Tableau's New Story Points Feature is now "Out of This World"

Tableau's theme for the month of July is "Storytelling", inspired by the new story points feature released in Tableau 8.2. So here is my first viz using this new feature. The topic is "Valhalla", which is the largest crater in the Solar System, located on Callisto which is one of the Galilean Moons of Jupiter. An interesting story, but there were a few challenges I had to overcome that I wanted to mention.

First, I didn't want to simply use static images. I wanted to be able to explore Callisto as a map, similar to Google maps. Fortunately I was able to locate a WMS server that is very easy to use in Tableau. The next problem, how do you geocode a point on a moon of Jupiter? Geocoding is the process of taking an address and converting it into a latitude and longitude so that the point location can be mapped. There are a number of great tools for doing this. One of the easiest tools is FindLatitudeAndLongitude.com.

The problem is that while these tools can accept "Atlanta, GA" as an input, it doesn't seem to like "Callisto, Jupiter" or "Valhalla, Callisto" (it actually maps to Valhalla, NY just north of White Plains which is not the Valhalla we are looking for in this particular case).

I used a bit of trial and error to solve this one. I started with a few random lat/long values to see where they plotted. I picked the closest point and then started adding increments in the data to create points going in the different x/y direction. This allowed me to easily appromixate the lat/long value that Tableau needed to locate Valhalla on Calissto using the WMS server. Once I had that point, the map would center on Valhalla and allow me to explore the area using the map controls (see the "Explore Callisto" story point). Yes, I could have used some random value and then manually panned the map to the location and pinned it, but where's the fun in that?

Using the new story points feature I added a few images, a graph and some descriptions. I do wish that the story points would allow more formatting options, but I'm sure that will be improved in future versions. Below is the result; my "out of this world" viz (click on the image below for the viz).

I hope you enjoy the viz. If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com

Jeffrey A. Shaffer

Follow on Twitter @HighVizAbility