What's in the demo?

1 Built-in functions

2 External latitude and longitude

3 Teccarto data packages

Built-in functions

Tableau already has great symbol and filled map functions right out of the box. In part one, we show how easy it is to create a combined map using both of these features with the dual axis function. We use the sample data that ships with Tableau - anyone can recreate this beautiful combined map.

External latitude and longitude

When you need additional boundaries and place data you can use your own latitude and longitude values and have Tableau draw circle and polygon mark types for you. This approach is not too bad when you are dealing with point data - as long as you can find the right latitude and longitude values, you're good. However with boundaries you need all the boundary points added to every data set you want to map. Not only does this fatten your data, you often need to be careful how you aggregate measures, because SUM() no longer gives the answer you need. Finally, you can't create combined maps with both symbol and filled map functions like you can when Tableau generates the latitude and longitude for you.

Teccarto data packages

Teccarto data packages wrap all the latitude and longitude values into the format that Tableau expects - freeing you to focus on your own data. This immediately gives you one-click symbol and filled maps from Tableau Show Me, and restores the ability to create combined maps with your own geo data. And when you come to share your work with colleagues with Tableau Server or Reader the geo data stays in Tableau - not in your workbook. This means smaller file sizes and faster publish times compared with other custom mapping methods.


The first image shows a two column map with both filled and symbol maps.

This is the impressive combined map you can create out of the box with Tableau and the sample data.

When using your own latitude and longitude data, you can't create both the symbol and filled maps at the same time.

Using Teccarto data you immediately regain the ability to create both maps at the same time.

And then using the dual axis function, you can combine these into a single overlaid map.

Using your own data allows you to focus attention on what matters: in this case, highlighting all the points in the selected boundary.

Using Teccarto data, you are free to explore your maps anyway you want, without worrying about latitude and longitude values.

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