Tips for Tableau's New Map Control

Tableau now offers new map controls that have already gone live with Tableau Public and will soon be released with Tableau 9.0. There are a number of new features in the new map controls. For example, there is a search button that will allow the user to type in the name of a city or state, and the map will automatically re-center on that area. There are also new selection tools. The Rectangular Selection tool is still an option, but there is a new Radial Selection tool and a Lasso Selection tool. As a result, there are also some new keyboard shortcuts for these. These keyboard shortcuts are listed in the tooltips of the map controls; however, they are not listed if the map controls are hidden.

Here is a comparison of the keyboard shortcuts for the map controls from Tableau 8.3 (and prior) vs. Tableau 9:

Controls Old map control (Tableau 8.3 and prior) New map control (Tableau 9)

default control select points using Rectangular Selection tool pan on the map
Shift + Left Click (hold) pan on the map same
Control + Shift + Left Click (hold) zoom in with rectangle control same
Control + Shift + Alt + Left Click (hold) zoom out with rectangle control same

A (press) nothing Sets control to Rectangular Selection
S (press) nothing Sets control to Radial Selection
D (press) nothing Sets control to Lasso Selection
Shift + A (press) nothing Locks control to Rectangular Selection
Shift + S (press) nothing Locks control to Radial Selection
Shift + D (press) nothing Locks control to Lasso Selection

The new map controls make Tableau maps more consistent with other online maps, for example Google Maps. One issue you might encounter is that if you "Hide Zoom Controls", which is now called "Hide View Toolbar", then the user will have no way of selecting multiple points on a map without knowing the keyboard shortcut. This could be problematic as most users not familiar with Tableau would likely not figure this out. If choosing to hide the controls, you may need to give the user some indication of the keyboard shortcuts.

Below is a crime visualization so that you can test out the new map controls on the Exploratory Map, but the map controls have been hidden. Use Shift + A, Shift + S or Shift + D to lock the selection tools and select multiple points on the map.

NOTE - It seems the map window needs to be the active window before the keyboard shortcuts respond. I find it takes a click or pan movement on the map to get the keyboard shortcuts to respond. I've tested this in multiple browsers and it seems to be an issue regardless of browser.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com

Jeffrey A. Shaffer
Follow on Twitter @HighVizAbility

Edited by Breanne LaCamera 1/26/2015 and posted 2/17/2015