Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Map On Excel


Are you looking to create an interactive map to visualize your data in Excel? If so, you've come to the right place. In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of making a map in Excel, using the built-in features and tools. But first, let's talk about why Excel is an excellent platform for mapping data.

Key Takeaways

  • Excel is a great platform for creating interactive maps to visualize data.
  • Understanding the types of data that can be used and how to organize it is crucial for successful mapping in Excel.
  • Selecting the appropriate chart and formatting the map are important steps in the mapping process.
  • Customizing the map with colors, styles, and additional data can enhance visualization and analysis.
  • Utilizing map tools and features effectively can further enhance the mapping experience in Excel.

Understanding the data

When it comes to creating a map in Excel, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the data that will be used for mapping purposes. This involves knowing the types of data that can be effectively utilized and how to organize this data for mapping.

A. Discuss the types of data that can be used for mapping in Excel

There are various types of data that can be used for mapping in Excel, including geographical data, numerical data, and categorical data. Geographical data is essential for creating maps, as it provides the spatial information necessary for visualization. Numerical data, such as population or sales figures, can be used to create thematic maps that visualize patterns or trends. Categorical data, such as types of products or demographics, can also be visualized on a map to show distribution or clustering.

B. Explain how to organize the data for mapping purposes

Before creating a map in Excel, it is important to organize the data in a format that is conducive to mapping. This typically involves arranging the data in columns, with one column containing the geographical information (such as country, state, or postal code) and additional columns containing numerical or categorical data that will be visualized on the map. It is also important to ensure that the data is clean and free from errors or inconsistencies, as this can affect the accuracy of the map visualization.

Using the Appropriate Chart

Demonstrate how to select the appropriate chart for mapping in Excel

  • Open your Excel spreadsheet and select the data that you want to map.
  • Go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on "Maps" in the Charts group.
  • Choose the map type that best suits your data, such as "Filled Map" or "3D Map".

Discuss the different options for mapping charts in Excel

  • Filled Map

    • This option is great for displaying data across different regions, such as countries, states, or counties.
    • You can customize the appearance of the map, including the colors and labels, to better convey your data.

  • 3D Map

    • 3D Map allows you to create interactive maps with three-dimensional visualizations.
    • You can add multiple data points and layers to create a comprehensive view of your data.

  • Power Map

    • Power Map is a powerful tool for creating animated, interactive maps that can be easily shared and viewed.
    • You can plot data by geographic location and time, and then play back the data to see how it changes over time.

Adding and formatting the map

When it comes to visualizing geographical data, Excel offers a powerful tool in the form of maps. Adding a map to your Excel worksheet can help you to better understand and communicate your data. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to add and format a map in Excel.

Walk through the steps of adding a map to the Excel worksheet

The first step in adding a map to your Excel worksheet is to select the data that you want to visualize. This could be a list of cities, countries, or any other geographical data. Once you have your data selected, go to the 'Insert' tab on the Excel ribbon and click on '3D Maps' in the 'Tours' group. This will open the 3D Maps window where you can start building your map.

In the 3D Maps window, you can choose to add a new map or open an existing one. If you're adding a new map, you will need to select the geographical data that you want to use for the map. Excel will automatically try to detect the geographical data in your selected range, but you can also manually specify the location, latitude, and longitude columns as needed.

Explain how to format the map to best visualize the data

Once you have added the map to your Excel worksheet, you can start formatting it to best visualize your data. In the 3D Maps window, you can customize the map by changing the location, adding or removing layers, and adjusting the visual style. You can also add and format different types of data visualizations, such as heat maps or column charts, to further enhance the visualization of your geographical data.

In addition to the visual elements, you can also add filters to your map to focus on specific data points or time periods. This can help you to drill down into your data and gain deeper insights into the geographical patterns and trends.

By following these steps and formatting the map to best visualize your data, you can create a powerful and informative visualization that will help you to better understand and communicate your geographical data in Excel.

Customizing the map

Excel allows users to customize the map with different colors and styles to enhance visualization and interpretation of data.

A. Show how to customize the map with different colors and styles

To customize the map with different colors and styles, users can simply click on the map and go to the "Format" tab. From there, they can select "Shape Fill" to change the color of the map, and "Shape Outline" to change the border color. Additionally, users can click on "Shape Effects" to apply different styles, such as shadow or reflection, to the map for a more visually appealing look.

B. Discuss how to add additional data to the map for further visualization

Aside from customizing the appearance, users can also add additional data to the map for further visualization. By clicking on the map and going to the "Format" tab, users can select "Data Color" to assign specific colors to different data points, making it easier to identify patterns and trends within the map. Moreover, users can add data labels to the map using the "Add Chart Element" option, providing more context and information to the visualization.

Using map tools and features

Creating a map in Excel can be a powerful way to visualize data and gain insights. Excel offers a range of tools and features specifically designed to help users create and customize maps.

A. Highlight useful tools and features for mapping in Excel
  • Map Charts: Excel's map charts allow users to visualize data in a geographical context. Users can plot data points on a map and customize the appearance of the map to better convey their message.
  • 3D Maps: Excel's 3D Maps feature enables users to create interactive, three-dimensional maps. Users can visualize data in a dynamic and engaging way, adding a new level of depth to their analysis.
  • Geographical Data Types: Excel provides access to a wide range of geographic data types, including countries, regions, cities, and more. Users can leverage this data to enrich their maps and add context to their visualizations.
  • Customization Options: Excel offers a variety of customization options for maps, including color-coding, data labels, and map styles. Users can tailor their maps to suit their specific needs and preferences.

B. Provide tips for effectively utilizing these tools and features
  • Understand Your Data: Before creating a map in Excel, it's important to have a clear understanding of the data you want to visualize. Identifying the key insights you want to convey will help you make the most of the mapping tools and features.
  • Experiment with Different Visualizations: Excel offers a range of map visualization options, so don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and formats. By trying out different visualizations, you can find the best way to communicate your data.
  • Use Geographic Context: Leveraging geographical data types can add valuable context to your maps. Whether you're mapping sales data, demographic information, or any other type of data, incorporating geographic context can provide a richer understanding.
  • Customize for Clarity: When customizing your maps, focus on clarity and readability. Avoid cluttering your map with unnecessary elements, and ensure that your visualizations are easy to interpret at a glance.


In conclusion, creating a map on Excel can be a powerful tool for visualizing geographical data. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily create a custom map using the built-in features of Excel. I encourage you to practice and explore the various mapping options available in Excel, as it can greatly enhance your data analysis and presentation skills.

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