Maps in Tableau 9.3: More Data, Easier Interaction, and a Few Surprises, Too

By Kent Marten March 25, 2016

You often ask us to build more data into Tableau maps, and we do hear you. With every Tableau release, we add more data to build out global coverage for common administrative boundaries and cities. And with Tableau 9.3 comes loads of new data and some important updates to existing data.

The biggest news is that we’ve added postal code data for 39 countries that were previously not supported. And you can now use filled maps for all of the 42 countries that are shipped. Here is a glimpse of the new coverage map.

European postal codes in Tableau 9.3: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and last but not least, the lone postal code of Vatican City.

And that’s not all. In Tableau 9.3, we’ve added Indian districts.

We’ve also updated the French regions caused by recent territorial reform as well as regions in Guinea.

For the US, we’ve updated zip codes and demographic data layers.

For those of you who know about the inner-workings of Tableau’s geocoding capabilities, you might be wondering about geocoding performance with all of this data being added. Surprise! We actually made geocoding faster in many cases.

Our maps improvements did not end with these data updates and additions. We’ve enhanced the experience for interacting with your maps. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, it’s now easier to zoom in Tableau. Let me explain.

If you use a mouse with a scroll wheel or a trackpad that supports touch gestures, you can now zoom in and out on a map without holding a modifier key. It just works! But that’s not all. When performing this type of interactive zooming, the zoom will now be targeted at the position of your cursor, making your navigation experience much more predictable.

Tableau 9.3 also comes with changes to the way tools work. The new (should I say returning?) default tool for maps is rectangular selection. When you switch to other tools like pan or radial selection, they will remain active after use. We call this “sticky” behavior and it puts you in control of how your interactions work.

Perhaps the most significant improvement with respect to tools is that Tableau will store the last active tool used with the worksheet. Now, when you publish your workbook to your company’s server or post your analysis on Tableau Public, you can author the initial interaction with your viz.

For those of you using WMS to serve background maps in Tableau, this next enhancement is for you. Surprise! Your map is no longer squished! In Tableau 9.3, if your WMS supports Web Mercator, we will use it. For those of you making maps of areas that are far from the equator, try it out!

We can’t talk about background maps without looking at the success of the Mapbox integration released as part of Tableau 9.2. In Tableau 9.3, we’ve extended the support for Mapbox maps to include maps built using Mapbox GL. What does this mean? Any map you have built with Mapbox, you will be able to use in Tableau, whether you’re using the new Mapbox Studio or the old Studio Classic (read more about Tableau + Mapbox).

Please send us your feedback by posting in the comments below or on the Community Ideas Forum.

Now, go forth and make beautiful maps!

Tableau 9.3 Feature Blogs

Tableau 9.3 Has Arrived
We Sweat the Small Stuff in Tableau 9.3
In Tableau 9.3, Start Interacting with Your Dashboard While It Loads
Stay in the Flow with Tableau Online 9.3
Publishing Data Sources Just Got Easier in Tableau 9.3
Stay Connected with Auto Sign-In in Tableau 9.3
Say Hello to Versioning in Tableau 9.3
Dude, Where's My Workbook?
Introducing Initial SQL with Parameters in Tableau 9.3
See the New Server Management Tools in Tableau 9.3
Combine Your Data with Union in Tableau 9.3
Tableau 9.3 Beta Is Here

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the beta testers who tried Tableau 9.3 beta. If you’d like to be involved in future beta programs, let us know at

Download Tableau 9.3 today.


Submitted by Szymon Pifczyk (not verified) on

I love these new features. Post codes in Poland will definitely make my life easier.
I have one other suggestion regarding maps, though. I frequently make maps on which there is a lot of points and which are supposed to be zoomed. However, there is always this problem of waging point size because on the 'global' view (e.g. country zoom) they are too big and it all looks messy while when I zoom in to the 'local' view (e.g. city zoom) they look tiny and it's actually hard to find them. Have you guys thought of implementing some sort of size algorithm like those in ArcGIS Online where zooming out either minimizes of clusters points while zooming in does the opposite?

Submitted by Andy (not verified) on

Romania is not on the map... why? it's a very potential target market for Tableau... SAD

Submitted by Sanchez (not verified) on

I've tried to get the Dutch postal codes working but it doesn't work? Tableau does not recognize any Of them in my set. Also after connection to my dataset Tableau automaticly adds a zero in front of all postal codes.... Manualy fixing this stil does not show the map. What could be wrong?

Submitted by Szymon Szewranski (not verified) on

What kind of Polish postcode format did You use? I've been trying to make some map, and geocoding doesn't work fine. All points are marked in the USA, when I change location the map becomes empty.

