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Map chart options


Map charts enable users to visualize geographic data on responsive and interactive maps. These maps also provide significant control of the way that map points are plotted.

To create a map chart, your query must include at least one dimension that is based on geographic data. If you include measures in your query, the map will represent that data about your locations. For example:

In this example, the Location dimension, which is based on latitude and longitude data, represents the location of each airport. The Max Elevation measure displays elevation information about the highest elevation for each airport on the map, with points color-coded by value.

Limit the precision of latitude and longitude data coordinates to no more than five to six decimal places. If coordinates exceed seven decimal places, the map will not display any data points.

Building an interactive map chart

You can build an interactive map chart by selecting the Map visualization type in the Visualization bar. To create a map chart, your query must include at least one of the following fields:

Once your data is organized, you can use the visualization options for editing interactive charts, as described on this page. Access the visualization options menu by clicking the gear in the upper right corner of the Visualization bar. See below for map chart options. Some of the options listed below may be grayed out or hidden in situations where they would conflict with other settings you have chosen.

Plot menu options

The Plot tab allows you to select the way that your location data will be plotted. Each choice will have slightly different formatting options, as appropriate for the plot type. In addition, the Plot options are different depending on whether a map layer is defined in the LookML for your dimension.

For dimensions that are not associated with a map layer, the following Plot options are supported: Zip code dimensions automatically have a US zip code map layer assigned. For other dimensions that have a defined map layer, you will see this set of Plot options:


The Points map visualization will plot each row in the underlying data table as a discrete point on the map.

A location dimension by itself will place points of uniform size and color. Adding a measure to the underlying data table enables the points to be scaled by color or size.

Automagic Heatmap

The Automagic Heatmap visualization will display the data in the underlying query as a heatmap grid. It works by dividing the visible map into equal squares, then calculating which values in your data fit into each square. The squares are colored according to a measure that you choose. Zooming this map in or out will prompt Looker to re-calculate the grid, so that the granularity is appropriate to the zoom level.

For this plot type to work properly, you must select both a location dimension and a measure.

The Automagic Heatmap will re-query your data in order to construct the heatmap grid. A location dimension will typically show distinct points with one latitude/longitude coordinate, but while using a heatmap, the dimension changes to the bounding boxes ("Heatmap region from ... to ..") of each square in the grid.

Connect with Lines

The Connect with Lines map visualization takes two fields of type:location from your query, then connects them together in the visualization. Adding a measure to the query will enable you to add a color scale to the lines.

Connect with Areas

The Connect with Areas map visualization takes one field of type:location and connects all the points in the order you've sorted them, forming the boundaries of an area on the map. Adding a measure to the query will enable users to format the size and color of the individual location points bounding the area.

Heatmap Gridlines

For heatmap visualizations, the Heatmap Gridlines option adds a border around each of the gridlines used for the heatmap.

Heatmap Opacity

For heatmap visualizations, the Heatmap Opacity settings allows you to specify the opacity of the colors used in the heatmap. Type a number between 0 and 1, where 0 means no color and 1 means totally opaque.

Gridlines on Empty Regions

When the Heatmap Gridlines option is turned on, and you are plotting a dimension that has a defined map_layer_name, you can toggle on Gridlines on Empty Regions to display an outline around the map regions that have no associated data. Below is an example heatmap visualization with Gridlines on Empty Regions turned off (left image) and with it turned on (right image).

Map menu options

Map Style

Map styles clockwise from top left: Light (No Labels), Dark, Traffic (Day), Satellite

Map Style enables users to change the type of background map, and whether map labels (like cities and streets) should be displayed. This option features a drop-down menu with a list of choices:

Map Position

Map Position changes the center point and zoom level of the visible map. There are two options to specify this position:

Not available with the Automagic Heatmap plot type

Map Scale Indicator

The Map Scale Indicator enables you to determine whether a map scale will be shown, and, if so, what units you'd like to see:

Allow Panning

Allow Panning allows you to determine whether users can reposition the map by dragging it. This feature is allowed by default.

Allow Zooming

Allow Zooming allows you to decide if a (+/-) button should be displayed in the upper left of the map visualization, allowing users to zoom in and out. This feature is on by default.

Show Full Field Name

Show Full Field Name determines whether to show the view name along with the field name in map tooltips, which are displayed when users click on map data points.

Show Legend

Show Legend lets you determine whether a map legend should be displayed in the lower right of the visualization. The legend shows the color scale you are using, if you've added a measure to your visualization.

The Show Legend option is available for the following Plot options:

Show Region Field in Tooltip

Show Region Field in Tooltip allows you to display the region information in the tooltip of the map. Click on a point in the map to see the name of the region:

If your Looker developer has defined drilling options for the dimension, you can click the region name to drill further into the data:

Tooltips on map charts look and function slightly differently when viewed on dashboards using the new dashboard experience. For more information, see the Viewing map charts in the new dashboard experience section on this page.

Draw Map Labels Above Data

Draw Map Labels Above Data allows you to display the map's labels above or below the heatmap. This is especially significant with higher heatmap opacity values. If your heatmap is opaque, the labels will not show unless they are displayed above the data:

Points menu options

Not available with the Automagic Heatmap plot type


Point types clockwise from top left: Circle, Icon, Both, None

For maps of plot type Points, Lines, and Area, Type specifies the type of point displayed on the map visualization. There are four types of points for map visualizations (depicted above):

The selection you make for point type impacts the formatting options that are available. The screenshot above show the options for a Type of Both, which includes all the options.


Enables you to choose an icon to display on all map markers (they cannot be dynamic according to your data).


If you've used a Type of Circle, this setting enables you to set the size of that circle according to the following options:

Radius Units

Sets the units that are used in the Radius section to meters or pixels.

Marker Color Value

Enables you to set the color of the map markers in an interactive map. There are two choices:

Value menu options

The Value menu will disappear if the Marker Color Value for map points chart is set to “Custom”

Value Colors

The Value Colors input box enables you to set the color of map points, or define the range of colors to be used if you are color coding according to a measure.

You can input a list of hex strings, such as #2ca6cd, or CSS color names, such as mediumblue. The colors you input first are associated with the lowest values.

Quantize Colors

When turned on, Quantize Colors changes the color scale from a smooth gradient to only the specific colors you've set.

The image on the left depicts the legend when Quantize Colors is off, and the image on the right depicts the legend when Quantize Colors is turned on:

Reverse Color Scale

When turned on, Reverse Color Scale switches the colors that indicate high and low values on the chart, reversing the color gradient.

The image on the left depicts a chart with low values indicated by green, and high values indicated by red. The image on the right depicts the same chart with Reverse Color Scale turned on:

Minimum Value/Maximum Value

These colors set the minimum and maximum values of the color range. This enables you to color code all points below a certain threshold with the lowest color, and all points above a certain threshold with the highest color.

By default this field is left blank, and the minimum and maximum values applied on the legend are the minimum and maximum values from your query.

Viewing map charts in the new dashboard experience

When you view map charts in Looker’s new dashboard experience, tooltips function slightly differently than they do when you view map charts as Looks, as Explores, or in legacy dashboard tiles:

In the new dashboard experience, the tooltips appear on hover, rather than on click. Viewers of a dashboard can see content placed in a tooltip with the html parameter, but if any interactive content is included as part of the html parameter — such as links — viewers will not be able to click on it.

If you click Explore from Here on a map chart dashboard tile, or if you open the edit window for a map chart tile, you will see the Look and Explore version of the map chart.