How To Display Data From a Cognos 8 Report in Google Maps

IBM’s Cognos 8 Report Studio already has built-in maps that allow you to create geographic representations of your data, but they are not without limitations, the most notable being that there are only about a half dozen maps included.   The world-level maps contain every location, but not down to the level of granularity you often need (zip-code level for example).  There are U.S.-only maps that go down to the zip code, but they don’t include U.S. Posessions (ex: Puerto Rico) You can develop custom maps, but the software required to generate the MapInfo files is quite expensive and outside of the range of many project budgets.

One solution is to integrate your reports with Google Maps via the Google Maps API.  The API is capable of marking any location in the world, by a variety of means, including zip-codes, city names, or even latitude and longitude.  The interactivity is about as intuitive as it gets, and you can add markers to highlight specific map points or polygons to outline and color areas of any shape (a state for example)

This article follows-up on the example provided by Rayudu Vecha and Sridhar Munireddy in their developerWorks article; Integrate Google Maps with Cognos 8.  In it, they explain how to call the Google Maps API from within a Cognos 8 Report Studio report and insert hard-coded markers.  Here, I will show you how to expand that to dynamically populate markers on top of the Google Map.

The basic technique is fairly simple.  I take the single HTML Item that Vecha and Munireddy use (enhanced a bit for my particular needs) and then divide it into four separate HTML Items, with one of them nested inside a repeater object to handle an unknown number of rows from a query. Optionally, the third HTML can be embedded inside a singleton to allow it to retrieve from the database a value that will be put into a JavaScript variable.

When the report is run, the four separate HTML items act as a single block of HTML code, but displayed within the Cognos 8 report viewer.

What You’ll Need:
  • A Cognos 8 Business Intelligence server
  • A Google Maps API Key  for the Cognos 8 BI server’s domain (directions for obtaining this are below)
  • Basic development skills for Cognos 8 Report Studio
  • A fundamental understanding of JavaScript
  • A database that contains the latitude and longitute of the locations you wish to mark on the map.

The Steps:
  1. You are going to need a Google Maps API key.

    1. Go to http://code.Google.com/apis/maps/signup.html
    2. Enter the domain name at which you access Cognos 8 (ex: http://cognos.mycompany.com)
    3. Click the Generate API Key button.This should create a key that looks similar to this:

      ABQIAAAAN28cRTOPRc8HwC3fHtsmKhTtWTE_GChODK0XVX0wNep29RbXARRXke_fSEx94NZZnhOisv8S0tZqVg
    4. Copy the API key displayed and save it for future use.
    5. If you can, store this key somewhere in your reporting database.  This will help if you plan to later migrate the report to another server (ex: from development to production)
  2. Open Report Studio and create a new report using the blank template.
  3. From the insertable objects toolbox, add a Repeater object to the body of the report.
  4. Right-click on the new repeater object and select Go To Query.
  5. Add to the query the Data Items you want to display.This data will be used to assemble a Javascript array (in a subsequent step).You will also need to include two columns containing the latitude and longitude of each marker.

  6. If you plan to have more than one row in the query (i.e. more than one marker on the map) you will need a column that contains a comma for all but the first row.  This comma will be used as a separator for the elements in the Javascript array.  To Do this:
    1. Add a Data Item to the query named Row. Set the expression to:

      rank ([Location])

      (replacing “[Location]” with a column you’ll be sorting on)

    2. Add another Data Item named ElementSeparator. Set the expression to:

      IF ( [Row] =  1 ) THEN
      ( ” )
      ELSE
      ( ‘, ‘ )


  7. Return to the page (Page1).
  8. Click on the repeater and edit the Data->Properties.Click check-boxes by each data item that you will want to use.  This will allow you to use them in a report expression.

