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Create a 3-D Power Map in Excel

Microsoft’s latest release of Excel has some powerful updates. Our latest 2016 highlight is the popular Power Map add-in. This feature can plot geographic and temporal data on a globe or custom map in a three-dimensional presentation. You can view data changing over time and create animated presentations called “tours”.

Imagine you’re creating a presentation that discusses demographics, say crime rates around the U.S. You want to show regional differences in the statistics, but bar charts don’t clearly communicate where – geographically – the data is from. Bar charts don’t create the impact you were hoping for.

The Steps

Create a 3D Map

  1. Prepare your data:
    • You must have at least one geographic value in each row of data. This could be City, Country, Region, Zip, State, Address or Latitude/Longitude data.
    • Format your data into an Excel Table.
  2. Click any cell in the table, then click the 3D Map button [A] in the Tours group on the Insert tab. 
  3. Click New Tour [B]. If you are using 3D Maps for the first time, you may have to Enable the Data Analysis add-in to use the feature [C].

 

  1. A new 3D maps window will open. Excel will attempt to identify the Location field from your worksheet [D]. If it does not, click Add Field and select the correct location column from the dropdown menu.
  2. Adjust the zoom [E] to best view your data. Too close and you will miss some data. Too far and the data can look too “crowded”.
  3. Select the visualization type. If the default bar chart is not the right type for your data, choose from the row of types [F].
  4. If your data contains multiple values associated with each region, add those fields to the Values pane. Click Add Fields [G] and select from the dropdown menu. Excel will add the values to the map and create a legend [H].
  5. Adjust data values by clicking on the arrow beside the field. Choose an option from the dropdown menu [I].
  6. When you have finished working in 3D Maps, click the File tab, then Close to return to your worksheet. A text box may appear to remind you that you have 3D content available.

Click here for example data used.


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