How to modify unrecognized zip codes/postcodes when creating maps in Tableau Desktop

Published: 19 Oct 2021
Last Modified Date: 19 Oct 2021


How to modify unrecognized zip codes/postcodes on a map?


  • Tableau Desktop 2021.3.0


Option 1: for non-spatial data
1. Create a map, for example, with Victoria, Australia postcodes in Excel
2. Clarify unrecognized values in the Edit Locations dialog by adding longitude and latitude
For more information, see Edit unknown or ambiguous locations

You can also export the edited locations data for future use.
3. Select all points on the map (mac: command + A, windows: control + A).
4. Select Worksheet->Export->Data, to export a CSV file with all postcodes and their longitude and latitude
5. Open a new workbook and connect to this exported CSV file
6. Change the postcode field data type to string
7. Add Longitude to the columns shelf and Latitude to the rows shelf, Postcode to the detail mark. 

This option is unable to create a filed map. Option 2 and 3 can be considered if this is the case.

Option 2: for spatial data
If the postcode data is in .shp format and there are unrecognized values on a map, adding Longitude and Latitude is unable to make the point shown as a polygon.
The possible solution is to do a spatial join of the postcode boundaries and the locality boundaries (LGA data). The LGA spatial data usually could be found at local government websites.
To join two shape files, simply join the Geometry fields from two spatial data sources by "Intersects".
User-added image
Please note: before Tableau Desktop 2021.3.0, you can only create spatial joins between points and polygons. Spatial Join is now able to handle all permutations of intersections, such as line/polygon, line/line, polygon/polygon.

Option 3: Custom geocoding your data
For more information, see Geocode Locations Tableau Does Not Recognize and Plot Them on a Map.
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