Getting Started with Mapbox

Have you seen or heard of Mapbox? I love it. I was shown it a while ago and never had a use case for it until recently when doing some work for a travel company. I wanted to match the map to their online version to what we were building in Tableau.

What is mapbox? It is an online directory of custom built maps for your needs. You can design your own map, build applications, extend applications, use satellite imagery and create static maps. You can even have PIRATE SHIP MAPS Arrrhhhhhh. (in pirate speak)

  1. So first off you’ll have to register with
  2. Once you are logged in go to Account > API access tokens > copy and paste your token. You’ll need this for Tableau.
  3. Open up Tableau > connect to your data source that has geographical locations. For this case we will use the sample sales data set that is preloaded in Tableau.
  4. Map > Background Maps > Map Service to open a pop up box.
  5. Add > Mapbox Services > Classic
  6. Fill in a style name for this map > Paste in the access token you previously copied
  7. Drop the selection box down and it will provide a list of classic maps already for your use. For this case we are going to use Emerald.
  8. Take your city dimension from the data set > double click or drag and drop to populate a map. See below the before and after without mapbox and with.
Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.23.34
Before Mapbox
Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.22.38
With Mapbox Emerald


If you make multiple mapbox maps and want to populate different styles on different worksheets, you can!

  1. Maps > Background Maps > Emerald. Here you have a list of maps that you have created – notice I have pirates sat there too. Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.29.13
Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.27.46
Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.28.10

So here you have a basic understanding of using mapbox – you can go further and learn more look out for the next blog post.

Happy Mapping, literally go explore!

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