You have a list of machines with some missing location data due to privacy restrictions or incomplete information. You offer both a list view and a map view for users to explore these machines. Users can filter the list and map by area.


How do you show on the map that there might be more machines in a specific area even if their exact locations are unknown? How do you handle a situation where a user zooms in on a single machine displayed on the map, but you know there might be additional unknown machines in the vicinity?

Map Filtering with Examples

  • How does the unknown serves to a purpose? Maybe I'm not getting this right but this sounds too mystical, same as saying "there is a chest of gold hidden somewhere in your city, which may o may not exist". Mi point is: data-visualization is about DATA, not the possibility of it
    – Devin
    Commented Mar 26 at 23:03
  • @Devin Imagine you have five devices but only two have special trackers which allow you show them on a map. If you are looking at a map, would you want to tell you, you only have two devices or would you prefer to see the ones with trackers and still be informed you have three out there, just no trackers yet to place them on map. Commented Mar 27 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


Lots of questions with this one.

  • Why would a user want to see something on a map without a known location?
  • How does the app know (data-wise) that a machine with no pin or lat/long coords is actually within the vicinity of a know machine or not?
  • Are you actually dealing with privacy restrictions and incomplete data?
  • If you're displaying a table beside the map wouldn't that be sufficient to list all machine and either highlight or colour-code the ones with displayable locations?

My first reaction is to simply use colour-coding between the map and table to clarify that not all machines are shown on the map.

My second reaction would be to use separate icons for machines with known locations and unknown locations. But I'm really not clear how you even intend to show anything with an unknown location on a map.

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