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You can now add regions to your high-performance WebGL-based data maps

Our powerful “3D map” template supports regions in addition to points, timelines and basemaps

When we introduced our Point map template last year, it was able to take a dataset with latitudes and longitudes and render beautiful maps with large numbers of points, optionally with a timeline.

We’ve now added support for regions, such as country or city boundaries, which can be uploaded in GeoJSON format. As a result you can now create lots of different types of maps, so we’ve renamed the template to “3D map”. (This is not a perfect name as the template is also great for making high-performance maps in 2D!).

This post highlights four map types you can make with the updated template. They all work nicely in animated stories, as shown below.

1. Custom regions over a styled base map

Adding regions over a base map container place names and other details is handy for putting the region you’re showing into context. For example, highlighting the boroughs of a city in the context of the wider region.

Duplicate and edit »

To make a map like this:

  • Upload a GeoJSON file to the Regions tab or copy-paste the regions you’d like to add from a different visualization
  • Make sure your column settings are correct
  • Choose a base map style or configure your own in the settings panel under “Base map”

2. High-performance choropleths with specific projections

Maps with base maps are always in Mercator projection, but you can instead remove the base map layer and display your regions with a specific projection instead. Just like in our “Projection map” template, you can choose from over 40 different map projections and shade the projected regions by categorical and numerical values.

In the new template, however, the map will pan and zoom more smoothly (especially with detailed region data) thanks to WebGL rendering, and you can combine projections with a wider range of other features.

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To make a map like this:

  • Upload a GeoJSON file to the Regions tab, or copy-paste the regions you’d like to add from a different visualization
  • Make sure your column settings are correct; note that you can supply several Value columns in order to add a user-facing menu or time slider, like in the example above
  • Select Projection as your map type in the Base map settings

3. Extruded region maps with more options

If you’ve been a Flourish user for a while, you might remember that last year we created a template specifically for extruding regions into 3D over a base map. We’ve now merged that functionality into the new template. The result is not only more robust and performant; it also gives additional options, such as coloring by one column and extruding by another, or using a custom projection.

Duplicate and edit »

To make a map like this:

  • Upload a GeoJSON file to the Regions tab, or copy-paste the regions you’d like to add from a different visualization
  • Make sure your column settings are correct and that the column you would like to extrude by is bound to the “Height” binding
  • In the Regions settings, select to extrude your regions
  • Change the min and max height settings, if needed

4. Timeline point maps with regions

The template still offers the option to plot large numbers of points, either all at once or over time. But now you can also put an regions layer below the points, either to show an extra layer of data with a choropleth or to make certain regions highlighted or interactive with a popup.

Duplicate and edit »

To make a map like this:

  • Upload a spreadsheet with latitude and longitude columns to the Points tab
  • Make sure your column settings are correct – including setting a “Start time” column if you want to show a timeline
  • Configure the color and sizing in the Points settings panel

More features coming soon

We have a stack of other new features lined up for this template. Keep your eyes on our newsletter or changelog to see when they go live. And let us know what you’d like to see added!