Creating Isochrones Using Alteryx & Tableau (Part 2)

by Chris Hutchinson
on May 25, 2020

In Part 1 we showed how to create isochrone shapefiles in Alteryx, using some of the TravelTime macros. In this post we will walk through how to visualise these isochrones in Tableau. For this you will need access to a TravelTime API key.

The first step is to convert the shapefile into a format that Tableau can connect to. The shapefile created in Alteryx is actually four separate files, as you can see here:

Tableau-isochrone-output

To allow Tableau to connect to these, we simply put them into a new folder, and compress (zip) it:

Tableau-isochrone-files

Now we can open Tableau and connect to a Spatial file:

Tableau-isochrone-spatial

Select the zipped folder containing the shapefile and open it. Tableau will automatically load the isochrones into a table, with one line per isochrone.

Tableau-isochrone-zip

Now that the data is loaded into Tableau, the next step is to create new worksheet.

Tableau-isochrone-sheet

Drag the Geometry measure into the marks card. A COLLECT calculation will be run automatically, and the result will look something like this:

Tableau-isochrone

We now have our isochrones displayed on the map, but we’d like to be able to distinguish more easily between the 15 and 30 minute shapes. To do this we need to format the Query_Isoc column (Tip - if you’ve renamed your fields at any point, this is the field containing the travel times in seconds – in this case 900s and 1800s).

Firstly we create a calculated field to convert the number into minutes (divide by 60):

Tableau-isochrone-create

Tableau-isochrone-valid

Next we convert this new ‘Minutes travel’ measure into a Dimension and then drag the new dimension into Colour on the marks card.

We can now easily distinguish between the two 15 minute isochrones and the 30 minute ones:

Tableau-isochrone-TravelTime

Creating Isochrones is just one of the functionalities of the TravelTime macros for Alteryx. They can also be used for calculating large journey time matrices, A to B routing, geocoding, and more.

To find out more about how these macros can help you make better business decisions with your data, please get in touch here.

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