World Population Vizualization

The below Tableau Visualization took way longer than it needed to. The problem was the data source – this data is from the World Bank. When I download the data – all I wanted was a list of countries and populations. The population per year was a nice bonus. Mixed in with the countries were several regional and economic groupings that I didn’t really need or want, and there wasn’t a marker to filter them out. Then, adding all of the countries together didn’t equal the world total, which was odd. Spent a lot of time fishing to the data only to find out it doesn’t match on the World Bank website either.

Tableau world population

Click the Map to open in Tableau Public.

Adding XY (Lon, Lat) Coordinates to a shapefile

Problem: I have a point shapefile that I want to use with Tableau, but the data does not have X,Y or Longitude, Latitude in the dataset. What do I do?

Both ArcGIS and QGIS have the ability to add this data to shapefiles relatively easily.

Important: The point file must first be projected, otherwise the coordinates will not work with Tableau.


My layer/dataset is called “fdia_eng_pnt”.

1. Open ArcToolbox

2. Goto Data Management Tools -> Projections and Transformations -> Feature -> Project

3. Pick your input and output datasets

4. for the Output Coordinate system, pick WGS 1984 (EPSG:4326).

5. Click OK

Once this process is done, the new layer is added to ArcGIS.  Next…

6. Go to the Geoprocessing menu, then select Python. This will open the Python command window.

7. Type the following command (I know, so old-school…) and press enter:


8. ArcGIS will create 4 columns in the dataset: Point_X, Point_Y, Point_Z, and Point_M.



First, to reproject the data:

1. Go to Processing -> Toolbox.

2.  In the toolbox, go to Geoalgorithms -> Vector -> General tools -> Reproject layer.

3. For Target CRS, select EPSG:4326

4. Run, this will create a new layer.

Here is a link to an app company called Fulcrum that has step by step instructions for creating the same columns in QGIS.

Once the columns have been created, you can export the dataset to a CSV that can then be opened in Tableau.

Cascading Quick Filters in Tableau

Step-by-step instructions on creating cascading quick filters in Tableau.  A Cascading filter means where you pick the top level of filtering first, and the next drop down only shows ‘relevant’ items.  Sort of like a drill down.  So, for example, Country – State – City.  Once you pick country, the next selection of state would only show what is available within the selected country.

Cascading Quick Filters in Tableau – The Information Lab.

Tableau Tips for the Day

Two tasks to complete today in using Tableau:

1. When you create a dashboard, you can’t use the “Measure Names” as a global filter.  How to create a global filter.  Answer.

2. Instead of having a state selector for origin and a state selector for destination, how to just have one selector that would affect both.  Answer.

Data Extract in Tableau

Found a great website with instructions on how to automate data extracts in Tableau.  Actually, the site is pretty cool in general:

Building Tableau Data Extracts with Python in Tableau 8

Build Tableau Data Extracts out of CSV Files


First step is to download and install the data extract modules:


Looking for instructions on how to install, also found instructions on using Tableau command line facility.  This looks like it would be pretty useful as well: