Join layers

When you add a data layer from Power BI to an ArcGIS for Power BI map, the map interacts with other visuals on your report to provide additional information about your data. If your Power BI data does not contain spatial information such as addresses or coordinates, you can link data attributes from Power BI to those from a reference layer added from ArcGIS to provide deeper insight into your data. You join the data layer and the reference layer by linking common attributes in each dataset.

For example, you might have a Power BI dataset that contains detailed information about your company's inventory. You can associate this data with geographic features in the reference layer and allow the map to interact with other visuals on the report, in the same manner as a Power BI data layer.

This feature includes a separate set of selection tools to help you interact between the reference layer and other visuals.


To use the layer join feature, ensure that the ArcGIS reference layer contains attributes that match those in the Power BI dataset. The name of the attribute does not have to be identical, but the data type must be the same; you join numbers to numbers, strings to strings, and so on.

This feature is available to both Standard and ArcGIS users in ArcGIS for Power BI.

Create a layer join

To join a reference layer to a data attribute, follow these steps:

  1. Create a report that contains an ArcGIS for Power BI map and other visualizations and save the report.

    You can use Power BI Desktop or the Power BI service ( to create the map-enabled report.

  2. On the ArcGIS for Power BI visual, sign in to your ArcGIS account. Alternatively, use the ArcGIS for Power BI Standard account.
  3. With the ArcGIS for Power BI visual active in Power BI, drag a non-spatial attribute from the Fields pane to visual's Join layer well. You can add up to five attributes to this field.
    Add values to the Join layer well to create a layer join

    If the map does not contain a data layer with spatial information, the map appears empty.

  4. Add a reference layer from ArcGIS to your map.

    Ensure that the reference layer you choose contains attributes that match those in your Power BI dataset.

  5. If necessary, click the Layer list button Layer list to expand the map's layer list.

    Click Map tools Map tools to expand the toolset.

  6. In the layer list, click Layer options Layer options on the reference layer to view the context menu and click Join layer.

    The Join layer pane appears. The data attributes you placed in the Join layer well appear on the left; attributes in the reference layer appear in a drop-down menu on the right.

    Layer join pane with attributes listed for matching.
  7. From the drop-down menu, choose the reference layer attribute that most closely matches the Power BI attribute. You must join at least one attribute to create a join.

    Matching attributes must have the same data type; for example, associate a string value with another string value.

    If you placed more than one attribute in the Join layer well, use the drop-down menus to match each attribute. You can match up to five attributes for each reference layer.

  8. When you've matched all the attributes, click Create join.

    The join is created and the pane reloads to display selection tools.

  9. Use the selection tools in the Join layer pane to select a location on the map.

    As you select locations on the joined reference layer, other visuals on the report with attributes that match those in the reference layer automatically update. If no match exists, a message appears stating that no results were found. You can also select items in other visuals on the report; the map immediately updates to reflect changes.

    Use the selection tools in the Layer join pane to select locations on the map and interact with other visuals on the report.

Modify a layer join

When a reference layer has been joined to data attributes, a link icon appears in the layer's entry in the layer list. You can change the settings for the layer join at any time.

To modify a layer join, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Layer list button Layer list to expand the layer list.

    If necessary, click the Map tools button Map tools to expand the toolset.

  2. On the reference layer in the layer list, click the Join layer button Join layer to open the Join layer pane.

    Alternatively, click Layer options Layer options to view the context menu and click Join layer.

  3. In the Join layer pane, click Remove join.
  4. Drag a new field from your Power BI data into the Join layer well and match it with the corresponding attribute in the reference layer.
  5. Click Create join.

    The layer join is updated with the new values.

  6. To delete a layer join click Remove join.