Visualizing Data Using IBM Cognos Map Manager

IBM Cognos Map Manager  Tips

August is here. Finally, it’s time for that long awaited summer road trip. It’s great fun to pull out the map and choose your exciting destination. Maps are great visual aids. They’re a great way to add pizzazz to your Sales Region reports over the standard layout of columns of numbers. But wait, your Sales Regions are comprised of multiple states. So, you can’t use one of the canned maps that IBM Cognos BI offers. Despite this glitch, creating custom maps for use in Report Studio is really quite easy to start visualizing data using IBM Cognos Map Manager.

Before the fun begins, check with your system administrator as to where on your network the IBM Cognos Map Manager program resides and that you have administrative privileges. The path should be the same as the IBM BI product installation. Knowing the right path will be essential when saving your custom map.

I know my company's sales regions are within the continental United States. After opening IBM Cognos Map Manager from IBM Cognos Connection, I begin building my custom map by opening the file for the 48 states of the continental US. To prevent accidentally overwriting the canned map, I immediately do a File Save As. In order for the map to be viewable in IBM Cognos Report Studio you’ll need to make sure the map in saved to the right location. Look for the Maps folder within the Cognos installation directory and save your file as a .cmf file there.

I’m saving my file as
C:Program FilesIBMCognosC10MapsSalesRegions.cmf

I have four separate sales regions in my company. So, I’ll be creating four custom layers. To create a custom layer in IBM Cognos Map Manager go to Tools then Define Custom Layer (from the menu bar). Next, click on the Add button in the Define Custom Layers dialog box. After I name my layer with the name of my sales region, I click on the Features tab and add the states included within that region. When I finish creating my four custom layers representing my four sales regions, I save the file and can close out of IBM Cognos Map Manager.

Now I want to display my customized Sales Regions map in my Sales by Region report. I open the report in IBM Cognos Report Studio. From the toolbox tab I drag the Map object over to the Page area. Then the Choose Map dialog box opens. You can see your Sales Regions map as one of the options to choose. Notice that your four sales regions are listed under the Display Layers. Now, Click on your Sales Regions map and all four of your sales regions. Choose (None) for the Regions layer since we want our map to show the four geographical sales regions.

ibm cognos map manager

Next, Click OK and run your report. Viola! Cognos Viewer displays our color coded customized Sales Regions map.

ibm cognos map manager

Look for a future blog on drilling through to detailed sales reports from your customized map. In the meantime, take out your road map and enjoy your summer vacation travels. If you have any question or need assistance with IBM Cognos Map Manager, or Cognos BI, contact us at

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