Mastering Visual Data Representation in Excel: Unleashing the Power of 2D Filled and 3D Power Maps

Mastering Visual Data Representation in Excel: Unleashing the Power of 2D Filled and 3D Power Maps

Excel, a ubiquitous tool for data analysis, offers advanced features for creating visually compelling charts. If you're using Excel 2016 or a newer version, you have access to 2D Filled and 3D Power Maps, elevating your data visualization game. In this guide, we will explore how to harness the capabilities of these maps to create stunning charts based on geographic data tied to locations.

2D Filled Maps:

Let's start with 2D Filled Maps, which transform data points tied to locations into area representations rather than mere points on a map. Follow these steps to create visually appealing maps:

Prepare Your Data:

Open the worksheet "Filled Map Start," containing sales data for products in five countries. To optimize Excel's mapping capabilities, convert your data into an Excel table by selecting the cell range A1:B6 and pressing Control+T.

Access Filled Maps:

Head to the Insert tab and click on the Map icon in the Charts section. Select Filled Maps from the options.

Explore the Map:

You'll now see the map without labels. Larger sales are depicted with darker blue coloring. Right-clicking on any country allows you to access Format Data Series options, providing customization features.

Customize Your Map:

Choose from four projection options: Automatic, Mercator, Miller, and Robinson. You can control the map area, labels, and series colors. The "Show All" option ensures the entire world is displayed.

Add Finishing Touches:

Enhance your map by adding a chart title and adjusting settings. Experiment with projection, map area, and color options until you achieve the desired visual representation.

The result is a captivating 2D Filled Map showcasing sales data by country (see Figure 2).

3D Power Maps:

Excel's 3D Power Maps take geographic data visualization to the next level. Whether based on street addresses, cities, states, zip codes, countries, or latitude and longitude, you can create stunning 3D maps. Let's explore the process:

Prepare Your Data:

Open the worksheet "3D Map Start," containing U.S. power generation capacity information. Columns for state, county, plant capacity, and energy description will be used.

Convert Data into Table:

Select the data and convert it into an Excel table. Click on 3D Map and choose Open 3D Maps.

Configure the Layer Pane:

In the Layer pane, select the geographic data (e.g., State) as the basis for the mapped area. Choose "Capacity (Sum)" to control the height of the 3D map, representing the total generating capacity for each state.

Create a Stacked Column 3D Map:

Select "Energy Description" as the category and opt for the Stacked Column chart. This choice summarizes energy capacity for each state by category. Alternatively, you can choose from Clustered Column Map, Heat Map, Bubble Map, or Region Map.

Explore and Customize:

Your 3D Map is ready (see Figure 5). Use the +/- buttons to adjust size, arrows to move and rotate, and the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Save your map as a Tour for playback.

Gain Insights:

Hover over columns to gain insights into each state's power sources. For example, Texas relies heavily on natural gas, Washington on hydroelectric power, and Indiana on coal.

Incorporating 2D Filled and 3D Power Maps into your Excel toolkit opens up new dimensions for visual data representation. Whether you're presenting sales data by country or unraveling the energy landscape of U.S. states, these maps provide engaging and informative charts. Experiment with the customization options and unleash the full potential of Excel's mapping features. Your data has a story to tell—let 2D Filled and 3D Power Maps help you narrate it beautifully.

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