In my last post, I pointed out how the Power BI Map and Filled Map have recently added new themes for Dark, Light, and Grayscale in addition to the existing Road and Aerial styles. While offering those same background styles in the Route Map and Flow Map custom visuals, developer WeiWei Cui has taken it further by adding format options for showing or hiding individual elements within those styles.
Perhaps you want the default Road background but want to hide all the roads? Simply find Map element under Format Options and change the Road option from Default to Hidden. This is another way to help focus on what is important in the map — the data — rather than be distracted by labels and roads. You lose the reference that roads can provide when zoomed in, but depending on the area or viewers, lakes and rivers may be reference enough.
Alternatively, you could display Roads but switch the Label option to Off. This view provides the road lines for reference, but removes the road (and other) labels.
There are many other combinations to try. In addition to what you can display with WeiWei Cui’s “Road” and “Label” options, there are options for showing or hiding Bing’s green Forest features, City names, Icons, Buildings, and grey Area features.
Finally, you can adjust the Map control options in the Route Map and Flow Map (similar to Map styles in the Map and Filled Map) and combine some of the element changes with background changes. This would allow minimal focus on the map itself and improve data visualization by removing the viewer’s focus from the flashy Bing default colors and labels.
These options are one way that a custom visual has provided innovation above Power BI’s defaults, and I hope that one day, these granular options make it into some of the other maps in Power BI.