Andrew, if I'm understanding you correctly, all you need to do is zoom and/or pan to whatever center you want, then hide the zoom controls, so the user can't change it. If they accidentally double-click (my wife's favorite action) then the map will zoom in -- nothing you can do about that (except vote for this idea http://community.tableau.com/ideas/1043). [Which I found easily using Dustin's new search box!]
Thanks. I spent ages unsuccessfully trying to find how to pan and presumed there was no option. Maybe something to do with running it in Parallels on a Mac or maybe just it wasn't intuitive. All I got originally was the area selection control.
thanks for the link to the idea. Voted
Yeah, this is one of those "features" I find to be, well just bad UI design. To get the pan icon you need to click and hold the left-mouse button. After about 1 sec. the grabby hand will appear, and you can pan wherever you want. It is very difficult to get my casual users to remember this. [Shift-click is the more standard way to get the grabby hand.]
I am having the same problem and the proposed answer doesn't cut it. My problem is that by default the map centers on the pacific (so Europe is sort of cut in half). Working for a European company that's a no-no.
I could pan it to show the "normal" map layout (with EU in center) and fix it with the pin. However I also have a filter to show only Asia, America etc. When a certain continent is selected in the filter I want the map to zoom and focus on that region as it automatically does but only if the map is not fixed by the pin. But if then the user selects "all" again in the continent filter it zoomes back out but again jumps into that Pacific centered view.
See my dilemma? Ideal would be if I could define the default center of the map. Is that somehow possible without having to "pin" the map?