Error "Tableau has encountered an error while trying to load a spatial file..." When Attempting to Connect to a KML Spatial file

Published: 16 Dec 2017
Last Modified Date: 18 Dec 2017


When attempting to connect to a KML spatial file data source, an error might occur:
An error occurred while communicating with the data source
An error occurred while loading the data
Tableau has encountered an error while trying to load a spatial file. It is recommended that you include the supporting .prj file. Tableau might not recognize the datum definition for some datasets, even with spatial reference information included. Since Tableau assumes the underlying data is in WGS84, some coordinates might be reported as "out of range" for projected data, or a coordinate transformation failure might occur.
This error can occur despite the fact that .prj files are never required for KML spatial files.



  • Tableau Desktop
  • KML Spatial Files


Correct or regenerate the spatial file so that the coordinates have the correct format: longitude, latitude, altitude.


The format of the coordinates in the KML spatial file needs to be in the order longitude, latitude, altitude
  • Longitude should be in the range of -180 to 180
  • Latitude should be in the range of -90 to 90
If the second number in a set of coordinates is outside the range -90 to 90, then this error will occur.

Additional Information

More information about how to format KML files can be found in the Google KML documentation: KML Tutorial.
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