Why Vizioneer?

My photo
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The "Vizioneer" comes from mashing two words that have shaped my world for most of my adult life - Engineer and [data] Visualizations (or Vizes to those who know what's up). Graduating from first from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, followed by Georgia Tech with my Bachelors and Masters in Civil Engineering, all of which taught me to think through anything and everything - problem solving, "engineering" solutions, teaching to the "ah ha" moments - is what I love to do. In 2010 that investigative, engineering mindset intersected a job change and a plunge into the world of Data Analysis. In the search for the next great thing I stumbled on to a data visualization and dashboarding product called Tableau software and things just took off. So now I guess you could call me that engineer with the sweet data visualizations - or just "The Vizioneer" :)

In 2013, I joined the incredible team at Slalom, focusing on Tableau and it's been an amazing experience. Recently in 2014, I was honored and humbled to receive Tableau's highest recognition of being named a Tableau Zen Master. Follow along to see what happens next :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 5: Aerial Imagery in Maps

My former life as a Civil Engineer means that by default I like maps - and I do.  I actually think they are the most contextually dense data visualization that exists (so glad you asked!).  That's why I love this next trick - simple, easy, and really cool.  It's time for Aerial Imagery in Maps!

So if you're going to do any serious mapping in Tableau, there one name you have to know: Allan Walker, Tableau Zen Master of all things mapping, and Business Intelligence Analyst for Utah State University.  Check out his website They Walked Together or follow him on Twitter to see some amazing mapping in Tableau.  

So I've tried to figure out how to bring in aerial imagery for years, and just recently found how to do it from this post on Allan's blog.  But before you can leverage that, let make sure you know how to leverage a WMS server in Tableau.  Back to the SuperStore Data...

In a new workbook double click "City" and you should get a map that looks like this:

Now click on the Map menu and head to WMS Servers:

Select add and you'll put the url of the WMS in this box:

This is where you can now use either of the links that Allan provided in his blog post.  I'm going to use the NAIP one as it's got better nationwide coverage.  Here's the URL:

Once it's added, close those windows and select the Map menu again.  You should now see the new WMS server map on there (if you used my link, it will have NAIP at the end).  Select that new map and you should now see something like this:

Wa-la Aerial Imagery!  Zoom in to get the full effect.  Here's NYC:

Pretty cool, huh?  Y'all be sure to thank Zen Master Walker before you leave.  Thanks for stopping by!



  1. I was going through these photographs. Glad to look at all those diverse colors and patterns. Wonderful, just wonderful. You are really a stunning photographer.
    aerial photographer NSW

  2. I actually think they are the most contextually dense data visualization that exists (so glad you asked!). That's why I love this next trick - simple, easy, and really cool. It's time for Aerial Imagery in Maps!

    aerial photography salt flats

  3. Thank you for this! Unfortunately, when I go to Background Maps, there's no "Online" option - just None, Offline and Tableau. I can click on WMS servers, but after pasting the link, the OK button is grayed out. I tried this while logging in and out. Any suggestions?

  4. http://raster.nationalmap.gov/ArcGIS/services/Orthoimagery/USGS_EDC_Ortho_NAIP/ImageServer/WMSServer?
    i.e., the link that you gave to connect to the WMS server link is not working. Error 400 HTTP bad request shows up on entering the above link.

  5. BlueHost is ultimately one of the best hosting company with plans for any hosting requirements.

  6. Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

    Square and Stationary Earth Map

  7. Nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing. Your blog posts are more interesting and informative. flat earth