6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2016 1:29 AM by Ryan Goodman

    Filled maps for Regions

    Graeme Frost

      Filled maps are great.  I am using them at a country level - and we group countries into Regions (eg Europe).  Is there a way that I can have all the ountries in Europe filled with the same measure.  I know I could assign "Europe" to a country  - but to a group of countries?

      Any ideas appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Filled maps for Regions
          Karen Burns

          I have the same question. Did you ever get any ideas from others? The new Tableau 8 video suggests this is now possible but they are using USA states as an example. I have tried it with countries and I can't get it to work...

          Best regards,


          • 2. Re: Filled maps for Regions
            Shawn Wallwork

            Karen, which V8 video are you referring to? Also, can you give a bit of a description of what you're trying to accomplish? I ask because there are lots of different ways to attach this issue, and each route has advantages and disadvantages. So it best to know what you want the end result to look like before choosing a technique. Packaged workbook with sample data are always nice.



            • 3. Re: Filled maps for Regions
              Karen Burns

              Hi Shawn!

              It was just the "What's New Video" but I just re-viewed it and realize that it doesn't say it will necessarily do what i want it to!

              So here is what I want to do. I have data that has been calculated by custom regions and I would like to display this on a shaded/filled map where the Regional result is used to determine the color or intensity of the shading.

              So in the attached simple example. There may be a simple solution but I'm just such a novice at the mapping that I am missing it!

              Thanks for any pointers you can give!



              • 4. Re: Filled maps for Regions
                Shawn Wallwork

                Karen, it sounds like you want to color a region by a 'continuous' measure. It would look like this, only the greens would change by region (Europe) instead of by country:




                Unfortunately when we are using Tableau's native geography we can only get continuous color for the native geographies. The minute we put countries in a group to create a region, then Tableau changes the color to discrete:




                So ultimately we can't use T's native geographies to put continuous color of a measure on a 'regions' map. So that leaves these options:


                1. Contact our friends at Urban Mapping and contract them to create custom geographies for you.
                2. Create a custom shapefile for your particular regions and import it into Tableau using Richard Leeke shapetotab utility
                3. Join Allan's crowd sourced WMS project, and let him serve up your regions.


                Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. There may be others. Hope this helps. Let us know if you need help once you pick an option.





                • 5. Re: Filled maps for Regions
                  Allan Walker

                  Hi Karen!


                  OK for Europe, we need to define what countries you are looking to visualize, and secondly, how you want to interrogate the data.


                  Are you looking to do just European Union countries?  Or are we including non-EU countries?  Once you define that, then we can start.  Also, beyond Europe, what countries are you looking to do.


                  If you are looking at multiple shapefiles, that can be done in Geoserver; however, these will be background images (which is why I asked about interrogating your data).  For example, if you are doing historical data, you are going to run into trouble, because Tableau doesn't recognise countries that existed in 1990 - e.g. Yugoslavia.  That's one of the problems with non-dynamic mapping - Europe has "fluid" borders and administration units (i.e. the boundaries change).


                  Let me know what your requirements are, and I can advise you further.  Tableau is best at overlaying data rather than layering multiple GIS layers, but it can be done.


                  Best Regards,




                  EDIT: OK, I've just looked at your Excel spreadsheet.  I see in the example you wish to group countries like UK and Ireland (p.s. NI is definitely British!).  Point in case - I'm British - and born in Scotland.  You may/may not know Scotland may become independent in 2014 depending on a referendum.  But it will remain part of the Great British Isles.  This is exactly the sort of scenario I was talking about.  I can see you are also looking at tax-haven principles such as Andorra, Liechtenstein and such.  You've sensibly grouped Benelux as well.


                  We recently run into a problem with France - the projection that Tableau uses (EPSG 4326) throws massive distortion.  So I'd advise we use the common EU projection (EPSG:4258) unless you want to project globally.


                  Message was edited by: Allan Walker - updated with Edit

                  • 6. Re: Filled maps for Regions
                    Ryan Goodman

                    This is out of date reply but figured I would respond since there is another option since these replies were posted..


                    Create a 2 column CSV file with your countries and the regions they belong to.. Then import it into CMaps Region Generator (free opensource add-on for QuantumGIS). Push a button, and it will spit out a Tableau formatted CSV file with your regions ready to be imported back into Tableau. The World by Country data is available for free on the region generator site so you are covered there.

                    Full instructions are here CMaps Analytics Region Creator  On this page it tells you how to create the region file.. For importing the custom regions back into Tableau here are Tableau specific instructions similar to the video shown above: https://cmapsconnect.com/tutorial/importing-custom-regions-into-tableau-in-5-steps