How to use Power maps in Excel

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Power Map in Excel allows us to plot geographic and temporal information visually, perform analysis of that information in 3D, and then create cinematic views to share with other people.

Power Map for Excel 2016 is pre-installed; for mapping in Excel 2013 and earlier versions, Microsoft powermap for Excel will have to be installed.

Figure 1. Power Map in Excel

Microsoft Powermap in Excel is a powerful 3D (three-dimensional) data visualization tool which allows us to view information in different ways. A powermap in Excel offers discovery of new insights we might not be able to see in conventional 2D (two-dimensional) charts and tables.

We can use Microsoft Powermap for Excel to:

  • Map out data – We can visually plot over a million sets of data in 3D format inside our Excel worksheet.
  • Discover fresh insight = We can acquire new understanding by observing our data in a geographic setting and seeing timestamped data changes over time.
  • Share stories = By capturing screenshots and building guided cinematic video tours we are able to share broadly, and engage audiences on a wider scale.

How to Create an Excel Powermap

When we have Excel data which consists of geographic properties on our worksheet for example, columns and rows that contain zip codes, names of cities, longitudes and latitudes, states, countries/regions, we can get started by following the simple steps below:

  1. The Map button is located under the “Tours” group on the “Insert” tab of our Excel  worksheet ribbon, as shown below;

Figure 2. Map Button in Excel

  1. Select  any cell containing demographic data in our worktable, and then click on “Insert” > “Map”. Clicking on the “Map” button will automatically enable Power Map for Excel.

Figure 3. Launch Power Map in Excel

Excel Powermap then uses Bing to find geocodes for our data based on their geographic properties. After a few seconds, a globe will appear beside the first screen on the “Layer Pane”;

  1. On the “Layer Pane”, ensure that fields are correctly mapped out and then click on the drop-down arrow to any incorrect fields and match them to their appropriate geographic properties;

Figure 4. Layer Pane for Powermaps in Excel

In the example above, we must ensure that our Zip Code has been recognized as “Zip” in the drop-down menu box.

  1. When Excel Powermap plots our data, several dots will appear all over the globe;

Figure 5. Power Maps in Excel

Click on “Next” to begin visualizing and aggregating our data further on the map.