Work with layers

In ArcGIS for Power BI, you work with geographic data through layers. Layers are logical collections of geographic data that are used to create maps; they are also the basis for geographic analysis. For example, a Power BI data layer may represent a collection of retail outlets and include attributes that describe each outlet's properties, such as the name of the store, its manager, quarterly or annual profit and revenue, and other possible attributes. Reference layers can be added to your map to provide context for your data layer. Reference layers from your ArcGIS organization or ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World can include demographic data such as household income, age, or education level, or they can provide more information about areas surrounding the locations on your map.

You can do the following to customize your map contents in ArcGIS for Power BI:

  • Show or hide the layer list.
  • Change a layer's visibility.
  • Show a layer's legend.
  • Rename a layer.
  • Select locations.
  • Zoom directly to a layer's extent.
  • Delete a layer.

Note:

Some map tools are available only when the report is in edit mode.

Layer types

Your map can contain a variety of layers:

  • Data layer—A layer created using your Power BI data. A map can contain only one data layer. Locations can be displayed as points or polygons.
  • Reference layers—Feature service layers added from ArcGIS or ArcGIS Living Atlas that provide context for your data. A map can contain multiple reference layers.
  • Drive-time layer—Similar to a reference layer, defines an area on the map within a specified distance from a location. A map can contain only one drive-time layer.
  • Heat map layer—A data layer styled as a heat map. Only data layers styled using points can be rendered as heat maps, and a map can contain only one layer created using Power BI data.
  • Basemap—Used for viewing only, the basemap provides visual context for your data. You cannot change the styling of a basemap layer in ArcGIS for Power BI.

Reference layers

When you add a reference layer to your map, ArcGIS for Power BI filters the ArcGIS item type that you see in the gallery according to the type of account you're using.

If you're using the standard ArcGIS for Power BI visualization that comes with Power BI, you'll only see publicly shared feature service layers when you add a reference layer.

If you're signed in using your ArcGIS organizational account, you can choose from the following item types:

  • Feature service layer
  • Map service layer
  • Vector tile service layer
  • Image service layer
  • Web map

Display the Layers list

Note:

This tool is available only when the report is in edit mode.

To view the contents of the map, expand the map tools and click the Layers button Layer list.The Layers list appears to the left of the map by default. As a report designer, you can change the list's visibility and position on the map using the visualization's formatting options.

Note:

If you turn off the Layers list and save your report, report consumers will not see the list on the map.

To change the layer list display, do the following:

  1. With your report in edit mode, click the ArcGIS for Power BI visualization to access the visualization tools.
  2. Click the Format button Format visualization on the Visualizations pane and expand the Layers category.
    Format visualization layer list options
  3. To change the name of the Layers list, type a new name in the Title text box.
  4. To turn off the layer list, move the Show layers slider to the left.

    The Layers list is available in the map tools by default. When you turn off the Layers list, the Layers button Layer list no longer appears in the map tools.

  5. To pin the Layers list to the map, move the Anchor slider to the right.

    When the anchor is enabled, the Layers list appears in a fixed position over the map. Click the arrow at the bottom of the pane to expand or collapse the list.

    When you anchor the Layers list, the list is pinned to the map and the Layers button Layer list no longer appears in the map tools. If you turn off both the Show layers and Anchor options, consumers will not have access to the Layers list.

  6. From the Layers position drop-down menu, choose Right to display the list to the right of the map, or choose Left to display the list to the left of the map.

Change the layer order

Each layer on your map appears in the Layers list as a separate entry with its own set of tools.

The order in which ArcGIS for Power BI draws layers on the map depends on the order in which the layer was added and on its type and content. The basemap is always positioned on the bottom of the list and does not appear in the Layers list. Heat map layers and reference layers that contain polygons are placed above the basemap, and reference layers that contain points are placed above those. The topmost layer is typically a data layer created from Power BIdata.

To change the order of map layers, click the layer in the Layers list and drag it to its new position in the list.

Change a layer's visibility

The Layers list displays all the layers in a map that are displayed by default. You can specify which layers to show and which ones to hide from view, making it more efficient for you to work with locations on the map, or to use your map to tell a different story.

To change a layer's visibility, do the following:

  1. To hide a layer, click the Toggle layer visibility button Show layer on the layer that you want to hide.

    The layer is hidden and the icon on the layer changes to a closed eye Hide layer.

  2. To restore the layer's visibility, click the visibility button again.

Show layer legend

To display the legend for a single layer, do the following:

  1. On the layer that you want to modify, click the Show layer legend button Expand to expand the layer entry.

    The layer entry displays the styling applied to the selected layer. If the features in the layer are styled by group or category, the layer card shows the styling of each.

  2. Click the button again to collapse the layer entry.

Change a data layer's style

Note:

This tool is available only when the report is in edit mode.

ArcGIS for Power BI uses the specified data, location type, and other fields placed in the visualization field wells to determine the most efficient way to display the data on the map. As a report designer, you can modify the default styling to display the map using a different theme or symbology to tell your story.

For detailed information, see Change the map theme.

Select locations

The selection tools allow report or dashboard consumers and designers to interact with other visualizations by selecting locations on the map.

Different selection tools are available depending on the layer type and the tools that the report designer has enabled for consumers. For example, if the map contains a reference layer, the Select locations by reference tool is available from the selection tools menu when the reference layer is active.

To select locations on the map, click the desired layer in the Layers list and choose the appropriate selection tools. For detailed information, see Select locations on the map.

Rename a layer

Note:

This tool is available only when the report is in edit mode.

To rename a layer, do the following:

  1. In the Layers list, double-click the name of the layer you want to rename.

    A text box appears.

  2. Type a new name for the layer in the text box, and press Enter.

    The layer's new name is saved and appears in the Layers list.

Zoom to the full extent of a layer

To view the full extent of a layer, do the following:

  1. On the layer that you want to modify, click the Layer options button Layer options to display the layer tools.
  2. Click Zoom to layer.

    The map zooms to display all the locations on the layer.

Delete a layer

You cannot delete a data layer from the map. All other layer types can be removed.

Note:

This tool is available only when the report is in edit mode.

To delete a layer from a map, do the following:

  1. On the layer that you want to modify, click the Layer options button Layer options to display the layer tools.
    Note:

    You cannot delete a layer that was created using Power BI data.

  2. Click Remove.

    A confirmation message appears.

  3. Click OK to confirm the deletion.

    The layer is permanently removed from the map.