Geovisualization Developer's Guide

Using Dynamic Parameters

Visualizations based on large datasets can require substantial data processing. You can optimize your app by defining your query to fetch the data dynamically, that is, according to the parameters included in the query's GET request URL. In this way, instead of retrieving all data in one action, you only fetch the data required to render the visualization for the end-user's current viewport.

Using dynamic parameters, the Geovisualization REST API filters the dataset server-side based on the parameters included in the request URL, and returns only the data relevant to those parameters.

Note: Server-side filtering staggers the data retrieval; it does not create animation. Dynamic parameters are more suitable for larger datasets where animation is not the goal of the visualization.

You can view a code example which describes a heat map that displays mobile network events in the US that filters the data using a query with dynamic parameters.

In the following section, we walk through the reasoning of using dynamic parameters and how server-side filtering can be included in queries.


To demonstrate dynamic parameters, we will consider a visualization which includes a slider that sets a magnitude range to filter earthquake events represented on a map. Instead of getting all rows from the server and filtering client-side that calls a new request for each change in magnitutide on the slider, and only retrieve the required data rows.

   "metrics": ["Lat","Lon","Magnitude","Depth","Region","Datetime"],
   "facets": [],
   "version": 0.3,
   "namespace": {
     "min_mag": {"source": [{"$input": "min"}]},
     "max_mag": {"source": [{"$input": "max"}]}
   "filters": [
         {"Magnitude": {"$gte": {"$reference": "min_mag"}}},
         {"Magnitude": {"$lte": {"$reference": "max_mag"}}}
   "order": [{"Magnitude": "asc"}],
   "dataset": "90af668484394fa782cc103409cafe39"

The namespace property includes two variables, min_mag and max_mag, which you can think of as column names from the dataset but are set by way of parameters in the request URL:

"namespace": {
  "min_mag": {"source": [{"$input": "min"}]},
  "max_mag": {"source": [{"$input": "max"}]}

If you make a GET request to the following resource the Geovisualization REST API will set the variables min_mag to 0 and max_max to 5 when evaluating the query:{QUERY_ID}/data?min=0&max=5&app_id={YOUR_APP_ID}&app_code={YOUR_APP_CODE}

You can also use the queries/_ID_ endpoint in the 07. Query CRUD folder of our Postman collection.

The Geovisualization REST API will set the variables min_mag to 0 and max_max to 5 when evaluating the query.

Note also the filters property. This is a filter mechanism includes a reference to the variables specified in namespace.

This filter restricts the output data to rows with Magnitude between min_mag and max_max (inclusive). Using the request URL above, this would restrict the data returned to that where Magnitude is between 0 and 5. (The SQL equivalent to this is "WHERE Magnitude>

=0 AND Magnitude <=5".)
"filters": [
  {"Magnitude": {"$gte": {"$reference": "min_mag"}}},
  {"Magnitude": {"$lte": {"$reference": "max_mag"}}}

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