Excel Power Map Sample

Yesterday, Microsoft released a preview of Power Map; a geo-spatial mapping Excel add-in, formerly know as GeoFlow.  It’s a pretty cool add-in that allows you to plot data based on geographic identifiers (longitude, latitude, country name, town names, postal codes, etc), and show it on a 3D or 2D map.  It works with tabular data sets, whether they be from and Excel table, database or Power Pivot.

The other cool thing is that, once you get it right, you can actually produce a video that can be shared with non-Excel users!  I’ve uploaded one of those to YouTube so you can check it out.

This video shows the wind speeds of hurricane Sandy as it travelled through the Caribbean to it’s eventual landfall on the USA’s east coast.  I used a heat map to show the speed (the redder it gets the faster), and played it over time so you can trace the path.

Pretty cool stuff!

If you have Excel 2013 Pro Plus, you can download the preview here:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38395

7 thoughts on “Excel Power Map Sample

  1. Thanks for this Ken. Downloading the preview now. The map is cool - I'm stoked a bit 🙂 Since you have played with the tool a bit ---- Can you see any way that this would benefit the average business user? Or is it more of a novelty in its current state?

  2. Hey Rick,

    I think it kind of depends on the business goals. At first glance it's cool, at second it's like a 3D pie chart (pretty but ineffective), but I think there can be some good uses for it.

    At work we used this to play the number of website signups over a 6 year period. After playing it back we noticed a certain point each year that there was an explosion of new signups. After digging back and playing the data back more slowly, we identified the days, and the reason for the large volumes; we'd gone to a specific trade show that had generated a huge amount leads and interest. The interesting thing for us was that we'd cancelled our attendance the day before due to the cost. So in that case it helped us, and we've now resumed attendance.

    I could see where you could also use it to quickly identify potential market/expansion opportunities as well. Maybe chart the number of locations for your business, your competitors and population on a map to see where the holes are. I'm sure there are other uses as well.

    Ultimately though, like any dashboarding tool, I think Power Map is probably better at helping generate questions to ask, rather than answering questions.

  3. I just ran across this video of using Excel Power maps you created. I am just starting out with this, but interested in how you showed the map of the roadway corridor with graphics of the accident locations. Where can I find direction on setting this up? I can pull accident data just like you had, just need to understand the Power Map setup. This would be pretty useful to show graphically in meetings the issues along roads.


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