Submitted by Szymon Pifczyk (not verified) on

Have you tried making two geographical fields: post code and country? I used XX-XXX (e.g. 44-230) as post code and "Poland" as country name and it works.

Submitted by Szymon Szewranski (not verified) on

No effects :( When Poland is extra marked as Country/Region, geocoding doesn't work - all postcodes remains "unrecognized" is blank

Submitted by Szymon Szewranski (not verified) on

update: Everything works perfect on Win10! Geocoding of postcodes is OK. On Win8 it still doesn't work...Thanx for help!

Submitted by Alex K. on

Love the new zoom feature, very subtle but important refinement!

Submitted by Simon A. on

Thanks a lot for Postal Codes and French new regions. On this last point, it worked pretty well but maybe Tableau should display a message when old region names are found : when 2 regions are merged into one (e.g Aquitaine-Limousin), Tableau only display the last one data (actually both are displayed but on the whole new region), wich is a little suprising.

Submitted by Kent M. on

Hi Szymon,
Thank you for your feedback and feature request. The best place to put requests is on the community ideas site. If you post it there, other Tableau users will see and have the opportunity to vote it up. Don't forget you can always vote for your own idea.!input.jspa?containerType=14&co...

Thanks, Kent

Submitted by Kent M. on

Hi Andy,
Thank you for the feedback. The team has plans to include map data updates for Romania in the future.


Submitted by Kent M. on

Hi Sanchez,

In Tableau 9.3 we added the support for 4-digit Dutch postal codes. If you are working with the full 6-digit code, you will need to create a field that strips the last 2 digits. Also, you might need to set the field type = String to avoid some of the automatic formatting Tableau applies to fields with a geographic role of postal code that consist of integers.

Thanks, Kent

Submitted by Andrew Z. on

Hey, when I attempt to apply a geographic role to my field most of the labels either come up as 'Name' or 'Code' (some are there, the UK ones). Is anyone else getting this issue and has anyone else successfully used the Dutch postcodes?

Submitted by Mark_ (not verified) on

Love these new features in Maps, please keep them coming!

Keeping my fingers crossed for multi-layer maps in Tableau 10 (one of the most requested featuers in the ideas forum...) !!

Submitted by Sanchez (not verified) on

I've changed it to string and made sure Tableau recognized it as a postal code geo field. But still it does not work with the 4 digit postal code for the Netherlands.

Submitted by Fabio Luis Guimaraes (not verified) on

Hi Kent!
I tried to make filled maps in T9.3 using 4 digits Dutch postal codes and it is not working.
Am I doing something wrong?Can you give me some tips?

Submitted by Sanchez (not verified) on

I've resolved the issue with the Dutch postal codes. I had some custom geo imported before and that conflicted. After removing the custom geo everything worked fine. Later I again imported my custom geo files and everything kept working. Now I also see the Dutch Islands filled in and that didn't work before so custom geo was the problem.

Submitted by Sanchez (not verified) on

I've resolved the issue with the Dutch postal codes. I had some custom geo imported before and that conflicted. After removing the custom geo everything worked fine. Later I again imported my custom geo files and everything kept working. Now I also see the Dutch Islands filled in and that didn't work before so custom geo was the problem.

Submitted by Fabio Luis Guimaraes (not verified) on

It's working here.
I think that is quite strange what is happening in Markermeer/IJseelmeer and also in Zeeland where the zip codes are covering the bay/lakes/rivers.
Did you check?

Submitted by Kalyan A. on

I am trying to show some Indian Districts and Cities in Tableau 9.3. The Cities are looking fine but i can't map the districts. I selected the Country as India and the State as per the State field in my excel ( the state is also showing in Tableau, no Problem there). What is going wrong here ? Why can't i see Indian districts in Tableau 9.3 when you say you added it ?

Submitted by Kent M. on

Hi Kaylan,

I'm not sure why you can't see Indian Districts in Tableau 9.3. Do you have any Custom Geocoding on your machine? Custom Geocoding will prevent you from seeing any new data added to the product. If that's not the case, can you share one row of your table that includes Country, State and District?

Thanks, Kent

Submitted by Gayatri (not verified) on

When will be map of Nepal(All Districts)in list?
Tableau can be very useful and interesting tool to use on analysising earthquake datas and show in map.

Submitted by Puru (not verified) on

I'm also waiting for the day Tableau will support mapping of 75 districts in Nepal. Thumbs up to Gayatri for asking this as well. No, I don't know her.

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Submitted by Justin F. (not verified) on

Is there a way to turn off the sticky feature? It's such a fuss when trying to maneuver thru the map, draw out a territory, and move again.

Do not like the sticky feature!

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