Tableau Training

Tile Grid Map for U.S. Donations

Heat map of donations by state, organized in a map-like tile grid. Displays states as identical in size and includes Alaska and Hawaii easily.

Tile Grid Map for U.S. Donations
  1. Data Source Data Source 1
  2. Marks Marks 2
  3. View View 3
  1. Data Source

    I blended two data sources for this workbook. One provides the grid layout of which state goes where. The other has the data fields.

    In Tableau Desktop, I went to Data, Edit Relationships and defined State as a linking field between my two data sources.

    Data Source #1 (State Tiles)


    Row, Space, Abbreviation, State

    Data Source #2 (Tile Grid Map)


    Gift Date, Gift Type, Gifts ID, State


    Gift Amount

    Calculated Field:

    Actual Gift Amount

    IFNULL([Gift Amount],0)

    This field provides a default value for each state so it won't show as null if the state received no gifts.

  2. Marks




    SUM(Actual Gift Amount)

    I applied a Gray (warm) gradient.


    SUM(Actual Gift Amount)

    I used this same pill on the and changed the _Default Properties, Number Format to show the amount in thousands of dollars.

  3. View





    The columns and rows are just the grid layout as defined in the Excel spreadsheet data source.

    For the map sizing, I dragged the ends of the worksheet to make them wider and longer until I got the map to the size I liked. I formatted the sheet default cell with a thick, white border, providing some padding between the cells.

I love this workbook! I find a tile map incredibly useful.

Once you learn the trick for making it, you can use it over and over in multiple ways just like a real map. Plus, your users will be able to orient to a tile map just as easily as a regular one.

Next steps

Whether you're in the U.S. or not, you can this same concept to display a tile map for your region. Show provinces in Canada. Show regional or ceremonial counties in the U.K. Or whatever! Regardless of where you want to map, you can apply this same concept to map the regions of your area.

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