MakePoint and MakeLine in Tableau

by Tom Prowse

With the new release of Tableau, there have been a lot of new features to get everyone excited. Parameter Actions and Vector Maps seem to be getting a lot of the attention (and rightly so!) but Tableau have also released a feature which allows you to create points on a map using a X and a Y from a flat file… but also create a line between each of those points!

In this example, I am going to use data about Premier League football stadiums, which can be downloaded from Doogal, and I have limited this just to three of Liverpool’s fixtures as seen below:


Using a calculated field to create a point, you can transform the X and Y’s into points on a map. By creating the following calculated fields, we will then be able to map all of the stadium’s on a map:

Create Home Point
Create Away Point

We can then bring either the home or away points into the view to create the following:

Home Points

Away Points


Now that we have all of the points on the map, we can now create a line between each of the points, showing a path between them. This is again done by creating a calculated field, but instead of using the MakePoint, we will use the MakeLine feature.

The syntax for the MakeLine is very simple, it is just –

MakeLine([Start Point],[End Point])

Using the example from earlier, we can just replace the start and end points, with our Home and Away points, creating following:

We can then bring this into our view and our Home and Away points are then joined by a path, as easy as that!

This is a very simple example and a good introduction to the new MakeLine and MakePoint features which seem to be very straight forward.

I have recently taken this a step further by combining this feature with Parameter Actions to create a visualisation on how far each Premier League team had to travel last season. The viz can be seen on my Tableau Public page so go check it out!