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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Dot Density Macro

Business Problem: Thematic maps are often used to display data geographically with colored or shaded themes, but sometimes users wish to see the data differently. For this purpose, dot density mapping has become a frequently requested feature for map rendering in Alteryx. Dot density creation is possible with the inclusion of the spatial function within the formula tool. This function, ST_Random Point, will randomly disperse a point within a given polygon. Utilizing this tool, anyone can create a macro to produce the data required to generate a dot density map.

Actionable Results:
Easily create dot density thematic maps

dot density.PNG

Overview: It can often be convenient to view thematic maps as clustered points. This type of visual output is a logical and accurate representation of data occurring in a non-continuous distribution.

Vertical: Any

Key Tools Used: Formula Tool (ST_Random Point spatial function), Generate Rows

Required Input: As inputs, the Dot Density macro requires two fields: geography with an associated value and a configuration of the number of dots per value. Determining the appropriate number of dots per value may require some trial and error to produce desirable results. Knowing the min, max, and median values associated with the base geographies would help you to determine and optimal dots per value. This coupled with the size of dots on the map will greatly affect the aesthetic of the mapping.