How to use a custom Mapbox map as your background map in Tableau

Mapbox map in Tableau
Mapbox map in Tableau

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!

Mapbox tutorial:

  1. So first off you’ll have to register with
  2. Once you are logged in go to Account > API access tokens > copy and paste your token. You’ll need this for Tableau.
  3. 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.
  4. Map > Background Maps > Map Service to open a popup box.
  5. Add > Mapbox Services > Classic
  6. Fill in a style name for this map > Paste in the access token you previously copied
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

  1. 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: