Google Map Widget

Date: 30-08-2011
Author: Bit Software

One of the eagerly anticipated features added to 9.2 was the addition of an out of the box Google Map Widget. Well, not technically out of the box, but at least a provided plugin with easy to follow instructions for setting it up. While the steps seem straight forward, I often see a lot of questions surrounding it. There`s also a surprise waiting for you if you're currently enjoying the plugin in 9.2 and haven't yet upgraded to 9.2.1.

Obtaining the Plugin
The plugin can be found in the C:Program FilesMicroStrategyGISConnectors folder, along with the ESRI connector that shipped with 9.0.2. In that folder you'll find two Google Map folders, one for an ASP installation and one for a JSP installation. Open the folder appropriate for your environment, and copy the folder to your WebASPxplugins folder.

Obtaining a Google API License Key

Google provides two options for using their Maps API:

  1. A free to use Standard license key:
  2. A Premier license key that requires you to contact their sales department to obtain a quote:
Technically, the biggest difference between the two is the amount of GeoCoding you can do. This is a Google service that allows you to obtain the location on the map for a text based location search, such as a Zip Code, City, State, etc. Think of that as when you use the Google Maps website normally. You can do a limited number of these with the Standard license key, but not enough to support any kind of Analytics. The MicroStrategy plugin doesn't support GeoCoding yet anyway, so you have to provide your own pre-GeoCoded Latitude and Longitudes, which will work fine using the Standard license key.
Once you've obtained the key, browse to the plugin folder that you've copied to your WebASPxplugins folder, and drill down into the WEB-INFxmlconfiggoogle folder. Edit the googleConfig.xml file and put your key between the <mk> tags.
Configure the Report
  1. Create a report with Latitude and Longitude on it and whatever metrics you want.
  2. Make sure that the Row Merged setting is disabled.
  3. Run the report, and under the Tools menu, select "Custom Visualizations". If you don't have that option, you can enable it in the Project Preferences under Project Defaults -> General. There's a check box to enable it.
  4. Check the box at the top to Enable Visualizations for this report, and scroll to the bottom under AJAX and choose Google Map (9.2) or Map (9.2.1+). It was renamed between versions.
  5. Click Visualization Properties and define how your Latitude and Longitude are created, either by separate Attributes or Attribute Forms.
Now you're finished and this report will load up using the Google Map Widget!
by Bryan Brandow

(This articole appears first on Bryan`s Microstrategy Blog)