Creating Animated Maps with Tableau

So I have been experimenting with a software package called Tableau for a little bit. For those of you who do not know what Tableau is, it is a software tool that can automate data visualizations. Many businesses use Tableau to create dashboards, maps, etc. It has a hefty price tag but if you are a student you can get a year-long license for free. With Tableau you can upload data from a variety of sources such as Excel, SQL, text files, and so on. Today I will show you how to create an animated map with Tableau.

First you will need to format and clean up your data. The beauty of Tableau is that you do not have to use longitude and latitude as location coordinates. You can simply use the state and city names to map out locations. I also had to change format the start time and end time from general numbers to date format (year start and year end). I also had to use an excel plugin in order to format pre-1900s dates:


Step 1:Open a new Tableau Workbook


Step 2: Connect to your data. Choose the format of your data from the left hand menu.part2

Step 3:Since I am working with datespart3

Step 4: Double click on the geographic dimension State and a map should appear with markers for each location in your data.part4


Step 5: Since each mark represents different people I dragged the Name dimension to the colors box in the Marks Labels region.part6

Step 7: Drag Year start to Pages. You will notice in your filters box new buttons pop up.part7

Step 8: Click the play button and the animation will start.part8



Best book that I know for Tableau is Communicating Data with Tableau

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s