The Fundamentals of Spatial Data in Alteryx

by Emma E. Jones

Spatial tools use geographical data to highlight locations, routes and areas on maps.

They are important because they can highlight locations, show where closest stores and can measure the distance between 2 points.

In order to be able to use geographical data in Alteryx, the data needs to be spatial object data types such as points, lines and polygons.

A point shows an exact location (e.g. a store), needs an x and y coordinate for the longitude and latitude.


A line needs at least two points to be created. Could show a route or path.


A polygon is an area created using a sequence of lines or points and could represent the outline of a borough or other territories.


Spatial Object File Types      

If your data contains a spatial object, text file types will not
be able to decipher this spatial data.

Spatial objects need to be imported in file types that support their geographic structure. So, spatial objects must be stored in file types such as Alteryx database (.yxdb), ESRI Shape file (.shp), Google Earth Key Markup Language (.kml) MapInfo Tab (.tab)

Spatial objects in Alteryx are formatted with green text in the results pane distinguishing the data from other data types.

Spatial objects can be viewed on a map by using the browse tool. Without a browse tool this feature doesn't appear. The map configuration window allows for interactivity on the map. Spatial objects can be selected to highlight the row or rows of data that you wish to analyse.

Here, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth have been selected on the map and each in turn has been highlighted in the results pane. This creates a quick way to view your geographical data.

Sun 26 Sep 2021

Wed 11 Aug 2021