Since our last release, we’ve continually improved SpatialKey. We developed custom versions for clients, as well as increased the performance or ease of use of existing features. This November release is the richest one to date. We listened to SpatialKey clients and added new features that we hope you will find invaluable. From new map provider options, to filtering via custom shapes, or NEW export capabilities. From being able to join datasets, to improving map legends, or being able to custom map layers with WMS. The November release includes new features and functionality our clients have asked for – we look forward to hearing what you think of them. We like to hear from our customers, feel free to contact us and let us know what you think about this release.

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Shape filter with custom shapes Joining datasets and geosets Web map service (WMS)

An overview of what you will find in this release:

  1. Shape filter with custom shapes
  2. Joining datasets and geosets
    1. Using columns from a joined dataset
    2. Using geographic boundaries to render a thematic/shaded map
  3. Custom map layers with WMS
  4. Additional map providers
  5. Improved map legend
  6. Export improvements

Shape filter with custom shapes

We are constantly collecting feedback from our customers and looking for ways to improve SpatialKey. In a previous release we added the ability to author your own custom polygons/shapes that could be used to filter data. While it was a very powerful feature we watched users and saw them fumble over areas that we knew we could improve. Instead of just tweaking and improving what we already had we went back to the drawing board to build an interface that is intuitive, flexible and allows us to build on in the future. You can now drop rectangles, polygons and circles on the map, resize them, move them and apply them as a filter. For a step by step walkthrough of this feature you can read this article.

choosing a shape  filtering with shapes

Selecting a shape to draw then using them to filter.

Joining datasets and geosets

SpatialKey continues to excel at making complex operations simple and joins is a perfect example of that. This feature enables joining two or more dataset by a common column or a spatial join using a geoset (shape file) that identifies which points fall within a shape. There are two different ways that joins can be used within a report. There is an article that we have created to walk you through the process of creating different types of joins.

Using columns from a joined datasets

Once a dataset is joined to another dataset or geoset you can add columns from the other dataset as if they were a part of the original dataset. One example is with demographics. If you have sales data and demographic data you may want to join them together so that you can look at demographic attritbutes (age, sex, income..) to profile the areas where you are doing well and identifiy areas where you could expand sales. Or you may have a hurricane shape file that you spatialy join with your insurance location file. After they are joined you can bring in the columns fron the hurricane file and use them to filter your location data as if they were part of the original dataset. For example you could filter all locations that were exposed to wind speeds above 100mph. As you work with this feature you will find an endless number of combinations that make SpatialKey an even more powerful analytic platform.

Selecting columns from a join and accessing them within a report.

Using geographic boundaries to render a thematic/shaded map

SpatialKey provides heatmaps, state, county and ZIP code borders to display your data on the map but what if you want to display you data using custom geographic boundaries? For example you may have sales territories, custom rating territories, neighborhoods, districts, sectors or any other geographic boundary that you would like to use to map your data. SpatialKey can spatialy join your boundary shape files with your datasets very easily then used the combined within a report. Don’t be intimidated by “spatial joins” we make it easy, load up your data and give it a try. The examples below highlight the new additions to the map wizard that allow you to quickly switch between the different views in the map using joined geographic boundaries.

Custom map layers with WMS

Web Map Service (WMS) is a widely supported format for integrating imagery into mapping applications. With the addition of WMS in Spatialkey you can overlay imagery on top of the existing map tiles or use a WMS layer as your backdrop instead of using the default Mapquest map tiles. Many third parties provide WMS imagery that can be used in SpatialKey as a visual reference to your existing data. A few examples are; weather data (watches, warnings, cloudcover, wind and temperature), custom imagery (flyovers after weather events, satellite imagery), geographic boundaries (state, county, parcels) . This article will walk you through the process of getting started with WMS.

Example WMS Layers

Example WMS layers

Additional map providers

SpatialKey’s primary map provider will continue to be Mapquest but if you have a need for other map providers we have an expanded offering of providers. In addition to Mapquest we provide Open Street Map free of charge and Google, Yahoo and Microsoft maps for an additional licensing fee. See this article that shows how to switch between the various map providers. If you are interested in Google, Yahoo or Microsoft maps within SpatialKey contact us for licensing information.

Improved map legend

SpatialKey’s shaded maps provide a legend that displays the distribution and coloring by value within the map. In previous versions you were only allowed to select five unique bins (value ranges) with five unique colors for the map and legend. With this release you can adjust from two to an infinite number of bins, customize the ranges for the values, and provide text based labels for the values as shown in the images below. For more details on using this feature watch this article.

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Default with five bins Customizing bins with labels After customization

Export Improvements

SpatialKey allows you to quickly filter data and then export that filtered data into other systems. SpatialKey also allows you to share images of your data analysis with others, either via email or by including those images in PowerPoint presentations. This November release introduces two new approaches for export. Each of the pods (timeline, histogram and categorical pods) now have export options that allow you to export the aggregated data as shown below.

Exporting from a histogram

Additionally you can export a view of the map view through the “Save/Share -> Share a screenshot…” option in SpatialKey as shown below. In this example I am using a report with two maps.