Create and use a map with pie chart symbols

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Pie chart symbols are used in maps to show the proportions of categorical data associated with a single feature, using either a count or a summary statistic. Pie chart symbols are created on a map using a string field and a location field containing coincident values.

Pie chart symbols can answer questions about data, such as the following:

  • What are the proportions of categories for each feature?
  • What is the count or summary statistic relative to another location?


An insurance company is reviewing purchases of its policies across the United States to determine where there is market potential for each policy class (automobile, disability, life, and property). The analyst in charge of the review joins the insurance portfolio data for the company with a state boundary layer and uses the result to create pie chart symbols showing the proportions of each policy class that are being purchased in each state, with each pie chart sized by the number of policies in the state.

Pie chart symbols showing the proportion of each policy class by state

The analyst can use associated charts, filters, or the map legend to determine which states have potential for each policy class. The analyst selects automobile policies and sees that there is low automobile insurance uptake across the Midwest. The analyst will do more research to determine why there are states with low or no automobile insurance uptake (for example, is automobile insurance not offered, or is there a major regional competitor?) and whether there is potential to increase uptake in those states.

Pie chart symbols with automobile insurance selected

Create pie chart symbols on a map


Pie chart symbols can only be created with multipart datasets in which features are collocated. These datasets can be created using a one-to-many join, or by enabling location on a dataset. If location is enabled with addresses or coordinates, Repeat identical features must remain unselected.

Complete the following steps to create a map with pie chart symbols:

  1. Create a multipart dataset by dong one of the following:
    • Create a join between two datasets. Generally, these datasets will include the features you want to display on the map and a boundary layer.

      The join should be one-to-many, meaning each boundary feature contains more than one feature to map. In the example above, a join was created between a dataset with insurance data and state boundaries.

    • Enable location for the dataset.

      If you enable location for points using addresses or coordinates, Repeat identical features must remain unselected. Enable location only when multiple data points appear in the exact same location. For example, a dataset containing monthly status updates for fire hydrants in a city could contain a new input each month for each fire hydrant. Enabling location without repeating identical features will aggregate the inputs for each hydrant.

      If you enable location using geography, ensure that there are multiple features within each boundary. This method functions the same as a one-to-many join.

  2. Expand a dataset in the data pane so that the fields are visible.
  3. Select one of the following combinations of data:
    • A location field and a string field
    • A location field, a string field, and a number field or a rate/ratio field

    If you created a join in step 1, the location field you select must be the field that corresponds to the boundaries.


    You can search for fields using the search bar in the data pane.

  4. Drag the field to the page to the Map drop zone.

    A map is created.

    If the map was created using a location field, string field, and number or rate/ratio field, the map will be styled using pie chart symbols. If the map was created using a location field and a string field, the map will be styled using unique symbols. Complete the following substeps to change the unique values to pie chart symbols:

    1. Expand the legend to display the Layer options pane.
    2. Browse to the Symbology tab Symbology.
    3. Change Symbol type to Pies.

Usage notes

To access the Layer options pane, click the arrow next to the layer name. You can do the following in the Layer options pane:

  • Use the Legend tab Legend to view the unique values on the map and make selections based on the values. To change the color associated with a value, click the symbol and choose a color from the palette or provide a hexadecimal value.
  • Use the Symbology tab Symbology to do the following:
    • Change the field and statistic displayed on the map or switch to a different type of map.
    • Change the classification type and number of classes.

      Learn more about map classification

  • Use the Annotation tab Annotation to configure the map pop-ups for the layer.
  • Use the Appearance tab Appearance to do the following:
    • Symbols—Change the symbol style properties, such as symbol size, outline style, and layer transparency.
    • Layer effects—Enable bloom and drop shadow effects.
  • Use the Attributes tab Attributes to view details for features that are selected on the map.

Use the Card filter button Card filter to remove any unwanted data from the card. Filters can be applied to all string, number, rate/ratio, and date/time fields. A card filter does not affect other cards using the same dataset.

Use the Selection tools button Selection tools to select features on the map using the single select, box select, and lasso tools; zoom to the selection; or invert the selection.

Use the Zoom tools button Zoom tools to zoom in or out on the map, zoom to a selection, set the default extent of the map, zoom to a layer, or lock navigation on the map.

Use the Visualization type button Visualization type to switch directly between a map with pie chart symbols and other visualizations, such as a summary table, stacked bar chart, chord diagram, or treemap.

Use the Sync extents button Sync extents to link the extent of all maps on the page so they zoom and pan simultaneously.

Use the Maximize button Maximize to enlarge the card. Other cards on the page will be reduced to thumbnails. The card can be returned to its previous size using the Restore down button Restore down.

Use the Enable cross filters button Enable cross filters to allow filters to be created on the card using selections on other cards. Cross filters can be removed using the Disable cross filters button Disable cross filters.

Use the Flip card button Flip card to view the back of the card. The Card info tab Card info includes a count of features and a text box for a description of the card.

Use the Card options button Card options to access the following options:

  • Appearance button Appearance—Change the background color, foreground color, border of the card, and map rotation, and add or remove the basemap layers and north arrow.
  • Order button Order—Move the card forward or move the card backward relative to other cards on the page.
  • Delete button Delete—Remove the card from the page. If you did not intend to delete the card, you can retrieve it using the Undo button Undo.


Pie chart symbols show all unique categories associated with a single feature or location. If the features contain many unique categories, the pie chart symbols may be difficult to interpret.


Use the following resources to learn more about maps: