1 2 3 Previous Next 30 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2013 9:49 AM by Shawn Wallwork

    Custom Geocode Filled Polygons

    Joe Mako

      Mark Isaacs mentioned this at:

      Re: Reporting Defects and Suggestions

       

      I feel this suggestion deserves a thread of its own.

       

      From the little bit that I have tried out, it is a seamless experience to plot the filled polygons (and the polygons look great!), just as it is plot marks at the center of geocoded locations.

       

      I too would be interested in extending these filled polygons, just as we can extend geocoding with custom geocoding, I think it would be great if we could provide a shapefile or a csv to add custom filled polygons.

        • 1. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
          Joe Mako

          I just took a look at the County.tds file, and found a "Geometry (generated)" field with values like:

           

           

          POLYGON ((-77.039 38.7916,-77.0378 38.8301,-77.048 38.8413,-77.0331 38.8446,-77.0402 38.8709,-77.0505 38.872,-77.0687 38.9003,-77.102 38.9119,-77.1198 38.9343,-77.0423 38.9945,-77.0024 38.9658,-76.9105 38.8924,-77.039 38.7916))


           

          This is very much like what is stored in a shapefile, and I think it would be great if I could give Tableau custom polygon data in this format.

           

          I noticed it has this special grayed-out Geographic Role of "[Geographical].[Geometry]"

          • 2. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
            Dan Cory

            Tableau 7.0 won't support having custom polygons for filled maps.

             

            For anyone interested in this topic, I have several questions:

            1. What regions are you interested in?

            2. Are the regions defined by your organization (for example, sales territories) or publicly (for example, departments in France)?

            3. If they are your organization's regions, are they defined by assembling public regions (for example, the Northwest sales territory is Washington and Oregon), or only by custom boundaries?

            4. If they are custom boundaries, what format do you have the data in?

             

            I'm sure I'll think of more, but this should help get the discussion going.

            • 3. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
              . Tdeane

              Dan I would be interested in this.

              1. What regions are you interested in? We are in Trinidad and Tobago, so even our city/municipal boundaries would probably need to go in as custom Geocodes. We are a Telecom company so we also would like to plot based on exchange area codes or other areas defined by our company.

              2. Are the regions defined by your organization (for example, sales territories) or publicly (for example, departments in France)?

              Even our city/municipal boundaries would probably need to go in as custom Geocodes. A Postal Code system is about to be implemented at a country level and this also would be useful for us. We are a Telecom company so we also would like to plot based on exchange area codes or other areas defined by our company.

              3. If they are your organization's regions, are they defined by assembling public regions (for example, the Northwest sales territory is Washington and Oregon), or only by custom boundaries? Typically custom boundaries.

              4. If they are custom boundaries, what format do you have the data in?Typically ESRI shapefiles.

               

              Hope this comes to Tableau soon, importing ESRI Shapefiles would be a great solution for us.

               

              Trevor

              • 4. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                Dimitri.B

                I can only speak for my case, which is:

                1. Proprietary regions based on our company's operations, similar in size to 5-10 suburbs

                2. Defined by organisation

                3. Most of these regions comprise whole number of suburbs, about 15-20% also include parts of suburbs, i.e. not whole suburbs

                4. The data is in MapInfo, I believe it can be exported as CSV or similar format

                • 5. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                  Mark Isaacs

                  Dan,

                   

                  My clients are provincial government ministries in Canada.  Ministries divide their province into standard subregions for financial and services management.  For example, in British Columbia, the Ministry of Health has divided the province into 89 Local Health Areas.  They also have Health Service Delivery Areas and Health Authorities, both of which are straightforward aggregations of the Local Health Areas.

                   

                  The boundaries for these regions are not simple aggregations of any lower level.  They may have started out that way, but over time have evolved into their own entities.  Thus, when administrative boundaries change (which happens occasionally) the government's statistics staff has to do considerable work to update the regions' polygon definitions.  These boundaries are available as Shape files.

                   

                  The vast majority of the analytical work undertaken by the Ministry of Health and sub-provincial organizations such as the Health Authorities is at these LHA, HSDA and HA levels, and a similar situation exists in other Ministries.  These organizations have minimal need for maps showing just Canada and the provinces.

                  • 6. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                    Sam Gechter

                    Dan -

                     

                    For us one region we're interested in is cities/towns. This is a level below Counties. In Massachusetts counties are less relevant and most comparisons are done at the town level. We also do a lot of work with census tracts and census blocks, and we work with parcel level data as well (plots of land, buildings, etc.). Being able to take a shape file from the US Census Bureau, or a parcel map from a city, and use it with the filled spaces feature would be huge for us.

                     

                    Sam

                    • 7. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                      Shawn Wallwork

                      We're interested in 3 filled regions: US zip-codes, Arbitron Market Maps & Nielsen TV DMAs.

                      • 8. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                        Dan Cory

                        Thanks everyone for your contributions here. I collected several more examples at the customer conference. This information will help us prioritize this feature for future versions.

                        • 9. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                          Michael Cristiani

                          +1 on the DMAs and several of the other suggestions here. 

                           

                          For US 9-digit ZIP Codes, we have always understood they are points, and we deal with them using latitude and longitude values from a geocoding process.  I am happy to share the technique with anyone who needs it.

                           

                          Michael W Cristiani

                          • 10. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                            Freddy Colina

                            Hi everyone,

                             

                            I really don't know the technical implications of a "Custom Geocode Polygon" but reading the thread I can see that this is a REAL need for many users. And at the end it would be great if we have the possibility of importing a Shapefile (.Shp).

                             

                            Following Dan Cory's questions here are my answers:

                             

                            1. Canada: City, Census Tracts, Census Blocks. And be able to import custom Shapefiles

                            2. Sometimes yes, area are defined by specific needs but also as Mark Isaacs we use Statistics Canada data.

                            3.both

                            4. normally in ESRI shapefiles.

                            • 11. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                              Dan Cory

                              Thanks again for the additional feedback! Please keep it coming.

                              • 12. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                                Jerry Wetherall

                                My Tableau mapping (Tableau's own maps and WMS maps) is almost exclusively focused on the ocean, both coastal waters and high seas, mainly in the Pacific.  I'd like to be able to incorporate ESRI shape files of defined ocean areas (marine protected areas, management zones, exclusive economic zones, etc.).  It would be great to have this kind of polygon support.

                                • 13. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                                  David. Lewis

                                  For us no matter what approach is used, it will be a compromise of some sort.  That is not to scare off Tableau from enhancing this, though, because we're waiting with bated breath for greater granularity. The way our business works is the following:

                                  We sell to several hundred distributors who have clearly defined geographic regions that may span zips and/or counties, but not states; these distributors then sell into retail outlets.  Although retail outlets are not our direct customers, we are obviously very interested in what happens there, and we buy data on that.  Retail outlets are of course easily mapped with zip or zip9 or geo code or county. 

                                  Our distributors have regions that do not directly map to zip codes, although we can to it internally and get 'close enough' to make many analyses 'pretty' useful. 

                                  We'd love to join/blend census demographic data to our sales data, but that is based on FIPS (actually a replacement for that, I think), which does not map to zips.  We can (internally) map zips to fips in an approximate way and get insights that are 'pretty' useful, but again that is a compromise.

                                  We 'could' also build our own 'regions' using some kind of tool that creates a shapefile, but I don't have any experience with that and suspect it might be more complicated than it is easy to type.  If we did this we could accurately map outlets vis a vis their distributors, but we would lose the ability to blend/join census demographic data. Tableau offers some demographic data as map data layers, but it is not available to incorporate into analyses, alas.

                                  So, make of that what you will, Tableau.  In short, further granularity of some sort, please, and we'll make the rest work.  Great product, keep up the great work!

                                  • 14. Re: Custom Geocode Filled Polygons
                                    Ryan Tan

                                    1. What regions are you interested in?

                                    Asia. Especially South East Asia.

                                     

                                    2. Are the regions defined by your organization (for example, sales territories) or publicly (for example, departments in France)?

                                    Publicly. Administrative boundaries of the respective countries would be great.

                                     

                                    3. If they are your organization's regions, are they defined by assembling public regions (for example, the Northwest sales territory is Washington and Oregon), or only by custom boundaries?

                                    Groupings are based on administrative zones/regions.

                                     

                                    4. If they are custom boundaries, what format do you have the data in?

                                    Shapefiles as they are easily obtained from the internet. Eg: www.gadm.org

                                     

                                    Would love to see the ability to import custom shapefiles.

                                     

                                    Ideal workflow: Import Data. Import Shapefile. Show Me > Filled Maps. Edit Locations to match data field with shapefile polygon attributes.

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