I've been playing with the free version of Power BI (PBI) for several months. PBI added the ability to use custom "shape maps" in their July 2016 update, so I thought someone may benefit in the GIS community.
I had trouble converting shapefiles for use in PBI until someone in their forums helped me find a solution. Here's a summary of converting maps for use in PBI:
- Create a shapefile
- Using ArcGIS's Project tool, project the shapefile to a "Geographic Coordinate System" of "WGS 1984"
- Use Mapshaper.Org to convert the shapefile to a TopoJSON file
- Be sure to select all files of the shapefile - not just the .SHP file
- Add a "Shape Map" element in PBI and select your JSON file
- Main Power BI site: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-get-the-desktop/
- Latest Power BI release info: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-latest-update/
- Mapshaper.org: http://mapshaper.org/
- Shape maps in Power BI: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-shape-map/