Mapping Data with WMS
Version(s): 8.0, 7.0, 6.1, 6.0, 5.2
Last Modified Date: 05 Sep 2013
Tableau Desktop supports connecting to any Web Map Service (WMS) that supports the WMS 1.0.0, 1.1.0, or 1.1.1 standard. You can easily find WMS providers online, both free and fee-based. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is one of many examples. If you have a source that meets your mapping needs more precisely than the maps that Tableau provides, or if your company subscribes to a geographic information system (GIS) server that supports the WMS standard, you can use these maps in your Tableau views.
About the maps provided in Tableau Desktop
Tableau is installed with an online map connection to a set of custom maps for data display provided to Tableau by a third-party called Pushpin. These maps are not from a Web Map Service (WMS), although they closely resemble WMS maps. Using this default connection, you can display your data on a map if it is already geocoded or if it simply contains countries, states, counties, zip codes, area codes, or core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). These default maps appear when you place the Latitude and Longitude fields on the Rows and Columns shelves, or when you double-click a field that has a globe icon next to it. The online maps require an Internet connection and offer up to 14 zoom levels, depending on the region of the world.
For information about Tableau map data partners, map accuracy and updates, and so on, see About Tableau Maps.
Considerations for maps and other backgrounds
The content, speed, and performance of a WMS server is reliant on the network and WMS provider. When your Internet connection is interrupted or when you work behind a restrictive firewall, you can use the offline maps installed with Tableau. With the offline maps, you may be able to access up to only four levels of zoom.
If you want to use a static background image on a map view, you need to turn maps off to allow the background image to display rather than the maps.
Adjust the Tableau environment
For information about customizing your Tableau environment for the considerations described above, see the following topics in Tableau Desktop Help:
- Working with WMS Servers (Add an online WMS server or import a standalone .tms file.)
- Setting a Default Map Source
Adding Background Images
Use color to define geographic areas
To define geographic areas by color, you use the polygon mark:
On the Marks card, in the drop-down list of view types, select Polygon.
For more information, see the article Creating Polygon-Shaded Maps.Alternate Search Terms: Information Maps