Is there a way to remove countries and just have a US map to work with? Also, way to remove bodies of water, i.e. the large lakes etc.? Thanks!
If your data is complete (for example, you have every US state in the dataset), then you can use a filled map and change the washout to 100% (from the menu, Map --> Map Options) to get a clean looking map.
There's some other good advise on this thread: http://community.tableau.com/message/234538?et=watches.email.thread#234538
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