Answers To Your QlikMaps 3.0 Questions

Between building a map fast and the indoor and venue mapping capabilities, QlikMaps 3.0 has a lot to offer. On the the new release webinar there were so many questions that came in that we weren't able to answer them all live. Here are answers to some of the top questions about QlikMaps 3.0.

Missed the webinar and seeing all these great new upgrades?

Watch The Webinar On Demand Here


Slides from the webinar below:


 

QUESTIONS

  • When can I get QlikMaps 3.0?   answer
  • Can QlikMaps be used with Qlik mashups?   answer
  • Will QlikMaps 3.0 also be available for QlikView?  Will it have the same functionality as QlikMaps for Qlik Sense?   answer
  • Can QlikMaps work with the geocoding built into Qlik Sense?   answer
  • Do you need to go through Sense for the geocoding? Or is QlikView ok too?   answer
  • How does QlikMaps perform K-Means clustering?  Does it integrate with the Qlik engine?   answer
  • There were several similar questions about census tracts and how we used them in the demo.   answer
  • How many individual polygons/points/lines can QlikMaps display at once if needed?   answer
  • What file formats does QlikMaps need for the background maps for indoor and venue mapping?   answer
  • What other systems can QlikMaps integrate with in popups?   answer
  • Does QlikMaps support native KML files?   answer
  • Can QlikMaps work without an external internet connection?   answer
  • The new user interface is great, but what if I want to use expressions as in former versions of QlikMaps?    answer
  • Is there any loss in functionality to accommodate the new self-service user interface?   answer
  • You have shown QlikMaps working with US State / County / Postcode.  Does it work in other geographies?   answer
  • What kind of documentation is available?   answer
  • What kind of troubleshooting is available in QlikMaps?   answer
  • At what point do I need to upgrade to QlikMaps from out-of-the-box mapping?   answer
  • Can QlikMaps plot roads or routes?   answer

 

ANSWERS

 

When can I get QlikMaps 3.0?

We are starting external beta testing this week (December 5-9)! Assuming our beta process goes as well as expected, QlikMaps will be generally available in January 2017.

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Can QlikMaps be used with Qlik mashups?

Yes.  QlikMaps can be used in Qlik mashups identically to native Qlik visualizations.

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Will QlikMaps 3.0 also be available for QlikView?  Will it have the same functionality as QlikMaps for Qlik Sense?

QlikMaps for QlikView 3.0 is also coming soon!  It will launch at the same time as QlikMaps for Qlik Sense, and it will be available for both QlikView 11 and 12.  

While the properties panel for QlikMaps for QlikView isn’t entirely mouse-driven like QlikMaps for Qlik Sense, it does have built-in templates that make it very easy for developers to simply search-and-replace to achieve similar ease of implementation.  This is in line with the market strategy adopted by Qlik:  QlikView is a “guided analytics” platform with some divide between developer and end user, and Qlik Sense is the “data discovery” platform where developer and end user are indistinguishable.

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Can QlikMaps work with the geocoding built into Qlik Sense?

Yes!  As of QlikMaps 3.0, QlikMaps can read the native geo formats used by Qlik Sense.  This means that QlikMaps can take advantage of current and future enhancements to Qlik geo data profiling / geocoding.  This also means that it is extremely easy to swap out an out-of-the-box map with QlikMaps with no data model changes.

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Do you need to go through Sense for the geocoding? Or is QlikView ok too?

You can use any geocoding strategy that you would like.  The native Qlik geo data profiling solutions are great (and will continue to get better!), but there are other options available.  In fact, we have plans to roll out an enhanced Qlik-based geocoder in early 2017!

Depending on your requirements for geocoding precision, the geocoding process may be a simple as incorporating a .qvd file (included with your QlikMaps maintenance) into your data model.  We offer plug-and-play .qvd files that can be snapped into your data model that, for example, can provide postcode boundaries and postcode latitude-longitude coordinates.  In most applications, this level of precision is acceptable, so it’s that simple!

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How does QlikMaps perform K-Means clustering?  Does it integrate with the Qlik engine?

Qlik does not currently support K-Means Clustering out of the box, but that’s okay because QlikMaps has it built in!  QlikMaps can use this type of machine-learning to intelligently color polygons/lines/marker and to size lines/markers.

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There were several similar questions about census tracts and how we used them in the demo. Here is a broad answer covering all of these questions.

We understand the importance of demographics in regard to geospatial data discovery.  This is common globally, not just in the US.  The examples below discuss the approach for US demographics, but they can be applied anywhere.

If you want to display census and demographic information as an overlay, you can simply point QlikMaps to the US Census Bureau’s public ESRI ArcGIS system.  There are several ways to do this, but the method used in the demo was to hit the “WMS” data sources described here.  Ultimately it’s as simple as placing a URL in QlikMaps!

If you want to offer custom coloring, custom popups, or the ability to “slice and dice” by census information, then you will need to pull census information into your Qlik data model.  You can download source shapefiles here, or if you are a licensed QlikMaps customer, you can download this from the QlikMaps product repository.  

Keep in mind that these approaches are not unique to US census information.  The same approach can be utilized with any ESRI ArcGIS system, whether a public server or your own internal ESRI ArcGIS environment.

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How many individual polygons/points/lines can QlikMaps display at once if needed?

