Report designers currently rely on the Geo Map component in SAS Visual Analytics (VA) as an informative, reliable way to deliver geo-based information that viewers can easily understand and relate to. With the introduction of data-driven content controls in VA, another option for delivering this geo-based information is available in the form of web maps. This article will introduce web maps, briefly touch on how to integrate them in VA and outline what you'll learn in future #WebMapWednesday articles.
Many users of VA will be familiar with Esri since they provide an option for base maps alongside Open Street Maps for the Geo Map component. Web maps, another offering from Esri, are akin to a more interactive and feature-rich base map. They are presented in a layered format where geographic content and info is overlaid onto a base map along with a section that controls what portion of the map is visible to the user.
Being interactive, Esri web maps are able to convey information to users in more compelling ways, to tell better stories, and to answer questions that a simple basemap with static data can’t. What makes web maps particularly useful is how easy it is to create exactly what you need then share with anyone across multiple platforms. Whether embedding in a webpage, sharing a link, or creating a web app around it, users can make this information available for just about anyone to view across platforms.
While web maps alone provide a wealth of information, even more can be gained when integrating them into a VA report. Esri Web map integration in VA is accomplished through the Data-Driven Content control, joining a host of other third party visualizations that use this method. Esri handles all the visualizations while SAS provides the data. This data is added as a layer on top of the web map’s other layers, and functions in many of the same ways. This requires a hosted webpage built from the SAS open-source GeoWebMap explored in subsequent articles, as part of the #WebMapWednesdays series.
Along with explanations of how to use web maps in VA, this series of articles will explore data associated with the eruption of Mt. Kilauea in Lower Puna, Hawaii, in May of 2018. On May 3rd, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake occurred on the island of Hawaii that led to the inception of the lower Puna volcanic event.
Fissures opened throughout Lower Puna, which is mainly rural but is home to some well-established communities. The first fissures opened in the Leilani Estates area. From May to August there was a steady lava flow through the area with destruction in its wake along with lava fountains, more fissures, and volcanic poisonous gas. Lower Puna has suffered significant damage with much infrastructure falling to the lava flow, around 700 houses lost, and 12.8 square miles of land covered. The bulk of the data regarding the lava flow is provided by the Hawaii State GIS Program and the US Geological Survey. (Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS)
You will finish this article series with a working knowledge of how to produce web maps in VA and your first batch of sample visualizations ready to be integrated in your next VA report. Stay tuned over the next several Wednesday for everything you need to know about integrating Esri web maps into VA!
In the next #WebMapWednesday post, we will dive deeper into what drives a web map in VA and build your first visualization with a web map!
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