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IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.5 and Schematics/Non-Geo mapping in Reporting - a step by step guide

By Torben Noer posted Fri December 20, 2019 11:16 AM


With the Cognos Analytics (CA) 11.1.5 release came also the option to include "Schematics" with your reports (dashboards will follow soon) - look at it as images with data points... 

In order to use Schematics / non-geo mapping with CA, it’s necessary to find/create SVG files and tag them with the “data-cv-key” tag before using them with CA. It's a very easy process and it doesn't require any coding!

Example: Create a US Cartogram

Search for US Cartograms – here is an example of various formats:

Copy the last SVG – the WSJ example out in a notepad and save the file as WSJ.SVG

The file currently only consists of the boundaries of the 50 individual states:

For CA to connect any data to the states, we would need the “data-cv-key” tag for each state. This can be done either in a text editor:

Or by opening the SVG file in an image editor like Inkscape (


  • Open the SVG file in Inkscape
  • Bring up the XML Editor, if not already visible – CTRL+SHIFT+X
  • Select each node/state in the panel
  • Add “data-cv-key” as attribute and state abbreviation as value – click set
  • Repeat for each 50 state
  • Save the SVG file


Within Reporting in CA:

  • Add the “Schematic Preview” object into the report
  • Switch report to “Page preview” so it will ask for a file
  • Select the SVG file and it will display the US map in black (since we have no values yet)
  • Using a data source with the format:

Sample data:

We can now add “Abbreviation” to Locations and one of the measures to Location Color.



In order to make this map available to other users with CA, you would need to create a Schematics package. 

  • Click the pencil in the lower right corner of the Schematics Preview object.
  • On the Package tab you can change the name of the packages (which can contain a single map or several maps like different layouts of the US Map). You can also add a description and an icon.
  • On the Content tab you can add 1 or multiple “maps” and change the Key and Caption for each.
  • When the package is done, you can download it via the download icon on the Schematics Preview object – this will download a zip file which you can upload as a CA Schematics package either via Manage-Customization-Custom Visuals or via the “Visualization” object in Reporting – upper right corner have a “Add a custom visual” button.

If you created all 5 different maps from the example, you can upload all 5 SVG files to the same package and thereby switch between the 5 views in the same report

   #datavisualization ​​​​



Thu May 16, 2024 06:59 PM

It is a long time since this post was created but it is very useful so thank you for that.  

I cannot get the schematic that I have created to load into COGNOS.  I have created an SVG file using Inkscape but every time I try to load it I get an error saying Invalid or Unsupported SVG.  I don't know where I am going wrong.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Mon December 23, 2019 02:55 AM

So, previews are just for previews... the idea here is that you create your SVG with the data points in your local image tool like Inkscape. Then you upload that SVG and use it in the Schematics preview in Reporting. If something needs to be adjusted, you do that locally and upload a new SVG to the preview.... when you are happy with the results, you create a Schematics package out of it - here you can edit the details of the package and add more SVG images to that package. You download the zip and upload it as a custom visualizations. 

So you will not be able to save any reports with the preview.

This is the first release with Schematics with Dashboards to follow soon - so very interested in your feedback on how we can improve it in the following releases ;-) All feedback more than welcome on

Sat December 21, 2019 09:21 PM

I am having some difficulty editing schematics once I've made them. It seems the schematic preview is not saved in the report. The documentation indicates that I should be able to upload a schematic package to the schematic preview to make further edits, however when I try I get the error 'Failed to execute 'createObjectURL' on 'URL': No function was found that matched the signature provided.'

Any advice would be great!

Sat December 21, 2019 12:49 PM

Thanks Torben - So we got a Christmas gift after all! :)

Fri December 20, 2019 05:34 PM


Fri December 20, 2019 04:56 PM

Is the states txt file available anywhere?

Fri December 20, 2019 04:30 PM

Hi Shawn - it takes some time before all the blogs are uploaded and emails are sent out - but it was released today ;-)
And the What's new:

Fri December 20, 2019 03:30 PM

This says "With the Cognos Analytics (CA) 11.1.5 release came also the option to include "Schematics" with your reports (dashboards will follow soon) " speaking of the 11.1.5 release in the past tense but I have not seen the release announcement yet anywhere.