A good dashboard starts with a good map, and configuring your map to take advantage of the latest mapping functionality will enhance its effectiveness. There are two areas where following good practices can help the effectiveness of your dashboards: the map layers and the map design.
Best practices for map layers
The following are recommendations for configuring map layers in web maps used in dashboards:
- Set appropriate refresh intervals—Refresh intervals determine how often the operational layer updates and how often elements in your dashboard that use the map as their data source update. Set a refresh value that reflects how often your data updates. You can also set a refresh interval for the media in your pop-ups, which can appear in elements such as the details element.
- Exclude irrelevant data from operational layers—Apply filters on operational layers so that only the information that is needed is shown.
- Manage operational layer visibility—Too many operational layers in a map can be a distraction. You can turn off the visibility of operational layers on your map. Even if an operational layer is not visible on the map, it can still be used as a data source for other elements in a dashboard.
Best practices for map design
The following are recommendations for designing and styling web maps used in dashboards:
- Set visible range—Multiscale maps enable you to view certain data at specific scales or zoom levels. When you set the visible range for a map, it can keep your maps from getting too crowded.
- Adjust pop-up fields—The fields specified in feature pop-ups determine the information displayed in many dashboard elements. Configure your pop-ups to only show the information you need.
- Bookmark areas of interest—You can bookmark areas of importance or relevance on a map. Dashboard users can use bookmarks you create to quickly jump to the areas of importance.
- Style your data—A map is powerful because of its ability to show data in a variety of ways. However, due to its complex nature, it's sometimes hard to get your data to tell the right story when displayed on a map. Using one of the many styling options, you can style your map to display your data in a meaningful way.
- Include labels for map layers—Labels are short pieces of text that can provide clarity to a map.
- Choose appropriate colors—When choosing the basemap and colors for layers in your map, consider the type of environment where the dashboard will be used. For instance, for dashboards that are viewed in a dark room, use a darker basemap and darker colors for symbolizing layers. For dashboards that are viewed in a bright environment, consider using lighter colors for the map.