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Author's profile photo Former Member

BI4.2 Webi Getting GeoMaps and Custom Elements for Google Maps Data Viz

Maps are a hot button when it comes to Web Intelligence, which is one of the most requested features as long as I can remember. BI4.2 delivers a double whammy for BI administrators to deliver amazing geographic visualization and analysis features.




New out of the box geomaps are long over-due but finally here for basic map requirements. GeoMaps transform report tables into interactive maps using common geographies. The components are the same found in Explorer and Lumira. Here is a fantastic article on SCN that explains how to use new 4.2 GeoMaps



Custom Elements


New to BI4.2 is custom elements, which allows BI administrators to enable a new wave of visualization options for Web Intelligence. Naturally, we immediately plugged in our CMaps Analytics JS API (which inherits Google Maps for Work), and with a few hours of experimenting we had a new custom element working.




It is an exciting time as SAP modernizes it’s best of breed reporting solution to take advantage of innovate “visualization as a service” offerings for BI4.2. If you want to see the above examples in action or how we built our custom element, live feel free to send me a message here or on social media and I am happy to share online.

We have just scratched the surface of what’s possible, allowing customers to display multiple layers of information like custom regions, drive distance and radius bands, ESRI ArcGIS, and others to be officially announced shortly from CMaps Analytics.

UPDATE 12/2016

What was originally a prototype, has now become part of the CMaps Analytics and is now available for download today.

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      Author's profile photo Thomas Nielsen
      Thomas Nielsen

      Hi Ryan

      I am more interested in knowing, how did you enable you own visualization on the BI Platform.
      What was needed to enable this functionality and can you reuse the visualizations made for eg. Lumira or Design Studio - is it the same technology used?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Sorry for the delayed response... For Webi you go to the CMC and you can enable extensions by providing a URL. SAP provides a specification document that highlights how they want you to load your visualization service. So for 4.2 nothing other than a URL is required for the basic map...

      If you want more functionality, you need the CMaps Analytics extension point which is just a single JAR that you can load onto your BI app server.

      Webi will consume the service and then initialize your visualization code which can then operate inside of a Webi container. It is somewhat limited right now out of the box, but we benefit from having a native extension point (shown on the right pane), which allows us to do a lot more.

      In our particular case, our entire mapping API is cloud based so it makes it super simple to re-use the same functionality across any integration we do. The tough part is jumping through all of the SAP product API hoops and praying things work along the way.

      Webi team has been amazing to work with so we are quite pleased with where things are going.

      Are you part of the ramp up program? I am happy to share details for exactly how we built our service if you are building your own.. If you wanted to actually test out the CMaps component, I can flip a switch and then you can download and install the extension.


      Author's profile photo Hayden Gill
      Hayden Gill

      It'd be great if we could define an object of type 'Geographic' in the universe layer, and either use the SAP country/state/city mapping service or use a stored latitude longitude that we may already have in a database.  Then the end-user doesn't need to continuously map the same objects over and over - they can just use the geographic object straight away: see  Allow GEOMAP in 4.2 to read Latitude and Longitude from universe objects : View Idea

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Using lat/ long for Geo in WebI is a planned feature which is targeted for a later SP this current year

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      I agree...Currently lat and long is treated as standard dimension. The client tools have their "geo" recognition features but while better than nothing, you really should do all of your geospatial work at the semantic layer, not in the apps.

      Most vendors now have spatial data types and indexing (HANA excluded which does not need a spatial index).

      As Henry mentioned we can now use lat / long but there is not much that we can do with it because the maps provides no geographic context (base layers) at lower geographic levels.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Excited to use this feature!!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      All ready to go.

      Author's profile photo Thierry Baraton
      Thierry Baraton

      have you a ou a french distributor ?

      best regards

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      We don't have one but always on the lookout for a good partner in that region.

      Author's profile photo Rik Declercq
      Rik Declercq

      Which maps are available ?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Sorry for delay reply.. Now, we offer Google Maps, MapBox, ESRI, HERE, and Carto.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Anyone who wants to use this element can simply go to our site: or you can always email me direct Currently this is Google - only but very shortly will support Google, MapBox, ESRI, HERE, Carto.

      Here is a video