2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2014 1:12 PM by John Sieglaff

    Custom Shapes in Maps

    John Sieglaff

      Our sales organizations work specific counties in states, which Tableau can map with no issues. However, they will divide the teams working a county into specific townships, which is a common breakdown of a county. I know the Census Bureau has the township data, as we have downloaded it from their Tiger server.


      However, we can't figure out how to map that data on Tableau.


      Is there a way to mark out the boundaries of a township using the geocoding information we have from the Census? or to create a layer showing the townships?

        • 1. Re: Custom Shapes in Maps
          Alan Eldridge

          HI John,


          It sounds like what you are asking could be sorted using custom polygons shapes. First you'll need to get the boundary data - an ESRI shapefile or a MapInfo MIF file are common formats. You then need to convert this into a vertex list that Tableau can read. See the following blog post (and the included video) for some guidance on how you could do this:

          Australian region boundaries in Tableau | Alan@Tableau


          There are multiple tools you can use to convert the boundary files. I tend to use Alteryx (mostly because it has a feature that conforms boundaries when you simplify the polygons). There are also free tools such as ShapeToTab by Richard Leeke or Mary Solbrig's R shapefile importer.

          Grow your own Filled Maps

          ESRI Shapefile importer: R


          Hope this helps.




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          • 2. Re: Custom Shapes in Maps
            John Sieglaff

            Alan, you are most awesome, love what you have done with your Australian map.


            I have tried the R version, but that doesn't give me the ability to add the name to the township, or other data, so I will have to attempt the other method. Of course, I haven't viewed your video yet...which would probably tell me what I am doing wrong...