Maps should be simple, simple to make
and simple to use.
I simplify shape files to use them in
Tableau but you can use them in other apps too.
Why should you do this?
Speaking in simple words Tableau draws
maps by joining nodes with lines in order given by ShapeToTab. If
there are many nodes Tableau has to work harder and performs slower.
Besides that it is a great way of spending free time :)
I am planning to add a few posts about data in the real world, yes life and data also exist outside the internet. I have no idea how I will achieve this as I do not go out so often. Keep your fingers crossed :)
If you are into a data analysis, you have
argued with your data more than once. Pieces of data software have made you
crazy. Be honest, you have insulted Excel or any other application. After
reading this magical blog post you will appreciate modern data programs. You
will purr like a kitty thinking of calculating on your computer.
I have visited Arithmeum, a museum devoted
to calculating methods and machines. It is placed in Bonn, Germany.
I've decided to spend one
week living on the edge of poverty to get the data
for the Tableau's Quantified Self Viz Contest. My food budget
was $2.35 per day (it's
calculated by government organization), I stayed in Poland so
prices are from there.
I've found the old census data from
1926 and decided to give them a new life by comparing to the newest
I haven't included all ethnic
minorities in Russia as there're some mistakes in the old censuses,
I've checked all censuses between 1926 and 2010, some ethnic groups're
in a few first censuses then they just disappeared and appeared
again. Of course it made me crazy but life is like this. As a result
of this predictable problem with the old censuses, I decide to use in
my visualization only the biggest ethnic groups.
This problem could happen to everyone, even to you, maybe not to
everyone as not everyone works with Russian text in Excel lol
The problem appears only when you're trying to save the text in a
language other than your system's language,
so if your system is in Russian and the file consists Russian text, you don't need to worry, this tutorial is not for you.
This tutorial is devoted to creating polygon map in Tableau based on image, I've done the tutorial giving similar results here.
Maybe you will find this way easier.
It's a good way of mapping places that aren't strongly connected to Longitude/Latitude. Shops in shopping centres have their geographical coordinates but of course nobody uses them, so map consisting general shapes without details is fine in such situation.
Select 'On Demand', you have to create
an account but it's free and you don't need to be a Tableau customer.
The tutorials are selected into few groups Intro, Advanced, Chart
Types, Server. It's the best place to start learning.
Check 'Live Online' out too.
Tableau's Knowledge Base – hundreds of tutorials
are divided by topic.
Each short tutorial gives answer to a
problem, it's good to check the titles and do tutorials which can be
useful in your work. The list look like a never ending story but no
reason to be in stress as most of things you will learn doing 'On
Let's analyse a situation, you have a data set and you have something, what looks like the matching shape file, you think cheerfully that the data set will fit to the shape file like a hand to the glove. Unfortunately, life isn't so easy. Some shape files aren't updated regularly, it is common that administrative districts with low population density are joined to the neighbouring districts. It is worth to compare the number of districts in your data sets with the shape file. If you see any gap, try to find information about changes, so you will know which districts should be merged.