Why is Drilldown Choropleth Map in TMap Better?

February 4, 2024

Drilldown is a powerful feature for Power BI, which can derive business insights from general level to more detailed level. Microsoft provided a free visual "Drilldown Choropleth" in Power BI. Why does TMap provide same function?

Let's see what are the differences.

Firstly, data management is different. Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth visual uses Topojson files hosted by a webserver on premise or cloud for polygon objects; TMap can directly query or import polygon objects from a database managed by SQL Server. The latter is more easy and secure.

Secondly, they are using different method to map data to color. Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth visual maps the midpoint of the data range to center color, which is suitable for data with normal distribution. When data is skewed distribution, it will not work. This is because average value or median can represent center value better by statistics. TMap uses the Smart Gradient to map center color to more meaningful center value: average value, which can help to create more insightful choropleth map (see the another blog). Although Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth provides options for users to adjust the mapping mannually, it is difficult to adjust them for drilldown map because data range changes in different drilldown levels. TMap's Smart Gradient is data-driven, don't need to adjust them manually.

Thirdly, Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth visual put a limitation for drilldown levels to 3; TMap's drilldown maps is more flexible, there is no limitation for its drilldown levels. In TMap, adding an additional drilldown level is just a piece of cake. You just need to drag a wkt column to the bucket "WKT for Linked Layer" or a geographic name column to the bucket "Label for Linked Layer". You don't need to convert it to Topojson files, upload to a webserver and specify ID for it.

Finally, there are many other issues for Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth visual such as not filtering out to other visuals by clicking a region when drill mode is off, coming back the entire map draws in refreshing pages and no base map; TMap can address these issues much better.

In conclusion, comparing to Microsoft's Drilldown Choropleth visual, TMap has advantages on data management, data-to-color mapping method and drilldown levels. Only disadvantage is that you need to pay license fee. You get what you pay for. It is your decision what to choose.

Please try drilldown feature in the drilldown choropleth map created by TMap visual below:

You can go to Microsoft AppSource to download TMap Visual and try it.

To learn more on how to use it, please read tutorials