Do you have another dataset that could be used to enhance your existing dataset?  Do you want to create thematic maps by a shapefile of your choice?  Is your shapefile too complex for simple “filter my data by shape” actions in your dashboard?  

… if you answered yes to any of these questions, creating data joins may be right for you!

Joining datasets together is very easy with SpatialKey and can be done if you are the Creator/Editor or Contributor of a dataset.  This page will walk you through the types of joins that you can create and the various ways in which you can set them up.  Once you have joins setup, you can use them in your dashboard to further enhance your analytics.  Check out this article for tips on using dataset joins in your dashboard.

Types of joins

Joining two point datasets

Two datasets can be joined to allow data from a secondary dataset to be displayed along with data from the first as if the secondary data was part of the primary.  When joining the datasets you select a field from each dataset to be used to align and merge the datasets – these two fields must be the same data type (i.e. text, number, date).  For the join to work successfully, the selected field must contain only unique values in each dataset to avoid a many-to-many join relationship.  Neither dataset is permanently altered after a join is setup, but it will be possible to perform analysis using the correlated data.

Joining a point dataset with a geoset

A geoset contains boundaries like states, counties, postcodes, storm tracks, or even custom polygon shapes.  Here are a few examples of geosets.

Zip Codes Police Districts Supervisor Districts
Zip Codes Police Districts Supervisor Districts

You can join a dataset to a geoset using matches between point locations in the dataset and geoset.  The join will allow you to view your dataset thematically within the shapes of the geoset.  This allows you to visualize the data within the shapes of the geoset – for example, to show the total amount of sales in each sales territory, votes for/against a proposition within political districts, or the insured value of properties within a storm.

Setting up the join

Through manage data settings

To begin, select the Manage Data tab and find your dataset.  Click on the gear icon to view data settings and select the “Join Data” option on the left side of the screen.  Note: you will only see this option if you are the Creator/Editor or Contributor of the dataset.

From here, you have the option to select the point dataset or geoset you wish to join to your dataset.

If you select a point dataset, you will be asked to select a common field between the two datasets to use for the join.  The two fields must be the same datatype (i.e. text, number, or date) and must contain unique values as to avoid a many-to-many join relationship.  After you select your common field, the join will be created.

 

If you select a geoset (aka. boundary dataset) instead, you will be asked to either use point locations or select a common field between the dataset and geoset.  Selecting to use point locations will take the latitude and longitude coordinates from your dataset and place them in the correct boundary from the geoset – this is called a point-in-polygon lookup.  Alternatively, if you select to use a common field, the two fields must contain the same datatype (i.e. text, number, date).  We will select “Use the Point Locations” in the screen below.

 

Once a join has been made with your dataset, you can review the join in the “already joined” tab.  Multiple joins are allowed with a single dataset.

With the dashboard setup wizard

When launching a dashboard for a dataset,  you are asked a few quick questions in order for the correct dashboard to be loaded for you.  If you select the “Thematic Shape Map” option, you will be able to “Add another boundary file”.  This is the only type of join that you can set up from the dashboard setup wizard.  Note: you will only see this option if you are the Creator/Editor or Contributor of the dataset.

 

Select the dataset that you wish to join with your dataset – notice that the only options for selection are boundary datasets.  Choose to use point locations or select a common field for the join.

 

Your join is now set up and can be used in your dashboard!

From within a Dashboard

What happens if you are already working with a dataset in a dashboard and you realize that you forgot to set up your joins?  Don’t worry, SpatialKey has made it very easy to set up joins from within a Dashboard.  Simply expand the dataset configuration panel, select a visualization, and “add fields from joined datasets”.  Note: you will only see this option if you are the Creator/Editor or Contributor of the dataset.

Follow the instructions based on the type of join you selected.  After setting up the join, you will be asked to select which of the joined fields you want to include in your dashboard.

Your join is now set up and can be used in your dashboard!  Check out this article for tips on using dataset joins in your dashboard.