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!


Zoe Lu
Author: Zoe Lu

Zoe is a graduate of the University of Queensland, majoring in professional accounting and applied finance, she always strives to learn and enjoys applying her skills to manage any challenge. She moved from Brisbane to Melbourne three years ago and she believes that all change is good change. When Zoe is not creating dashboards, you will see her at Pilates or enjoying the good restaurants around Melbourne with her family and friends. If you ever get a chance to eat hot pot with her, she will share the recipe for her delicious secret dipping sauce.