Testing Out the Spatial File Connector in Tableau 10.2


Testing Out the Spatial File Connector in Tableau 10.2

You know those times when two good things happen almost at the same time in a serendipitous manner? That’s exactly what happened to me recently. As I join InterWorks (and write my first entry), Tableau 10.2 is out. Sure, you’ve heard about Autosave (who doesn’t like a safety net). You may have also heard about Sharepoint Lists connector, but the feature I’ve been waiting to try out is the new Spatial File Connector.

Sometime last year, I did this visualisation of the Köppen Geiger Climate Classification and used a shape file to Tableau data extract converter to get it to work in Tableau. See here. I originally wanted to look at observed data since the records began and include all forecasts to 2100; however, as I started to work, I realised that it would take more time than I had available and ended up just pulling the data for two periods of time. You can see the original here.

But that’s old news. In Tableau 10.2, you can bring your shape files as they are. Just make sure that as you select the .shp file, all your other files like .sbx and .sbn are within the same folder and you are good to go.

Tableau shapefile connector

I’m not one to go back and redo previous visualisations, but I had to find out if it worked as I intended. So, I union-ed all of my files using Alteryx and read the new shape file using the new connector. It worked just as expected. See below the new visualisation, click to see interactive version.

I’m really pleased with this new feature of Tableau, and I can’t wait to see what others do with it. It opens options for those who want to look at weather patterns or water levels in rivers for instance. Tell us in the comments below, what’s your 10.2 favourite feature? 

Thank you for reading.


More About the Author

David Pires

London Practice Lead
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