Thank you sir! Updated.
Also, if I pitch in 25¢ a month to your electric bill - will you just leave your machine up all the time?
An alternative to Joe's video on how to process a shapefile to create polygons are the 2 utilities I posted a while back in this Viz Talk thread.
There are two utilities in there: shapetotab, which takes a shape file and generates a list of point coordinates in the format needed to draw spatial polygons in Tableau and tabgeohack which again takes shapefiles but this time inserts them into Tableau's geocoding database, thus extending Tableau's custom geocoding to provide all the functionality of built-in filled maps. Shapetotab is the simpler to use (just run a single command line and then load the data), but using polygons like that doesn't allow such flexible analysis as built-in filled maps. Tabgeohack takes a bit more work to set up the necessary definitions and also has the down-side that because it makes use of undocumented details of the structure of the geocoding database, it may stop working one day. But it's been going 15 months now and survived the version 8 upgrade, so who knows...?
Both utilities make use of the GDAL open source spatial libraries which means that they automatically support a very wide range of different spatial data files (ESRI shapefiles, MapInfo, GeoJSON, Tiger, etc). There are 71 file types listed in the GDAL documentation - though I've only ever tried about three of them.
So Dustin, Joe Mako's video is no longer available on Vimeo. Any further suggestions?
Yes! Another Zen Master, Craig Bloodworth, built a free tool in the Alteryx Gallery that lets you upload .zips of SHP files and it spits them back out in .tde format. It requires creating a login for the Gallery itself, but other than that it's totally seamless.
Hope that helps!
Thank you Dustin. My apologies, I should have mentioned that I am using Tableau Public until my employer decides to purchase Desktop. So it looks like I may be stuck without a straight-forward method of importing *.tde as it will only accept *.tms format.