7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2016 5:51 PM by Kurt Heisler

    States in US map disappear when counties are filtered out

    Kurt Heisler

      I have a typical dataset with data on most US counties (about 3000+ counties) across 50 states. When you create a US county map it looks great but if the user filters out all counties in a given state (or all data for another variable for a given state), the entire state disappears. I realize this is due to how Tableau handles filtered data: if the data aren't there, there's nothing to plot.


      The common workaround I've read for this kind of problem is to map your data (in this case counties) onto a background image (in this case an image of a US state map) instead of on a Tableau map. In this case, I would enter the dimensions of the image (the US state map) and then have to manually click on each county I want to map (in this case 3000+ counties), select Annotate > Point, create a callout to see the X and Y coordinates for that county, manually enter those coordinates in an Excel sheet, etc. That's about 18,000+ clicks and tasks just to handle this one map issue. The annotate > point piece I'm referring to it steps 10-13 (under Step 4) in this tutorial: http://kb.tableau.com/articles/knowledgebase/background-image-coordinates


      There has *got* to be a better way to handle this. I can't imagine I'm the first person to encounter this but I've found very few posts about the issue.


      Another person suggested using Mapbox to create the background map. I'm looking into this but can't yet discern if Mapbox is the way to go and will eliminate the manual point-by-point mapping requirement.


      Any suggestions or tips? Obviously, this US/county example is one of many examples where this problem would happen.