  9. Change the repeater’s Data->Rows Per Page to 99999(otherwise, Report Studio will try to create a new page for every 20 rows in your repeater)

  10. You may also need to define the Data->Grouping and Sorting of the repeater.
  11. Add an HTML Item immediately to the left of the repeaterThis will contain the start of the Javascript

    1. The source type will be the default: Text
    2. Set the HTML text to the following:
      <html>

      <body>

      <head>

      <title>Static -> Dynamic Google Map with Markers</title>

      </head>

      <style type=”text/css”>

      .message {

      font-size: 80%;

      padding: 2px;

      font-weight: bold;

      text-align: center;

      width: 550px;

      height: 450px;

      background-color: #ffcc00;

      border: 1px solid white;

      position: relative;

      }

      </style>

      <script type=”text/javascript”>

      var locations = [


  12. Add a second HTML Item inside the repeaterThis will be the assembly of the array containing your data

    1. Set the source type to: Report Expression
    2. Set the report expression to the following, modifying it to fit your data:

      [Query1].[ElementSeperator] + ‘{name: ”’ +

      [Query1].[Location] + ”’, url: ”’ + [Query1].[URL] +  ”’, headcount: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Headcount] ) + ‘, hires: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Hires] ) + ‘, terminations: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Terminations] ) + ‘, promotions: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Promotions] ) + ‘, lat: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Latitude] ) + ‘, lng: ‘ + number2string ( [Query1].[Longitude] ) + ‘} ‘

      The resulting data would look something like this (line breaks and indentation added for readability):

      {
      name: ‘Location 1’,
      url: ‘http://url.for.location.1&#8217;,
      headcount: 123,
      hires: 1,
      terminations: 2,
      promotions: 3,
      lat: 38.88944,
      lng: -77.035341

      } ,

      {

      name: ‘Location 2’,

      url: ‘http://url.for.location.2&#8217;,

      headcount: 456,

      hires: 7,

      terminations: 8,

      promotions: 9,

      lat: 43.878996,


      lng: -103.459811

      }



  13. Immediately to the right of the repeater, add a third HTML Item
    (Note: if you stored the API Key in your database, add a Singleton with a query that retrieves it and put the HTML Item inside the singleton, and use a report expression to define the text)

    1. The source type will be the default: Text
    2. Set the HTML text to the following:

      ];

      var strMapKey = ‘

      ABQIAAAAN28cRTOPRc8HwC3fHtsmKhTtWTE_GChODK0XVX0wNep29RbXARRXke_fSEx94NZZnhOisv8S0tZqVg‘;

      (substituting your own API Key)

  14. Add a fourth HTML Item immediately to the right of the third one.This will contain the end of (and the bulk of) the Javascript

    1. The source type will be the default: Text
    2. Set the HTML Text to the following:

      var map = null;

      var bounds = null;

      var currentMarker = null;

      var mapDiv = null;

      var containerDiv = null;

      var clickedX = 0;

      var clickedY = 0;

      var isLoaded = false;

      /**

      * Called after script is asynchronously loaded in.

      * Creates the GMap2, GMarker objects and performs actions according to

      * what the user did to trigger the map load (search, zoom, click etc).

      */

      function loadMap() {

      if (GBrowserIsCompatible()) {

      mapDiv.style.background = ‘#fff’;

      mapDiv.style.cursor = ”;

      map = new GMap2(mapDiv, {logoPassive: true});

      bounds = new GLatLngBounds();

      for (var i = 0; i < locations.length; i++) {

      bounds.extend(new GLatLng(locations[i].lat, locations[i].lng));

      }

      var latSpan = bounds.toSpan().lat();

      map.setCenter(bounds.getCenter(), map.getBoundsZoomLevel(bounds));

      map.addControl(new GLargeMapControl());

      //map.setZoom(2);

      var mapControl = new GMapTypeControl();

      map.addControl(mapControl);

      var newBounds = map.getBounds();

      var newLatSpan = newBounds.toSpan().lat();

      if (latSpan/newLatSpan > .90) { map.zoomOut(); }

      for (var i = 0; i < locations.length; i++) {

      var marker = createMarker(i);

      var latlng = marker.getLatLng();

      var pixel = map.fromLatLngToDivPixel(latlng);

      if (Math.abs(pixel.x -clickedX) < 12 && Math.abs(pixel.y -clickedY) < 20){

      //GEvent.trigger(marker, ‘click’);

      }

      map.addOverlay(marker);

      map.setCenter(bounds.getCenter(), map.getBoundsZoomLevel(bounds));

      }  } }

      function zoomToAll() {

      map.setCenter(bounds.getCenter(), map.getBoundsZoomLevel(bounds));

      }

      /**

      * Creates a marker for the given location.

