3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 5, 2014 2:32 PM by John Sobczak

    Annotation Point & Area same as Mark

    Shawn Wallwork

      When you annotate with a Mark you can insert every field in the view (see Mark.png) in the text box.


      When you annotate with a Point you can insert parameters and whatever is on the rows and column shelves (see Point.png) but you can't insert any of the fields you put on the level of detail (like you can with the Mark).


      When you annotate with an Area you can only insert parameters, nothing else (see Area.png)


      Why? This makes no sense. When you use a Mark type annotation it ties the location of the tip to the mark so you can't move it around freely around on the map. If you use a Point type annotation you can move the pointer/dot anywhere you want, but you can't insert things like StoreAddress or StoreNumber that are on the level of detail shelf. I find it hard to understand the logic to this. Why make this seemingly arbitrary decision about what fields should be available to what annotation type? All fields should be available to all types, right?


      So it sure would be nice if all fields in the view were available to be inserted in all annotation types.



        • 1. Re: Annotation Point & Area same as Mark
          Richard Leeke

          No, it makes perfect sense, Shawn.  When you annotate a mark, the annotation relates to that mark, so has access to all the attributes of that mark.  When you annotate a point, the annotation refers to the (X, Y) coordinates of that point, but there may be zero, one or many marks at (or near) that point.  So which one do you want to take the vales from?  When you annotate an area there's even less context.


          If you really want a mark annotation with no visual clues about which mark it applies to you can hide the arrow by formatting the annotation.

          • 2. Re: Annotation Point & Area same as Mark
            Shawn Wallwork

            OK Richard, maybe it makes a little sense the way it works, but now that we have filled maps to the zip code level the annotation needs change a bit. (See Point_V_Mark ). The Mark is in the center of the zip code label's Lat/Long and the Point is where the store actually is (within the ZIP code). Obviously it would be nice to have all the information the Mark type provides with the dot in the correct place.


            So maybe I should re-word this. How about: "It would be nice if once we've set up a Mark annotation, we could move it anywhere we want on the map without restriction." How's that work for you?


            As to Area annotation it sure would be nice to insert City, County, State or whatever in an Area annotation so as workbooks are copied and edited the Annotations would automatically update to the new location. I think of Area annotation as a simple text box that's not really tied to a Lat/Long. It's just a way to label maps. So why not give us a way to include variables that would look up what city or county or state is on the level of detail and display it. This would make reusing/editing workbooks a lot easier.


            So if you (and/or Tableau) want to maintain data integrity with the three annotation types being tied to Lat/Long, then give me a fourth annotation type called Label (not tied to lat/long) that would allow me to insert any field in the view into the text box, and include all the dot/arrow/line/box formatting options available to all the other annotations. The designer can deal with any ambiguities this creates as they arise.


            So "Wouldn't it be nice if we had a fourth annotation type named 'Label' that would allow us to insert any field (in the view) into the text box." How's that work?


            (In full disclosure, there is a work-around for the Mark annotation. It doesn't always work well or look good. You can move the dot away from the center of the label's lat/long but you have to maintain a straight line vector between the text box and the lat/long point. Sometimes this works (see mark_work_around) but most of the time it's hard to make it look good. And why let me move the dot as far as I want as long as it is on a straight line between the source lat/long and the text box position. THIS I definitely know makes no sense. Just let me move it where I want. Thx. :D )


            So Richard thanks for helping me clarify my thinking on this. :)

            • 3. Re: Annotation Point & Area same as Mark
              John Sobczak

              I know this is old and I presume it still holds true with 8.1 but just to bring this back to life, I completely agree with Shawn that more labeling flexibility is needed here.


              A simple example is a map with marks further filtered.  If I include a table calc that I want to put in a annotation such as total, I can put it in the detail mark, but I can only use it in an annotation if I tie it to a mark.  This is not even a work around for me as the filtering will remove marks and thus the label.  However that same table calc IS available for the title area  (which is my best workaround).  So again this should be a "no brainer" to include a label/annotation "view" option with same flexibility. This will keep Tableau moving up the vertical axis in magic quadrant