This is the second post in the Add-Ins series, where we are exploring various add-ins that enhance and extend the capabilities of Excel. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Bing Maps add-in. In summary, this add-in makes it easy to plot location data from a worksheet column onto a map. It supports a variety of visualization options. Let’s get to it.
Here is the type of visualization we can create with the Bing Maps add-in:
The add-in supports location columns of address, country, state, city, latitude/longitude, or zip code. In addition to the location column, you can optionally include adjacent data columns to plot values.
The Bing Maps add-in is available in the app store. To get to the app store, just click Insert > Get Add-ins. Install the Bing Maps add-in and you are ready to rock and roll.
Note: depending on your version of Excel, you may or may not have access to these add-ins.
Now that we have the basics, let’s check out a few examples.
Example 1: Location Only
Let’s say we have some data with a location column only. For example, the location of our company data centers like this:
When we insert a Bing Map, we’ll see something like this added to our worksheet:
We then select our location column and click the Locations icon in the upper right corner of the Bing map. The locations are displayed on the map, like this:
We can use the Settings icon in the upper right to reveal a variety of options, like this:
We can also use the Filter icon in the upper right to reveal filter options:
We can also use the slide-out menu in the upper right to reveal additional commands, such as Reload and Delete.
Plotting only the location is just fine in many situations, but what if we want to show the relative magnitude of a value, such as a quantity or amount. Well, let’s talk about that next.
Example 2: Location with Value
In this case, we would like to visualize the population of the US states. We have the data in a worksheet, like this:
We insert a bing map, select the State and Population columns, and use the Location icon:
We can use the Settings icon to change the color and map type, like this:
What if we have multiple values we would like to visualize? Let’s talk about that now.
Example 3: Location with Multiple Values
We have a chain of small restaurants and would like to visualize the food and beverage sales by location. The data looks like this:
We can insert the map, select the Location, Food, and Beverage columns, and bam:
As you can see, the Bing Maps add-in provides a relatively easy way to plot values on a map.
If you use other any other add-ins, let me know by posting a comment below … thanks!
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