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Filled maps in Tableau V7

imageAmong many other great new features, Tableau Software’s latest release adds ‘filled

maps’ as a new type of visualisation.

This was possible using ‘polygon’ mapping in earlier versions of Tableau, but this new functionality make creation of filled maps a single click operation and also offers some completely new ways to use maps in visualisations.

Here are three ways to use this great new feature…


Standard filled maps


Nothing new here, except that these charts can now be drawn with a single click.  Currently shapes are limited to US states, countries of the world and some states within other countries.  I’m sure later releases will include more shapes or perhaps the opportunity to add your own.




Filled maps as labels


Now lets get creative.  Why just use filled maps on geographic maps?  When the audience can immediately identify the shape of a geographic region, they make nice labels as in the bar chart below.




Filled maps on scatter plots


And the same trick of using the maps as labels, but this time as a scatter plot.




As ever, I’m sure we’ll see many more creative uses of these in the future – V7 due out mid Jan 2012.

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Tom Brown

London, UK

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