is provided by Esri. Your use of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is subject by Esri's terms and privacy policy. Power BI users wishing to use the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI visuals, need to accept the consent dialog.

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Terms

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ArcGIS Maps for Power BI product page


Enable the ArcGIS map preview

ArcGIS maps are currently available in Power BI service, Power BI Desktop, and Power BI mobile. This article provides instructions for the service and for Desktop.

Enable the ArcGIS map preview in Power BI service

The ArcGIS map visual is in preview, and must be enabled in Power BI. This tutorial uses the Retail Analysis sample. To enable ArcGIS Maps for Power BI:

  1. From the top right section of the menubar, select the cog icon and open Settings

  2. Select the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI checkbox. You'll need to restart Power BI after you make the selection.

  3. Open a report in Editing view and select the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI icon from the Visualizations pane.

  4. Power BI adds an empty ArcGIS map template to the report canvas.


Enable the ArcGIS map preview in Power BI Desktop

The ArcGIS map visual is in preview, and must be enabled in Power BI. This tutorial uses the Retail Analysis sample. To follow along, download the Excel samples. Then load the Retail Analysis sample into Desktop by selecting File > Import > Excel workbook contents.

  1. Select File > Options and Settings > Options > Preview Features.

  2. Select the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI checkbox. You'll need to restart Power BI after you make the selection.

  3. Open a report in Editing view and select the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI icon from the Visualizations pane.

  4. Power BI adds an empty ArcGIS map template to the report canvas.


Create an AcrGIS map visual

Watch Will create a few different ArcGIS map visualizations and then use the steps below to try it out yourself using the Retail Analysis sample.

Important: Power BI integrates with Bing to provide default map coordinates (a process called geo-coding). When you create a map visualization in Power BI service or Power BI Desktop, all the data in all the fields being used to create that visualization are sent to Bing.

For more information about the data being sent to Bing, and for tips to increase your geocoding success, see Tips and tricks for map visualizations.

  1. From the Fields pane, drag a data field to the Location or Latitude and/or Longitude buckets. In this example we're using Store > City.

    NOTE: ArcGIS Maps for Power BI will automatically detect if the fields you've selected are best viewed as a shape or a point on a map. You can adjust the default in the settings (see below).

  2. Convert the visualization to an ArcGIS map by selecting the template from the Visualizations pane .

  3. From the Fields pane, drag a measure to the Size bucket to adjust how the data is shown. In this example we're using Sales > Last Year Sales.

Settings and formatting for AcrGIS maps

To access ArcGIS Maps for Power BI formatting features:

  1. Access additional features by selecting the ellipses in the top right corner of the visualization and choosing Edit,

    The available features display across the top of the visualization. Each feature, when selected, opens a task pane that provides detailed options.

    NOTE: For more information about the settings and features, see Detailed documentation below.

  2. To return to the report, select Back to Report from the top-left corner of your report canvas.


Detailed documentation

Esri provides comprehensive documentation on the feature set of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

Features overview

Base Maps

Four base maps are provided: Dark Gray Canvas, Light Gray Canvas, OpenStreetMap, and Streets. Streets is ArcGIS's standard base map.

To apply a base map select it in the task pane.

Location type

ArgGIS Maps for Power BI automatically detects the best way to show data on the map. It selects from Points or Boundaries. The Location type options allow you to fine tune these selections.

Boundaries will only work if your data contains standard geographic values. Esri automatically figures out the shape to show on the map. Standard geographic values include countries, provinces, zip codes, etc. But just like with GeoCoding, Power BI may not detect the field should be a boundary by default, or it may not have a boundary for your data.

Map theme

Four map themes are provided. Location Only and Size themes are automatically chosen based on the fields you bind to the location and added to the Size bucket in the Power BI Fields pane. We're currently using Size, so let's change to Heat map.

ThemeDescription
Location Only Plots data points or filled boundaries on the map based on the settings in Location Type.
Heat Map Plots an intensity plot of data on the map.
Size Plots data points on the map based that are sized based on the value in the size bucket in the fields pane.
Clustering Plot the count of data points in regions on the map.

Symbol style

Symbol styles enable you to fine tune how data is presented on the map. Symbol styles are context sensitive based on the selected Location type and Map theme.

