3 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2013 4:51 PM by Shawn Wallwork

    combine county polygon into custom territory

    Stacy Lang

      I know there are ways to group in tableau but I've yet to find a way that I can combine counties into a territory that tableau then allows me to manipulate - add territory labels, change the border color, etc. I've been using a paint program to delete the lines of the county. I know I can have a territory field in the excel file and put territory onto the color shelf. That works great - but sometimes we just want to have the borders show, not be in different colors. Similar to clicking the county border in map options.


      Any help on getting this done? I'll admit I'm used to map info where I could just combined several areas into a new custom defined area that I could manipulate easily.


      If I have to export all the edges of the counties into excel and delete the center values that way, that's fine. I just need to know how to export them.


      Thanks for your help,



        • 1. Re: combine county polygon into custom territory
          Shawn Wallwork

          Stacy I'm a little confused. You say you want to get rid of borders. This can be done by making the border the same color as the fill. If you could post some screenshots of what you're getting, and what you want it to ultimately look like (after you paint it). I think we'll be able to better understand.


          Ultimate it sounds like you want custom polygons of collections of counties. But there's quite a bit of work involved, so let's see first is there's a simple (ish) solution.



          • 2. Re: combine county polygon into custom territory
            Stacy Lang


            Shawn, here's what I did in the paint program. I've added the very dark border around each of the territories over the tableau map. The problem is that it often ends up looking very poor quality. The client likes the borders clearly defined, the change in color is not enough. Or we may have times when we don't want to use territory, just show the borders to define the different territories.

            • 3. Re: combine county polygon into custom territory
              Shawn Wallwork

              Stacy, thanks for the screenshot now I get it. So your final product is a graphic image that can be used in a PowerPoint or PDF. First let me give you some suggestions on ways you can change your workflow to do away with "very poor quality" results (i.e don't hand draw any borders). These are all screenshots of maps in Tableau:







              [FYI: While I didn't capture them to scale, you can so you would be able to fit them together perfectly.]


              To my way of thinking it is much easier to erase borders than to draw them. Once you have the internal borders erased, then you can save it in a format that supports alpha channels, which will allow you to overlay it on top of the colored filled map.


              The way I got these images was to washout the bg map completely, which gives you white. I also set the county fill colors to white. The borders are set to black 100%. To get the extra dark line around the whole shape set the Halo to black. An alternate option is to set the borders to none and leave the Halo set to black:






              But this doesn't produce as thick a line. If you have a good graphics program this is probably the best option because you'll be able to 'thicken' the line, and then you won't have to erase the interior borders, just drop it on the map with the alpha channel.


              If this helps dress up your images, great. If not you can also go the custom polygon route. For an intro watch Joe's video:




              [Go to the very bottom of the page and click Joe Mako to watch the video.]


              Hope some of this helps. (Workbook attached.)





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