6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2018 7:33 AM by Jim Dehner

    How to create a map of one city

    Emily Bari

      Hi everyone,


      I have just very recently started learning Tableau on my own, I only have the Tableau Public at this point.


      Here is my question: I have a very basic Excel file with the zip code and number of admissions column (I work for a healthcare organization). I need to create a map that will only show me the city divided into the zip code sections, not the map of the whole country with my area listed as a tiny dot.


      Any ideas on how to achieve this?





        • 1. Re: How to create a map of one city
          Deepak Rai

          You need to have Shape file for your City , you can Download from the netfrom places like this:

          Data for the US (nationwide) - Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - LibGuides at MIT Libraries


          and then use this Blog from Sarah Battersby to Create a Full Outer Join Between your data and the Shape file and you will get there. If you can paste your data, I can help.


          Dual Axis Mapping - Many Ways





          • 2. Re: How to create a map of one city
            Emily Bari

            Thanks Deepak, I checked the link you sent and don't see any blank shape files.


            My data is very basic, structured like this:


            Zip Code        Number of Admissions


            19120                            20

            19134                            150

            19133                             63   


            and so on.. it's in Philadelphia..


            So there is no easier way to do in Tableau Public?

            • 3. Re: How to create a map of one city
              Jim Dehner

              Hi Emily

              would like to see the data and your twbx workbook

              I hope your data has dimensions for City and Zip -

              then make city a GEO field

              and drag zip underneath it and convert it to a geo field also as shown




              place the city on the map and open it up to zip and you should get 1 point for each zip where there is data


              you can make the zip outlines and label vizable as shown below





              If this posts assists in resolving the question, please mark it helpful or as the 'correct answer' if it resolves the question. This will help other users find the same answer/resolution.  Thank you.

              • 4. Re: How to create a map of one city
                Deepak Rai

                I think you may follow my Friend Jim Dehner 's Approach, as you have only one City.

                • 5. Re: How to create a map of one city
                  Emily Bari

                  Thank you so much both!


                  I was able to get what I needed.


                  I am also wondering and please tell me if I should start a new thread on this but it wasn't intuitive to me that adding the city and zip to text would give me what was needed so I am trying to figure out what the best way is to start learning Tableau and at which point does it start making sense. I've only been looking at the tutorials for about a week and some of the material seems pretty easy and some(a lot) just hasn't clicked in it.


                  How did you start learning Tableau?

                  • 6. Re: How to create a map of one city
                    Jim Dehner

                    Good morning

                    you are doing well for one week of learning


                    I learned from the tutorials so I feel your pain -

                    The tutorials are a great place to start but you need to pick and choose carefully -

                    It might help to think in terms of the areas (buckets) that you will use and then focus on those segments



                    - numerical calculations - logical calculations (if / then) - table calculations -Dates


                    the Visual

                    Mapping - text charts- graphing


                    And remember - Tableau is data base driven - not like excel that is cell based - in excel you write a formula in a cell and copy over a number of rows or columns

                    in Tableau think of the columns as Dimensions - ways to categorize the data -  Rows are Measures - the values in the excel cells


                    the dimensions that you place on the viz ae like creating a spread sheet - what you place on the rows and columns shelves (dimensions) create the sheet

                    The measures fill in the values but the are aggregated at the specific combination of the row and column dimension - like summing a column of data in excel -

                    The different topics in the calculation training will show to create calculations with different types of data Logical - dates - -  advanced calculations go into how to fix the value at a specific set of dimensions (lod expressions) or how do perform a calculation on the entire table (table calcs - ) - there are more complex calculations for each but that is a place to start


                    the mapping and creating a viz sections will show you how to place the dimensions and measures on the vis to create different visuals


                    the point is you don't need to go through all the tutorials in order - pick and choose - make a chart - see how it works and go on th the next


                    In the specific case of you map - that took some experience

                    I guessed that in your data each record had a location that included a city and zip code - Tableau mapping will automatically create a map whenever you place a geo (thats the little globe icon) on the canvas - but sometimes what you call the zip is not recognized by tableau - so the first step was to convert the zip to a geo field that tableau would recognize - then I assumed (always a dangerous thing) that you wanted to see the zip boundaries on you map - the easiest way to do that is to use the map layers

                    Mapping in tableau and many other systems is really placing a static map (with many layers) on the viz and then placing you specific data over that static map - (you can do it use shapes a spatial data as someone else suggested but for your need it was easier using map layers) -- the process is just something you need to learn


                    Hang in there -

                    You are doing well   - also consider the TUG (Tableau User Group) in your area - many have Newbie groups and newbie training