      * @param {Number} ind

      * @return {GMarker}

      */

      function createMarker(ind) {

      var value= 103037;

      var location = locations[ind];

      var marker = new GMarker(new GLatLng(location.lat, location.lng));

      /**

      * When the user clicks on the marker while zoomed out, it zooms in (in case there is

      * another marker nearby that would not be visable when zoomed out)

      * When they click on the marker while zoomed in, it opens an Info Window that displays

      * details about the location

      */

      GEvent.addListener(marker, ‘click’, function() {

      marker.html = [‘<b>’, location.name, ‘</b>’,

      ‘<ul>’,

      ‘<li>Headcount: ‘, location.headcount, ‘</li>’,

      ‘<li>New Hires: ‘, location.hires, ‘</li>’,

      ‘<li>Terminations: ‘, location.terminations, ‘</li>’,

      ‘<li>Promotions: ‘, location.promotions, ‘</li>’,

      ‘</ul>’,

      ‘<a  href=”‘ + location.url + ‘”  target=”_blank “> Detail Listing</a>’].join(”);

      currentMarker = marker;

      if ( map.getZoom() <= 12 ) {

      map.setCenter( marker.getLatLng(), 15 );

      }

      else {

      marker.openInfoWindowHtml(marker.html);

      }

      });

      return marker;

      }

      /**

      * Formats location info into a URL-friendly version for maps url.

      * @param {Object} location

      * @return {String}

      */

      function formatAddressForMaps(location) {

      var address = location.street + ‘ ‘ + location.city + ‘ ‘ + location.state + ‘ ‘

      + location.zip;

      return escape(address.replace(‘ ‘, ‘+’));

      }

      function _cel(elementType, id) {

      var element = document.createElement(elementType);

      element.id = id;

      return element;

      }

      /**

      * Loads in the Maps API script. This is called after some sort of user interaction.

      * The script loads asynchronously and calls loadMap once it’s in.

      */

      function loadScript() {

      if (!isLoaded) {

      isLoaded = true;

      var div = document.createElement(‘div’);

      div.className = ‘message’;

      div.innerHTML = ‘Loading…’;

      div.style.left = (800/2 – 53) + ‘px’;

      div.style.top = 800/2 + ‘px’;

      mapDiv.appendChild(div);

      var script = document.createElement(‘script’);

      script.type = ‘text/javascript’;

      script.src = ‘http://maps.google.com/maps?file=api&v=2&#8217; +

      ‘&async=2&callback=loadMap&key=’ + strMapKey;

      document.body.appendChild(script);

      }

      }

      /**

      * Sets up the gadget by setting CSS and click events.

      */

      function loadMapGadget() {

      containerDiv = document.getElementById(‘container’);

      mapDiv = document.getElementById(‘map’);

      mapDiv.onclick = function (e) {

      clickedX = (window.event && window.event.offsetX) || e.clientX;

      clickedY = (window.event && window.event.offsetY) || e.clientY;

      loadScript();

      };

      loadScript();

      mapDiv.style.cursor = ‘pointer’;

      var urlString = [‘http://maps.google.com/staticmap?markers=’%5D;

      var markerString = [];

      for (var i = 0; i < locations.length; i++) {

      markerString.push(locations[i].lat + ‘,’ + locations[i].lng + ‘,red’);

      }

      urlString.push(markerString.join(‘|’));

      urlString.push(‘&size=800×600’);

      urlString.push(‘&key= ‘ + strMapKey);

      mapDiv.style.background = ‘url(\” + urlString.join(”) + ‘\’)’;

      }

      </script>

      </head>

      <body onload=”loadMapGadget();”>

      <div id=”container”>

      <div id=”map” style=”width: 800; height: 600; overflow:hidden”></div>

      </div>

      </body>

      </html>



  15. Save and test the report.

Conclusion:

Integrating Cognos 8 Report Studio data into Google Maps might not be quite as straight-forward as using the built in maps, but it’s not too difficult and the results are sure to impress your report consumers.  This is also a great starting point for learning to integrate Cognos 8 with other web services.