We recently dedicated an entire blog post on this subject.  You can read about this detail here.

There is no limit on the number of polygons/points/lines you can plot at a time, but we advise against plotting gigantic data sets – the human eye simply cannot discern so many disparate things at once!  It is usually better to aggregate things to a higher level, and let the user take advantage of drilling and the power of the Qlik associative model to reveal the detailed information.  Users will enjoy a more understandable and usable map without any loss in fidelity or detail since they can ultimately see everything after drilling.

The exception to this general rule is binning.  It is often acceptable to plot thousands and thousands of bins because the human can easily spot trends and anomalies in shapes that do not overlap and are identical in size and shape. See here for more details and examples.

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What file formats does QlikMaps need for the background maps for indoor and venue mapping?

The examples for the airport terminal and circuit board apps used standard .jpg and .png image files as a background.  

The examples for the stadium did not have a background.  Individual polygons/lines/markers for stadium sections/rows/seats were used in lieu of a background, but we could have easily offered an image of the stadium in the background as an additional point of reference.  

The example of the shopping mall used a combination of polygons for stores + a background .png image of the mall layout.

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What other systems can QlikMaps integrate with in popups?

QlikMaps popups are nothing but HTML, so you can think of them as mini web pages.  As such, anything you can do in a regular web page, you can do in a QlikMaps popup.  This means that QlikMaps can literally integrate with anything in popups!

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Does QlikMaps support native KML files?

As of QlikMaps 3.0, QlikMaps has native support for KML files loaded in the standard Qlik load script.  In former versions and in QlikMaps 3.0, there are several ways to work with KML, ESRI shapefiles, and other industry standard file formats; one approach is mentioned here.

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Can QlikMaps work without an external internet connection?

Yes!  The only differences between online and offline modes are the ability to perform live Google searches and access to external base map providers.  If you don’t need a base map as context for your map or you have your own internal base map tile server, then QlikMaps works perfectly in offline mode.

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The new user interface is great, but what if I want to use expressions as in former versions of QlikMaps?  

All of the expressions are available if you have more advanced requirements that require advanced expressions.  You simply tap the gear icon to expose and edit the underlying expressions.

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Is there any loss in functionality to accommodate the new self-service user interface?

No!   No functionality was sacrificed in simplifying the user interface!  As discussed in the question above, all of the underlying expressions are still available if you have advanced requirements that cannot be satisfied with the simplified UI.

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You have shown QlikMaps working with US State / County / Postcode.  Does it work in other geographies?

Yes!  We actually showed an international example when we built the app from scratch by pulling in a raw spreadsheet.

Not only does work in all geographies, included with your QlikMaps maintenance is access to a global library of administrative and postal polygons and latitude-longitude coordinates.  This means that you can location-enable and geocode your data as simply as incorporating a .qvd file into your existing app’s data model.

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What kind of documentation is available?

We have an online knowledge base found at http://qlikmaps.com/docs.

The content of the knowledge base is constantly growing based upon feedback, so if you’re looking for something that isn’t already there, let us know, and we’ll add it!

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What kind of troubleshooting is available in QlikMaps?

As of QlikMaps for Qlik Sense 3.0, you can go to “table mode” to see all of the raw data that QlikMaps is using behind the scenes for each layer.  

When you hover over a column, you get to see the raw expressions used by QlikMaps as well as some metrics about cardinality and data sizes.

When you hover over a field in the “popup” column, you can see the popup rendered as HTML, just as you would see if you clicked on that feature in the map.

In QlikMaps for QlikView, you can set the map zoom to “0” to see summary statistics...

…and also the raw data used behind the scenes.

In QlikMaps for QlikView and QlikMaps for Qlik Sense, you can see that each QlikMaps layer is just a “straight table” behind the scenes.  This means that anything you can do with a native Qlik object – use variables, expressions, etc – you can also do with a QlikMaps layer!  This also explains how QlikMaps integrates at the data level with the rest of your data model.  Hopefully this removes any remaining mysteries about how QlikMaps works!

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At what point do I need to upgrade to QlikMaps from out-of-the-box mapping?

This was mentioned at 3:00 and at 59:30 in the webinar, so please take a look there for a summary.

The main points mentioned in the webinar were drilling, multilayer, external data, and sophisticated popups, but there are also other situations when it is time to consider a move from out-of-the-box maps to QlikMaps.  This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are some common reasons people use QlikMaps vs. the out-of-the-box maps:

  • More control over coloring.  As a very basic example, color things red if below a threshold and green if above the threshold.
  • More control over sizing
  • Plot lines
  • Virtually visit a location via street view 
  • Density analysis
  • See relationships among entities
  • Indoor / venue / microgeography / microlocation mapping
  • Plot more than 3000 polygons/points
  • Plot current location

Perform geospatial what-if analysis by placing an arbitrary marker on the map.

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Can QlikMaps plot roads or routes?

Yes!  We didn’t get a chance to show an example during the webinar, but QlikMaps can plot lines in addition to polygons and points. 

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Patrick Vinton's photo
Chief Technology Officer
Patrick is in charge of product development and management at Analytics8. When he's not working, he can be found playing with his son, Oliver or sharing a bottle of wine with his wife while binging on Netflix.

 

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