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Plotting Custom polygons or polylines in ArcGIS for Power BI

So I've been trying to find a way of plotting custom polygons/polylines on a map visualisation in Power BI with all teh details and labels needed on a map for reference. I've seen the Shape maps features, but this is very plain and seems to offer no reference details, like road names.


I've also had a look into doing this with reference layers in ArcGIS maps, but the functionality isn't great, as I wanted highly interactive polygons (like you would get with the pre-determined polygons plotted when data is entered in the "location" field well). This means filtering if you press on the polygons and pressing other visuals to filter the map, etc.


I've also tried Mapbox, but this visual had its own limitations, that weren't ideal for me. After some research, I found that you can use Esri JSON to ploy custom polygons as a relatively nmew feature of ArcGIS maps in PBI, as mentioned in these links:


So my question is, except from shape maps and reference layers in ArcGIS maps, is there a way to get custom polygons from your own data (like shapefiles) plotted in your ArcGIS maps in Power BI? Perhaps using this mentioned Esri JSON feature? I just haven't seen a place that talks about how to do this, despite people saying this functionality exists, any idea?

Regular Visitor


Have you found a solution for that matter?

I have the same issue.

Thank you.

Community Support
Community Support

Hi @BartGR3 ,


I think Shape Map can work. You can use custom maps with Shape map as long as they are in the TopoJSON format. If your map is in another format, you can use online tools such as Map Shaper to convert your shapefiles or your GeoJSON maps into the TopoJSON format.

Refer to

Create Your Own Custom Map for Power BI - Microsoft Power BI Community

Power BI Custom Maps — Part II: Shape Map



Best Regards,

Stephen Tao


If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.



Hi @v-stephen-msft ,


Plus, my other concern is that shape map feature has been in preview for a while so I didn't really want to use it in this scenario, because of that reason!

Hi @v-stephen-msft ,


I have looked into it, my only concern is if I can add a background map to Shape maps with all the context I would usually have, for example on an ArcGIS maps visualisation, which from what I've seen is not possible, however if you do know of a way I can do this, please let me know!


Thank you,


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