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What Is a Data Visualization Map?

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer

A data visualization map generally provides a way to correlate information, identify patterns and trends, and find anomalies without manually sorting through numbers. It can represent business processes or data in a geographical context. By mapping data, analyzing it and acting on trends is generally more efficient; companies, for example, can geographically view product sales, accidents, or consumer details on a map to find ways to improve worker safety or customer satisfaction. Often used as an alternative to spreadsheets, a data visualization map can be created and organized using specialized computer software.

Large companies generally depend on the interpretation of data to make decisions. These data often reflect trends that can go unnoticed without the proper tools, so important details may be missed that would otherwise give the company an opportunity to pursue a particular consumer market or reverse revenue loss, for example. A data visualization map can help because there may be a geographic context even if this doesn’t seem so. The map typically helps to relate the data spatially, in addition to the analysis of what is being monitored, at what time, and the quantity of the variable.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

In addition to aiding visualization, mapping data can provide other capabilities when combined with sophisticated software. Interactive tools for data mining can include zooming, panning, as well as effects that happen when a mouse cursor is moved over a certain area. Different types of data are sometimes featured in different layers, which can be viewed on a map by clicking on specific commands. Colors and scales are also often beneficial for interpreting data as well.

Many data visualization programs work with common database systems and can be used for creating other applications. They often help with managing data related to countries, roads, cities, or other geographical features. On a smaller scale, floor plans, seating charts, as well as the layout of a warehouse can be visualized on a data visualization map.

Regardless if it helps identify business data trends or weather patterns by region, a data visualization map can use shading and colors instead of numbers for showing details and trends. Online data visualization is another form in which information, whether public or limited to particular workers or companies, is generally available via the Web. Even enterprise data can be accessible this way, so information can be found in little time, onscreen, by searching for it using a secure online database.

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