How To: Hex Tile Maps in Tableau
Brittany Fong wrote a cool blog post about how to create a tiled map using Tableau. As soon as I saw it, I started researching the usage of this type of map, and I found an article about hex tile maps. I knew this was possible in Tableau, so I used Brittany's instructions, and then I manipulated the data to fit a hex map.
First, I added the hexagon shape to the Tableau shapes repository. Next, I needed to create a file that would align the hexagon tiles to build the hex map. The file can be downloaded here. I rearranged the map a bit compared to the article that I referenced. After I searched Google images for a bit, I found a different layout that was more accurate geographically, so I moved DC out by itself.
Now, to build the hex map:
1. Add Row to Rows
2. Edit the axis for Rows and reverse the scale
3. Add Column to Columns
4. Change the mark to Shapes
5. Choose the custom hex shape that you added to your repository
6. Drag Abbreviation to the label, set the vertical and horizontal alignment to center, turn on allow labels to overlap other marks
7. Hide the headers
8. Adjust the size to get the preferred amount of white space.
9. Add the worksheet to the dashboard and resize until the spacing is correct. 450 by 300 worked well for me.
That's it! Check out a before and after of a recent Viz of the Day.