Pins

Call attention to points on your map by adding pins.

  1. Select the Pins tab.

  2. Type a location in the search box and select from the dropdown.

  3. Power BI adds a pin to that location and you can change the color of the pin.

  4. Add and delete pins.

Reference Layer

Reference layer - Demographics

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI provides a selection of demographic layers that help contextualize data from Power BI.

  1. Select the Reference layer tab and choose Demographics.

  2. Each layer listed has a checkbox. Add a checkmark to add that layer to the map. In this example we've added average household income.

  3. Each layer is interactive as well. Just as you can hover over a bubble to see the details, you can click a shaded area on the map to see the details.

Reference layer - ArcGIS

ArcGIS Online provides the ability for organizations to publish public web maps. Additionally, Esri provides a curated set of web maps through Living Atlas. In the ArcGIS tab, you can search all public web maps or Living Atlas maps, and add them to the map as reference layers.

  1. Select the Reference layer tab and choose ArcGIS.

  2. Enter search terms and then select a map layer. In this example we've chosen USA Congressional districts.

  3. To see the details, select a shaded area to open the Select from reference layer: Use the reference layer selection tool to selection boundaries or objects on the reference layer.


Selecting Data points

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI allows three selection modes.

Change the selection mode using switch:

Select individual data points.

Draws a rectangle on the map and selects the contained data points.

Allows boundaries or polygons within reference layers to be used to select contained data points.

Note: a maximum of 250 data points can be selected at a time.


Getting help

Esri provides comprehensive documentation on the feature set of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

You can ask questions, find the latest information, report issues, and find answers on the Power BI community thread related to ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

If you have a suggestion for an improvement, please submit it to Power BI's ideas list.


Managing use of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI within your organization

Power BI provides the ability for users, tenant administrators, and IT administrators to manage whether to use ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

User options In Power BI Desktop, users can stop using ArcGIS Maps for Power BI by disabling it on the security tab in Options. When disabled, ArcGIS Maps will not load by default.

In Power BI service, users can stop using ArcGIS Maps for Power BI by disabling it on the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI (Preview) tab in user Settings. When disabled, ArcGIS Maps will not load by default.

Tenant admin options In PowerBI.com, tenant administrators can prevent all tenant users from using ArcGIS Maps for Power BI by disabling. When this happens, Power BI will no longer see the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI icon in the visualizations pane.

IT Administrator options Power BI Desktop supports using Group Policy to disable ArcGIS Maps for Power BI across an organization's deployed computers.

AttributeValue
key Software\Policies\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\
valueName EnableArcGISMaps

A value of 1 (decimal) enables ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

A value of 0 (decimal) disable ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

You can use the provided Group Policy templates to quickly add the required configuration to your Group Policy.

Template

PowerBIEsri.adml

PowerBIEsri.admx

Considerations and Limitations

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI (Preview) is available in the following services and applications:

Service/AppAvailability
Power BI Desktop Yes
Power BI service (PowerBI.com) Yes
Power BI mobile applications Yes
Power BI publish to web No
Power BI Embedded No
Power BI service embedding (PowerBI.com) No

In services or applications where ArcGIS Maps for Power BI (Preview) is not available, the visualization will show as an empty visual with the Power BI logo.

When geocoding street addresses, only the first 1500 addresses are geocoded. Geocoding place names or countries is not subject to the 1500 address limit.


Is there any charge for using ArcGIS Maps for Power BI?

The ArcGIS Map for Power BI (Preview) is available to all Power BI users at no additional cost. It is a component provided by Esri and your use is subject to the terms and privacy policy provided by Esri as noted earlier in this article.

Does ArcGIS Maps for Power BI support Esri Shapefiles?

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI automatically detects standard boundaries like countries/regions, states/provinces, and zip/postal codes. If you need to provide your own shapes you can do so using the Shape Maps for Power BI Desktop (Preview).

Can I view my ArcGIS maps offline?

No, Power BI needs network connectivity to display the maps.

Can I connect to my ArcGIS Online account from Power BI?

Not yet. Vote for this idea and we'll send you an email when we start working on this feature.

Next steps

Blog post announcing availability of ArcGIS maps for Power BI

More questions? Try the Power BI Community