Get on The Map with Tableau Release 2019.2

July 18, 2019


Major Improvements Plus How to Make Tableau Maps Even Better

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when it comes to displaying information in a map. Maps add pizazz to Tableau dashboards and give audiences a whole new way to see their data landscape.

With the 2019.2 release, Tableau delivers vast improvements to its mapping capabilities. In this webinar recording we describe some of the great new features. We also look at how to take what comes out of the box and bring it up a notch so you too can “get on the map!”

Topics Covered Include:

  • Differences in mapping between Tableau 2018.3 and Tableau 2019.2
  • Default mapping in Tableau 2019.2—what you get out of the box
  • Integrating third party tools like Mapbox
  • Tableau and other WMS servers—the art of the possible
  • What’s missing in Tableau maps and how to fill in the gaps
  • How to create non-standard maps in Tableau




Monica Van Loon
Trainer & Consultant
Senturus, Inc.

Monica brings more than 20 years of experience in IT and information services to her multi-faceted role at Senturus. She is a frequent contributor to both the Senturus Tableau blogs and the Tableau community forums. She is also one of our Tableau trainers who teaches classes on Tableau Desktop and Tableau server. Monica’s specialties include database design and data modeling for Tableau, Tableau with Salesforce, business analytics, SQL, Oracle database.


  • Timeline – mapping features
    • Release 4.0 (2008)—simple point maps (wow 11 years ago!!)
    • Release 9.0 (2015)—geographic search and census data
    • Release 10.2 (2016)—spatial file connect
    • Release 2018.0—dual axis mapping
    • Release 2018.2—spatial join
    • Release 2019.2
      • Vector maps
      • Satellite maps
      • Density maps
      • New map layers
    • Tableau mapping 101—components
      • Background maps
      • Map layers
      • Map styles
      • Map options
    • Tableau mapping 101—types of maps
      • Point maps and proportional symbol maps
      • Choropleth (polygon filled maps)
      • Polygon maps (using spatial files)
      • Spider maps (origin/destination)
      • Version 2019.2—heat maps (density maps, good for showing trends for visual clusters of data)
    • Tips and tricks
      • Quick map—double click items with a globe
      • If you get unknown cities, put State on Detail            
      • You can manually assign a geographic role (if data supports it…)
    • Tableau mapping 101—good to know
      • A map does not have to show geography (it is basically anything you can plot on an X Y axis)
    • Tableau mapping 101—spatial files
      • You can connect directly to a spatial file and build a map (Release 10.2 and above)
      • Supported spatial file types
        • KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files
        • MapInfo files
        • Shape files
        • GeoJSON files
        • TopoJSON files
        • Zipped Esri file geodatabases
      • You can create point, line or polygon maps using spatial files
    • Tableau mapping 101—tips for spatial files
    • What’s missing—street addresses
      • By default, Tableau will not map a street address
      • But, if you have latitude/longitude you can put an address on a map
      • To generate latitude/longitude from addresses use a geocoder
    • Other web mapping services (WMS)
      • By default you see the Tableau background map
      • Instead of this you can add other web mapping services like the live weather radar map shown below
      • Go to Maps > Background Maps > Map Services
    • Mapping resources
    • Mapping in Tableau Server—web authoring
      • Tableau Server (Release 2019.2)
        • You can build a simple map
        • No access to map layers
        • You can display map layers built in Tableau Desktop
        • No spatial data connector
      • Coming in release 2019.3
        • Spatial file connector
        • Web authoring
        • Spatial calculations: distance