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: http://j-walk.com/ss/excel/files/xdate.htm

cleanData

Step 1:Open a new Tableau Workbook

part1

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

part5

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

Resources:

Tableau: http://www.tableausoftware.com/

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

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