Tableau now comes with more geographical data built in, including updated US congressional districts (CD), local name synonyms for world capitals, Japanese postal, and Mapbox integration. I’ve to admit I really love Mapbox!
What is Mapbox? Mapbox is an online repository of custom-built maps for your needs and enables you to create the perfect map to integrate into your Tableau visualization. Mapbox maps are highly customizable – you can design your own map, build applications, extend applications, use satellite imagery and create static maps. You can even have Pirate Maps!
- So first off you’ll have to register with mapbox.com
- Once you are logged in go to Account > API access tokens > copy and paste your token. You’ll need this for Tableau.
- Open up Tableau > connect to your data source that has geographical locations. For this case, we will use the sample sales data set that is preloaded in Tableau.
- Map > Background Maps > Map Service to open a popup box.
- Add > Mapbox Services > Classic
- Fill in a style name for this map > Paste in the access token you previously copied
- Drop the selection box down and it will provide a list of classic maps already for your use. For this case, we are going to use Emerald.
- Take your city dimension from the data set > double click or drag and drop to populate a map. See below the before and after without Mapbox and with.
If you create multiple Mapbox maps and want to populate different styles on different worksheets, you can:
- Maps > Background Maps > Emerald. Here you have a list of maps that you have created.
So here you have a basic understanding of using Mapbox in Tableau.
Happy mapping, literally go explore! And join me on Twitter:
— Alexander Loth (@xlth) December 9, 2015