The Path property allows you to encode data by connecting marks using a particular drawing order. You can path-encode your data using either a dimension or a measure.
Dimension – When you place a dimension on the Path target on the Marks card,
Tableau connects the marks according to the members in the dimension.
If the dimension is a date, the drawing order is given by the date
order. If the dimension holds words such as customer names or product
types, the drawing order is given by the order of the members in
the data source. You can change the order by which data points are connected
by changing the sort order of the members. Refer to Sorting.
Measure – When you place a measure on the Path target,
Tableau connects the marks according to the values of the measure.
The measure can be aggregated or disaggregated.
To create a useful path-encoded view, your data table should contain at least one measure. This is because you cannot create a path that connects only categorical data (dimensions).
The view below was created using storm data from the Atlantic basin in 2005. The view uses line marks with the path determined by the date of the storm. This lets you see the path of the storm. By placing the continuous date on the Path target, you specify that the lines are to be drawn in chronological order.