Tableau provides a lot of excellent map layers, however if you want to try something different to make an interactive map, I definitely recommend the hex tile map.

Step 1: Connect with spatial file

The first step is to download the spatial fileĀ  Hex Map Spatial File | VizPainter (Joshua Milligan). We then need to join this file with our data.

  • Click on Add
  • Drag the Spatial file to connect with our original data
  • Use Inner join to match the attribute, here I will use “State

Step 2: Build the map

We’ll have this hex tile map in the worksheet if we double-click “Geometry” on the right hand side. However, it appears odd because the United States is in the wrong place. We may use the map layer to wash out the background and make it look more appealing.

With the individual State as a filter, we can begin to design our dashboard. Drag the measure to the colour and the label to the State. We can also create some other charts depending on each State, allowing us to utilise this map as a filter to check on the statistics for each State.

Step 3: Set your actions

After creating few charts(tables), we can go to the dashboard and start with the interactive design. There are many ways to interact with maps, here I am going to show you how to use state as filters.

  • Go to dashboard setting.
  • Click on “Actions”
  • Add actions(Filter)
  • Set map as the source sheet and the sheets you want to have actions on as your target sheets.
  • Run action on “Select”
  • Clearing the action will “Show all values”, so that we can see the overall statistics after deselecting a state.
  • Selected fields(select the field that you want to use to set actions on), here I will use “State”

Now we are all done, you can also explore more powerful actions that you could do with the map(hint: set actions). Check out the final dashboard here Man vs. Virus in USA | Tableau Public and feel free to ask any questions in the comment.


Rey Li
Author: Rey Li