Visualizations: Choropleth and Graduated Symbols Maps

DevResults has 3 main types of Indicator Visualizations:

  • Map (Choropleth and Graduated Symbols Maps)
  • Graph (Targets and Actuals Graph)
  • Pie (Pie Chart)

The Map produces either a Choropleth Map or a Graduated Symbols Map that displays a single reporting period's data. Choropleth Maps shade administrative areas based on data reported for them--the darkest shade represents the greatest density or highest value. Graduated Symbols are used to show locations as circles with varying size to represent values.

Maps will create 5 equally-distributed categories of your indicator data unless the data format is whole number and the maximum data value is less than 5. (In that situation, we'll use the maximum number that has been entered as the category limit.)

Great For

Maps are good for showing how your indicator's data varies across geographical areas. It's a strong choice when you want to show intensity or density by geography.

Using the Geography filters, you can specifically focus on geographic areas that might be high-priority for you, and you can compare Maps from different reporting periods to show general trends in geographic areas over time.

Bad For

Generally, Maps are designed to show averages or ranges, rather than specific data points. We have bypassed this shortcoming in our Maps by keeping them interactive--you can click on any shaded shape and see a pop-up with details about that shape. But if you download the map for use in a report or presentation, this limitation is real: you're really only seeing data divided into these categories, and you don't have individual data points. In this static/downloaded view, Maps can really only show you summary data rather than detail.

As such, while Maps can generally show you some high-level changes over time, they're not the most effective at detailed investigations of things like "how have we performed in this one geographic area over time?" The Targets and Actuals graph would be a better visualization choice for this question.

Maps also do not allow you to view data by disaggregation.

Configuration Options

Maps have a few unique configuration controls:

Base Map Style

The map will default to the Minimal Base Map Style, but you can choose other styles.

Geographic Disaggregation

The map defaults to the indicator's defined Reporting Level, but you can always select geographies that are less granular (such as country rather than location, etc.). The specific options here vary based on your site's geographic configuration.


Maps allow you to filter the data displayed to just a certain activity or set of activity, or the same for activity status, mechanism, sector, partner organization, awarding organization, or indicator disaggregation category. Select the checkboxes by one or more category choices to show data for only those criteria. 

You can filter indicator data to just particular places, allowing you to make a visualization for a particular geographic area. You can also choose to show aggregate data for all reporting periods (the default), select just one reporting period, or a selection of several reporting periods. 

The User Affiliation filter narrows results to only the activities that the report viewer is affiliated with. For example, if you filtered a report to "User has bookmarked activity" and then shared it with another user, it would show results for the activities that were bookmarked by the new report viewer, not the report creator.

View Full Screen

For the best level of interactivity and display during presentations, we recommend using the full-screen view option in the upper left of the map:

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