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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.

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.


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


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


This is the WMS server link to enter:

Step 4: When finished, click OK.

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


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


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.


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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