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Custom Territories in Tableau

During my Corporate Tableau Training in Gurgaon , i get questions many time regarding Custom Territories in Tableau .

Working With Custom Territories on a Map In Tableau 

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Tableau gives you the feature of working on your own Custom Territory on Geographic Map.

There can be several use case for this and one of the simplest example can be that for Our Resource Planning, we have our custom Geographic Area created other than the one that actually exist and want to visualize that on the Map.

So for example, Our Business has different level of penetration in Different States of US and so we need to plan the resource accordingly. For e.g. “California, Oregon and Washington” is treated as a single entity and we call this as “4D” and “Florida, Michigan & Ohio” is treated as another entity and we call this as “6F” and want to visualize it on Map.Similarly, we can group together all other different states and create Custom Territories for our Analysis.

Custom Territories Can be confused with Geographical Groups, so we will do visualization both with Tableau 9.3 & below  and Tableau 10.0 and above so that we can understand the advantage that Tableau 10.0 brings and how it was previously handled .

Based on the Use Case Defined above we group all the different states of US and name it as Custom Territory.  So as shown below we have a Group “Custom Territory” created as shown below:

Custom Territories in Tableau 29

Now if you drag the CustomTerritory on the map in Tableau version earlier than 9.3 , the Geographical Map will not be able to identify it and you will see “10 Unknown” at the right bottom of the map.Custom Territories in Tableau 30


If you go on to Edit locations , you will get the below screen . Tableau 9.3 and earlier version would not able to identify “Custom Territory” and the Data within i.e. 1A , 2B, 3C …  Also since you can not attach Multiple matching location to Data , so you will not be able to attach 3 different states as Matching Location to 1A

Custom Territories in Tableau 31


If you do the same stuff in Tableau 10 + i.e. drag and drop the Custom Territory on the map , Tableau is able to identify the custom territory and able to show map as per the custom definition

Custom Territories in Tableau 32


To get a better view, you can drag and drop the Custom Territory to “Color” and “Label” and you can see Your Custom Geographic Location exactly the way you have defined.

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Custom Territories in Tableau 33

Also if you go to Edit Locations for these in Tableau , you will see matching correct US Locations , and the map showing the correct Custom  Territories.

Custom Territories in Tableau 34


There is another way in Tableau 9.3 and earlier that we have been creating Geographical Group.i.e. Drag And Drop State to the Map. There after Select “Washington, Oregaon and California” and click on Group Icon, and then select “Arizona , Idaho , Montano and 2 others” to group it . If we make it a filled map and also put on the Label we get the below visualization. The two grouped states are shown in color and the Others in “Other”.

Custom Territories in Tableau 35


If you repeat the above step in “Tableau 10.0+ ” you get similar results.( below screen shot , difference can be seen in the marks shelf for Colors and Text)

Custom Territories in Tableau 36


Now if you remove the original geographic location “State” from Marks shelf in Tableau 9.3 and below , you get the below i.e. The entire Geographic Location that we are considering in group is not shown in color now. The Group is sitting on the top of the base unit and Tableau is not able to Identify the remaining “Other” and is shown as “1 Unknown”.


Custom Territories in Tableau 37


Where is in Tableau 10.0 and later  , if you remove the original geographic location “State” from Marks shelf , you will get the below visualization i.e. the custom Territory are distinctly shown

Custom Territories in Tableau 38

and if we want to rename these custom location as  “A” “B” “C” , go to edit groups , and rename it and you get the below

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Custom Territories in Tableau 39

And if we want to Do Analysis for these 3 custom Territories say “Sales” or “Profit”, we can visualize it on map as usual.

Custom Territories in Tableau 40


So This is the Beauty of Tableau, and Keep Enjoying as Tableau continues improving the Life of Analyst by bringing in cool new features for your complex analysis. If you have any questions / concerns / feedback put down your comment below or feel free to mail me at


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