2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2012 2:00 PM by Peter Kies

    Need help with geocoding!

    Peter Kies

      I'm looking at demographics from a survey I just conducted, and am having trouble plotting participant locations on the map.


      Looking at the underlying data, Tableau can't figure out lat and long for some of the smaller towns, so I went to look for custom geocoding.


      I went to http://lsntap.org/GIS_Data_GE_Geocode to find lat/lon for cities in participant states, converyted the Excel files into CSV and stored on my PC

      Then I imported custom geocodes to include all the files in that folder.  First it told me it couldn't do it because the data didn't have country info, so I went back and added USA to all rows and subsequently changed it to United States. I didn't get the first error, but got a mysterious "failed to import X rows due to invalid data" message.  All the rows in onw file and some in the other failed to load, with no explanation of which rows or why they were invalid.  And the resulting update to the map didn't add any additional marks, so the net effort did nothing for me.


      Can someone explain how to make this work?  I don't really care what geocode file source I use, as long as it is relatively complete in my area.

      And as long as I don't have to manually enter in all the lat and long values for the cities that the default geocoding couldn't find.

        • 1. Re: Need help with geocoding!
          Shawn Wallwork

          Peter, from what you describe, I don't think you need 'custom geocoding' at all. If you have a file with a column labelled 'latitude' and one for 'longitude' then Tableau will recognize the as such. The shape of your data, and using multiple data sources can at times get tricky, but it sound like you're going the long way around to produce your map.


          Two suggestions:

          1. Post some sample data (say the first 50 rows) of all your data sources
          2. Here's the lat/long finder I use: http://www.findlatitudeandlongitude.com/batch-geocode/#.UI2HJcXAd8E it works well, up to 1,000 addresses.


          Hope this helps.



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          • 2. Re: Need help with geocoding!
            Peter Kies

            My original data did not have lat/long but it did have zip codes.  I'm not sure why this works, but I removed the geographic role from the "City" field and then Tableau was able to find lat/long from the Zip field.  Why it looks at the City first when Zip is more descriptive I have no idea.  And I didn't see a way to tell it to do otherwise other than to tell it that City was not a geo field.  You'd think it would look at the zip column first, and only look at city if there wasn't a zip code.