Tableau Hexbin Tutorial (with hexbin shape pack)

Hexbins in Tableau allow you to group together neighboring data points on a 2 dimensional plane. In practice it’s similar to binning in Tableau but this time you’re factoring in 2 measures rather than just one. The value of doing this in visualization is that with data sets where you have many data points binning allows you to focus in on the density and critical mass allowing you to quickly generalize information.

In the video tutorial, I take you through how to create Hexbins in Tableau on a 2 dimensional plane and on a map. If you want to geek out, you might want to read the linked paper on hex-binning with maps produced by Tableau research and last but not least, hit the button below to suggest a topic for the next video.

[btx_video type=”external” video_url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdIRxS55zQo”]

Tableau workbook & 32 image hexbin shape pack

Now you know how to create hexbins, you’re going to need a shape pack because Tableau currently doesn’t ship with a shape pack that sports hexagons. To that end, I spent some time creating a range of shapes that you can use for your hex-binning. The pack has 32 hexagons, 16 with a flat edge and 16 with a pointed edge in 4 different styles. Why so many? it’s easier to just show you the subtle differences. You can download them here

[btx_image image_id=”44805″ link=”http://j.mp/tableautim-hexbins” position=”center” on_click=”link”]Click to download image pack.[/btx_image]

[btx_image image_id=”44955″ link=”http://public.tableau.com/shared/MYGRMT2JN?:display_count=yes” position=”center” on_click=”link”][/btx_image]

 

7 Comments

  • mohana b
    Can I have the Airbnb Portland workbook ? It is really good and I would like to work on the same kind of stuff. Pelase let me know..
    • It's available on Tableau public for download.
      • mohana b
        I checked everywhere. I only have the option to download the pdf and Image, not the Tableau workbook. Would you please give me the option to download tableau Workbook Thanks, Mohana
        • Download link is definately there. Let me knw if not and i'll email it to you. http://tableautim.com/airbnb-portland-tableau/
  • Alan Eldridge
    Hi Tim - great post. However one issue with using shapes is they cannot be easily resized as you zoom in/out or change your density factor. I have made several blog posts on using polygons instead of shapes to overcome this issue - hope you find it interesting. https://blog.databender.net/?s=hex Cheers, Alan
    • Agree however shape files / an image pack is easier to deploy so I tend to prefer it as long as the images are optimised and lean as I've done with this set.
  • […] Right click Hexagon x in the measure pane and select Geographic role – Latitude.  Right click Hexagon y in the measure pane and select Geographic role – Longitude.  Drop these into the rows and columns on a sheet and the map will appear.  Then drop Country and Medal Rows onto detail on the marks card and you will see the marks appear on the map. Click shape, more shapes to change the shapes to hexagons.  You can download some hexagon shapes from Tim Ngwena’s blog. […]

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