8.2 Preview: Mapping

By Mike Klaczynski 12 Jun, 2014

Worldwide Data

Our new maps are now powered by OpenStreetMap data, the wikipedia of accurate and up to date locally generated geographic data. We take 50 gigabytes of spatial data, including almost 24,000 cities, 1 million translated place names and synonyms, and over 21 million miles of roads. This all leads to nearly 5 trillion unique tiles, each one customized to your chosen combination of layers and labels. We’ve even started adding more geo data worldwide, including French Departments and Spanish Provincía, as well as county equivalents in the UK.

High Resolution

If you’re on a Mac or any mobile device you’ll see our new high-DPI optimized map tiles with 4 times as many pixels as regular map tiles. To accompany these new tiles we’ve added intermediate zoom levels for a crisper and clearer zoom experience and a sharp map at any scale.

Designed for Clarity

Our in-house mapping team worked very closely with the visualization and mapping geniuses at Stamen Design studio to bring the OSM data to life in visually stunning new map tiles. If you haven't seen their work before, check it out. We re-envisioned our 3 distinct map styles; dark, light, and blue water to make your data much easier to see and understand. All it takes is one look at the new maps and you won’t want to go back to the Tableau classic maps.

Total Ownership

To host these brand new map tiles we’re bringing the entire mapping service in house. We now own the maps and their visual design, and provide them directly to you on servers we manage. This means quicker load times for you, whether you’re designing in Tableau Desktop or viewing on Tableau Server, furthermore, we now have the ability to distribute mapping servers worldwide, providing a consistent experience globally. We can update and add new map content much more frequently than ever before.

Browser Optimized

To make drilling down on every device quicker and more responsive we’ve changed how our servers handle mapping requests, tiles stream to you quicker, even as you skip zoom levels and pan around. For anyone familiar with browser-based mapping, we’re integrating with the Leaflet Javascript library to provide a smoother browser experience. Instead of rendering the entire map image for you on Tableau Server, we instead send the individual map tiles directly to your browser to use as needed. We've also added much more responsive marks, hover over the countries in the viz below to see how quickly they light up.

More Mapping Choices

All your old workbooks will continue to use the classic maps style, this means the same look and feel as when they were first uploaded. If you do want to switch to the new maps, just re-save your workbooks after choosing the new background maps under the map options menu.

Your Maps

Let us know what you think of the new map updates, we’re always looking for ways to make the experience better for you. If you have any maps you want to share reach out to us at social@tableausofware.com


Submitted by Chris P. on

Looking forward to this much needed update. Now Tableau Online is 8.2 can we switch to the new maps before the Desktop 8.2 is released for content hosted on Tableau Online?

Submitted by Mike Klaczynski (não verificado) on

Hi Chris,

You'll need to wait until Tableau Desktop 8.2 to switch the background maps to the new style, until then the server will continue to provide the legacy map tiles. As for seeing improved browsing and tile loads, those should already be visible on any implementation of Tableau Server 8.2, including Tableau Online and Tableau Public.
Try panning and zooming this map: http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery/where-are-rent-prices-changing

Mike Klaczynski

Submitted by Nicholas V. on

How about Canadian counties and divisions?

Submitted by Joshua K. on


Submitted by Joshua K. on

I've discussed this with other folks on the forums a few times, and was hoping the new maps would resolve it but alas this does not seem to be the case.

The washout level of the maps is already very high (particularly for the standard and light). It would actually be really nice if we could darken the map, or if the default simply started darker.

Submitted by Patrick S. (não verificado) on

This looks great - what about a Mac version of Tableau Public that we've heard about?

Submitted by Enrique (não verificado) on

Any plans to add zipcode mapping in Brazil?

Submitted by Ellen Haberle (não verificado) on

Is there a way to darken specific highways and road on a background map?

Submitted by Benjamin P. on

Will these new map features also be available for Tableau Server for 8.2 or as offline maps? Currently we cannot access online maps from Tableau Server and can only use offline maps due to our proxy settings. Can you offer guidance on how to enable the online maps for Server if a proxy is used?

Submitted by Jeff Ayres (não verificado) on

Do you have a list of the metro/county names so matching my data to your map data will be more seamless? For example, some maps list Dallas, Texas as Dallas/Fort Worth, some Dallas only, etc. If I had your map delineations I would include that in my dataset to make the match ups cleaner.

Submitted by Mike K. on

Hi Benjamin,

The new Tableau maps are available with an online connection only as the tiles are requested directly from our servers. Offline maps have limited resolution due to space constraints in the Tableau installation file, there's no way for us to include all 5 trillion map tiles as a download.

To enable online maps on server try the following steps provided by our very own Tracy Fitzgerald.

Option 1--

To show online maps, Tableau Server must be able to use the Run As User account to connect to the following two mapping servers over the HTTP port 80:

mapspatial.tableausoftware.com (accessed the first time the map view is opened after restarting Tableau Server)
mapvisual2.tableausoftware.com (accessed every time the map view is opened)

To open access to these addresses, you can change the settings of the server machine, as described in Web Proxy and Firewall Settings, or you can create exceptions directly the on firewall or proxy.

Option 2--

If Option 1 does not resolve your issue, in Internet Explorer, add the map server URLs to Trusted Sites.

In Internet Explorer, go to Settings > Internet Options.
On the Security tab, select Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.
In Websites, enter the following map server URLs one at a time, and then click Add. When finished, click Close.
On the Security tab, select Local intranet, and then click Sites.
In the Local intranet dialog box, click Advanced.
In Add this website to the zone, enter the following map server URLs one at a time, and then click Add. When finished, click Close.

Submitted by Mike K. on

Hi Jeff,

I reached out to Ian Erickson on our mapping team for your question:

"Tableau uses an exact matching algorithm when attempting to geocode user data. In addition to the canonical term for the Dallas-Fort Worth CBSA (stored in the geocoding database as 'Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX'), we have synonyms associated with most of our names to allow for greater flexibility when matching user-supplied content. For example, the terms '19100' and 'Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area' are also stored as valid substitutions for the Dallas-Fort Worth CBSA.

That said, we are working to improve both the performance and usability of our current geocoding functionality such that exact matches should not be necessary to provide an accurate match. In the interim, using the map (and the associated labels) can help to decipher the Tableau 'canonical' term for items such as Counties and CBSA's."

Additionally, try exploring the map data workbooks found in this folder on your computer to see the names we use for geocoding:
C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau 8.2\Local\data

Submitted by Mike K. on

Hi Ellen,

At this time there is no way to customize the map layers, however try switching to a different map style and using the washout to adjust the background.
By disabling the base and land cover layers your streets and highways should show more prominently.

Submitted by Juracy (não verificado) on

Hi Enrique, have you seen above about the Brazilian map provided by Mike?

Submitted by Enrique (não verificado) on

Juracy, it looks great. But geo-coding for Brazil demands ZIPcodes.
Send me your email and we take the discussion offline.

Submitted by Dasharath P. on

Where to get Stree level tiles for UK London map

Submitted by Meenakshy A.S (não verificado) on

Can custom geocoding be included, where Tableau accept shape files?

Submitted by Peter S. on

I second the comment by Meenakshy about custom geocoding from shape files. (and not custom polygons...)

Submitted by Juracy A. on

Hi Enrique,I couldn't find you e-mail .here is my juracyamerico @ gmail dot com

Submitted by Tony W. (não verificado) on

Will the data layers be included in the new map options at some point?

Submitted by Jose C. on

Is there anyway to make offline maps from light to dark? Online maps suffer from performance issues as they are too slow. Is there any edit that I can make to the TMS file to make the switch from a light background to a dark background?


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