7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2018 3:21 PM by Sarah Battersby

    Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau

    Amanda Boyle

      In recent and upcoming releases, Tableau has significantly improved its support for working with spatial data and performing geospatial analysis. This session of Dev Office Hours will review the important spatial features released in the last year and a look at what is coming soon to a Tableau release near you.


      During the session, there will be plenty of time for discussion and feedback. The Maps team is hoping to learn more about how you use spatial data in Tableau and what issue(s) or limitations you run into today, and to hear what enhancements are most important to you.


      For the next week, Kent Marten, Sarah Battersby, Ashwin Kumar & team will be reading this thread and responding to your questions. Next Wednesday, March 14th, at 9am PDT, we will be hosting a live "office hours" event where you can call in and chat with us as well. This live event will cover questions plus a short demo.


      Please register for the webinar at this link: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau | Tableau Software


      In case you can't make it the session will be recorded and will be uploaded to this thread.


      :: Update 3/14/18 ::


      Thank you everyone who was able to attend the webinar!


      Here is a recording on YouTube from Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau.

      Responses to questions from the chat thread, along with additional resources will be posted in the thread below soon.


      Your Community Team




        • 1. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
          Peter Fakan

          Hi Kent and team,


          We are heavy users of maps within Tableau dashboards as one of the primary mechanisms of conveying data about Australia/Australians. In a lot of cases this is simply a matter of dropping a geography on a map and applying a measure as a colour. We tend to place this in the top left hand side of our dashboards, giving it the largest importance and prime real estate for our visualisations. We also tend to use this as a navigation element, thus state and territory information that is derived through the rest of the visualisation is only accessible by clicking on the map.


          More recently we have been working on conveying the same data, but at different geographies - we have ABS geographies (Statistical Area 1 through 4), Aged Care Planning Regions, Primary Health Networks, State and Territory, Postcodes, the list goes on. The key element underpinning each of these geographies usually ends up being the location of the viz user more or less, but what we would like to offer is the ability to show them each of these geographies and how they apply to the users.


          Developing that thought though, we would also like the ability to convey different layers of information (i.e. smoking rates, hospitalisations, education levels) overlaid, so that for example you might be able to visually discern a link between education levels leading to higher smoking rates and then hospitalisations by looking at overlaid geographic data.


          While we have the ability to change geographies like this - Data + Science, there are limitations between my description above of what we would like to do and what we currently can do.


          Another key constraint we have been dealing with recently is our ability to manipulate what is on the screen with the map when we are using them in this way. If we head down the sheet-swapping path, and we want to have a legend for each map, each legend for each sheet demands space on the dashboard, where we would like to only see the relevant legend.

          • 2. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
            Amanda Boyle

            Thanks for sharing this Peter Fakan! I am tagging Kent Marten and Sarah Battersby for visibility.


            We hope you can join the webinar on Wednesday!

            Register at this link

            • 3. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
              Ali Motion



              I work with a variety of Emergency Services clients in the UK, all of which have their own custom geographies with different hierarchies and shapes - in fact even within the same industry such as Police or Fire there is no standard as to the level of geographies that a specific force would used.


              For me, the ability to bring in your own spatial files has been a game changer and has allowed me to utilise the power of Tableau in map building. Before this breakthrough, I'd have to create lots of static maps in other software, which were good but didn't allow the 'on-the-go' flexibility that Tableau has.


              As for what I'd like to see, I'd echo the points made above the ability to have layers that can be turned on / off within the visualisation. This would truly be a game changer for us. At the moment I do find myself cheating somewhat and creating additional layers by reading icons for fixed shapes like buildings into Mapbox, and then using the Mapbox map background within the map. Obviously this isn't ideal but is used as currently as a 'work around'


              I got very excited when watching the webcast from Devs on Stage in Vegas for the forthcoming Density mapping feature. I can already imagine some really useful user cases for this type of functionality.




              • 4. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
                Mike Mainzer

                Literally everything Ali said, times a billion.


                Being able to add your own layers and toggle them on and off, just like you can with the standard tableau map, would be huge. I would never have a reason to use ArcMap or QGIS anymore if that were the case.

                • 5. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
                  Daniel Fernandez



                  Thanks, great webinar, really enjoyed it!


                  • Would you mind sharing the tableau files as well as the datasets in their raw format (shapefiles, csv files, etc.) used for each of the visualizations shown in the office hour?
                  • Can I try the spatialJoin tableau version as a beta tester? Please refer me where to subscribe to that.





                  • 6. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
                    Łukasz Majewski

                    Hi and thanks for a very informative webinar. I can't wait for the new spatial data features.


                    What I tried to ask about I presented here. In other words: will we be able to use tableau internal geo db to create groups out of known geographic elements without all this hassle? e.g. select the 26 countries that constitute EU and display as one polygon when my data uses 'EU' dimension and is not broken down to individual countries.





                    • 7. Re: Dev Office Hours: Mappy Hour – Working with Spatial Data in Tableau
                      Sarah Battersby

                      Hi Everyone -


                      I wanted to share some additional resources to follow up on the Mappy Dev Office Hours this morning.  I'll add new resources as I collect them from the team.


                      From the mappy demos and conversations this morning:

                      • Sarah's blog on the Tableau Community: Sarah Battersby's Blog .  A few posts that directly relate to topics from this morning (with how-to instructions):
                        • Dot density maps (Tableau + PostgreSQL) - this includes instructions on data sources and how-to for dynamic querying from Postgres using custom SQL in Tableau
                        • Firefly maps - includes a firefly symbol set, how to use the symbols for mapping in Tableau, and instructions on making your own custom symbols
                        • Dual axis mapping - various ways to combine different spatial and text files in Tableau for dual axis maps.  This does not include the great copy LatLon that Ashwin demoed, but the blog post may be updated when the feature releases.



                      An additional useful map resource is the Tableau Community FAQ: Maps  We update a collection of interesting blog posts, resources, questions from the forums, ideas, and videos related to maps.