DataZen

Datazen – Map Not Working? May Never Guess Why

I recently started learning Datazen, along with a lot of folks since Microsoft purchased them. If you do searches on Datazen, there is information out there but not an enormous amount. There is a great overview video by my friend/colleague Megan Longoria at http://www.blue-granite.com/video-datazen-overview. There is also some nice info at http://www.datazen.com/docs/. However there appears to be a HUGE void in posts that detail overcoming issues with the product. I’m sure that will change as more start digging into it. Here’s my first post to help fill the void. That and my karma can always use boosting so I wanted to get this post out asap in case it helps someone getting started as well.

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Many know I love all things spatial so I was naturally drawn to doing one of the maps in Datazen. I get my data situated just right in Excel (another potential post there). There isn’t much to configure when setting up a map but I then do that. You can see what I had below.

MapBeerData

I have some simple brewery/beer data (shocking I know). I wanted to visualize the location with a bubble and the size of the bubble based on beer ratings. I tried address, city, and then even state with no luck. I had hoped to get a more finely defined location but I knew I could get state by the examples and documentation here (http://www.datazen.com/docs/?article=server/configuring_visualizations). It just wouldn’t work at all and kept returning blank map with no bubbles when I would preview. After a stern cussing, I start to look at the sample tables of other map examples. One of the table examples is below.

StateExample

I noticed they had state spelled out fully. Thinking to myself “No way that’s the problem. No way it’s that picky”. I start to give it a shot. You can see above I had used the state abbreviation. I add a column to my Excel data with the state fully spelled out and put that as the key. Lo and behold that fixed the issue!

BeerMap

Finding that Datazen is as finicky as a spoiled toddler and I’m just getting started. There’s a lot of potential there but Microsoft, you have A LOT of work to do!

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