Last week, we had a chance to build engaging and creative dashboards for a reputable charity organization. Inspired by the Flerlage Twins, I had a geometric art experiment and used their simple bubble chart method to build a “Movember image” in tableau with 3500 circles and 500 colours.

In this blog, I will walk you through all the steps to build above Geometric Image in Tableau.

Step 1: Geometrizing Your Image

Go to the Geometrize site and follow below steps: Go to setting – Select circles – Set the Max Shapes Cap (use less than 5000) – Open Image option then select the image – click Run – click Save SVG to download the SVG file.

Step 2 : Converting SVG to Excel 
  • Go to the XML to Excel converter
  • Where it says Option 1 – Choose a XML File, click Choose File, then select your SVG.
  • Scroll down to Step 3: Generate Output and select XML to Excel. And Excel file will be downloaded.
  • Open the Excel file and paste it into columns B – F in below Excel template provided by Ken Flerlage.

  • Use the values in column N to generate a custom categorical color palette in Tableau.
Step 3 : Build the image in Tableau Desktop

  • Generate your Excel file and create your custom colour palette using the steps detailed above, then connect to the file in Tableau.
  • Drag the Shapes sheet to the data pane.
  • Convert Circle # to a dimension.
  • Drag Circle # to the Colour card, then choose your new custom colour palette.
  • Change the colour transparency to 50%.
  • Change the sorting of Circle # to descending (These images are created by layering shapes on top of each other, so the descending sort will ensure the proper layering).
  • Create a calculated field called Circle Area with the formula “PI()*SQUARE([_R])”.
  • Drag Circle Area to the Size card.
  • Drag _Cx to the Rows shelf and ­_Cy to the Columns shelf.
  • Reverse the y axis.
  • Change the shape to a filled circle.
  • Play with the sizing of your shapes until the image looks right.
  • Make other adjustments as desired including gridlines, fixed axes, etc.

If you are also interested in using tableau to build your custom Geometric Image, give it a go using Flerlage Twins’ simple bubble chart method!


The Data School
Author: The Data School