What if an analyst wants to create a map using boundaries not pre-built into Tableau's mapping capabilities, for example, hospital catchment areas, electric power markets, or local administrative units such as Chicago wards? With the ability to map custom geographies for visualization in Tableau, analysts would have much greater flexibility in visualizations and would be able to tailor their maps more specifically to the needs of the client.

By: Jamie Fishman

With no native functionality in Tableau to work with geographic boundaries outside of standard geographic boundaries such as ZIP codes, counties, states, etc., users can turn to open-source geographic information systems (GIS) to manage shapefiles (geographic data storage files) and manipulate them into a format reproducible in Tableau visualization. This case study describes a step-by-step tutorial for how to enhance Tableau geographic visualization with custom boundaries.

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