Data Viz Done Right

September 26, 2012

Embedding the coolest WMS server ever into Tableau

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Last Wednesday, Matthew Dawson-Paver, a Business Planning Performance Analyst at Skype asked on Tableau’s LinkedIn group: How can you connect Tableau to NASA's Blue Marble WMS servers?

Mel Stephenson pointed him to the NASA Earth Observations WMS.  And I must say, this is quite possibly the coolest WMS I’ve seen.

http://neowms.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/wms/wms?

Some of the text in the remainder of this post borrows from Tableau’s KB article on Mapping Data with WMS, focused on how to add and use a WMS server.


Add a WMS server

You can add or import a WMS server.

Step 1: Select Map > Background Maps > WMS Servers.

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Step 2: In the WMS Server Connections dialog box, click Add.

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Step 3: In the Add WMS Server Connection dialog box, type or paste the URL of the WMS server.

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This is the WMS server link to enter: http://neowms.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/wms/wms?

Step 4: When finished, click OK.

The URL for the WMS appears in the WMS Server Connections dialog box.

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And a link to this WMS server is added to the Background Maps sub-menu.

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Step 5: Choose the WMS server from the Background Maps sub-menu

Step 6: Double-click on a geographic field in your dimensions list (e.g., State in the Superstore Sales sample data) to build the initial map.

Step 7: Choose the layer you’re interested in from the Map Options and you can see some crazy cool maps.

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This example is zip codes in the Superstore Sales data in the West region with Land Surface Temperature [Day] (8 day) as the layer.

Play around with it; I guarantee you’ll have fun!

Download the sample workbook here.

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