How To Make a Map in Excel: Bringing Spreadsheets to Life

Microsoft Excel is a powerful and valuable tool for making maps from your data sets. This popular software makes it easy to organize and visualize your information. You can quickly analyze your data sets and identify trends. In this article, you’ll learn how to make a map in Excel. It also shows you the steps to create heat and population density maps. 

A printout of a map after making it in Microsoft Excel.

How To Make a Map Chart in Excel?

A map chart lets you visualize your data sets according to their geographical regions. For example, a brand’s headquarters can use a map chart to track each branch’s sales performance. Or, a real estate agency can have a map chart highlighting crime according to the region’s zip code.

Below is a simple guide highlighting the steps to make Excel map charts:

  1. Paste your data set in Microsoft Excel and select the column you want to visualize in your map. 
  2. Click the Insert tab from Excel’s Ribbon menu. 
  3. In the new menu bar, locate the Charts group. Click on the Maps button to see the drop-down menu.
  4. Here, you’ll see Filled Maps. Select this option.
  5. Microsoft Excel will create a map based on the selected column.

If you want to customize it, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the map chart.
  2. Select Format or ChartDesign from the Ribbon to open the dialog box.

In this menu, you can change these options:

  • Map Projections: Excel will pick the best option depending on your dataset. But you can change it to Albers, Miller, Mercator, and Robinson.
  • Map Area: This controls the map’s zoom level. The available options depend on the data set you use.
  • Map Labels: It allows you to display labels on your map chart. 
  • Series Color: With this setting, you can adjust the color scheme for the data you visualize on the map.

If you’re including locations with similar names, you should increase the level of detail by adding another column. For example, London is a city in Ohio and England’s capital. In this situation, you should add “Country” as another column.

Similarly, every geographic detail should have a separate column. For example, Instead of including Colorado United States as one column, divide this column into state and country.

A person inputting data into Microsoft Excel to convert it into a map chart.

How To Make a Population Density Map in Excel?

A population density map has several use cases. For example, a real estate agency can use it to analyze potential demand for residential and commercial properties. Businesses use it to determine the next best location to open a store or offer a service. If you want to know how to make a population density map in Microsoft Excel, follow the instructions below:

  1. After you copy your data sets to Microsoft Excel, select the columns you want to include in the map. For example, pick the columns with the country’s name and population.
  2. From the Ribbon, which is the row containing all the menu options and tabs, click Insert.
  3. In the Charts group, select Maps to view the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Filled Map, and you’ll get the population density map.

You can also customize this map as per your requirements.

  • Double-click the population map to open the Format setting. Here, you can change the background color and add effects. 
  • You can also double-click a specific part of the map to open the Format page for that data point. For example, you double-click on a state in the United States.
  • In the Ribbon, you can change the chart styles as per your preferences.
  • The plus ’+’ button next to the population density map allows you to enable or hide the following:
    • Chart title 
    • Data labels
    • Legend.
  • Triple-click the text “Chart Title.” This enables you to modify the map’s name.
A population density map of the United States.

How To Make a Heat Map in Excel?

Heat maps are invaluable as you can quickly analyze the data and identify outliers. With this map, you can show crime rates, temperature, and population density, to name a few. Here’s a handy guide explaining how to make a heat map in Excel:

  1. Enter the data into individual columns in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Select all the data points you want to include in the heat map.
  3. Click on the Home tab from the Ribbon.
  4. Select Conditional Formatting and click Color Scales from the drop-down menu.
  5. Another menu pops out, showing all the different color schemes. Hover your mouse cursor over each option to see how it looks. Select the one that suits your requirements.

If you don’t like the default options, select More Rules in the Color Scales menu. Excel allows you to modify the colors for minimum, midpoint, and maximum values.

When you’re creating a heat map with complex data sets, you should choose the right columns. If you select all the columns, the heat map will compare all the values and assign colors accordingly. However, you may not get the desired results.

For instance, you want to showcase population density and crime rates. If you select the first option in the Color Scale, all the lower values will be in red. This may not be representative of lower crime as people tend to associate red with danger. Instead, select each column and assign it a separate Color Scale. This way, the heat map is clear, ensuring viewers get the right information at a glance.

Visualization of a heat map after creating it in Microsoft Excel.

Make High Quality and Data-Rich Maps With Mapize

Now that you know how to make a map in Excel, you should try it out with your data samples. Before you create a map, ensure you select the right data set.

Although Microsoft Excel offers powerful features, this tool has its limitations. For starters, you can’t create a map using street addresses. You cannot create a map without an internet connection. Excel can make mistakes when using geography data types. Also, the maps don’t offer extensive customization options.

If you’re looking for a reliable online map creator that doesn’t have these limitations, use Mapize. You can create a custom map with geographical data sets from Excel files. The best part is that you don’t need any programming knowledge. Not only will the map look professional, but it also comes with various customization features. You have complete control over what is visible on the map. It uses Google Maps enterprise API, so you never have to worry about performance or reliability. Mapize makes creating custom maps as easy as this guide on how to make a map in Excel.

It will help you visualize your data quickly. Join Mapize for free to create your first custom map today!

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Drag and drop your file (xls, xlsx or csv) Use our sample data, by clicking here. Or
AddressCityStateZipcodeNamePhone NumberGroupURLEmail
12032 SE Sunnyside rdClackamasOR97015Safeway Clackamas(503) 698-1121Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/clackamas/12032-se-sunnyside-rd.html[email protected]
4715 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez BlvdPortlandOR97202Trader Joe's Portland SE(503) 777-1601Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/portland/143/[email protected]
3380 Lancaster Dr NESalemOR 97305Safeway Salem(503) 399-1502Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/salem/3380-lancaster-dr-ne.html[email protected]
12220 SW Scholls Ferry RdTigardOR97223Whole Foods Market Greenway(971) 371-7000Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/greenway[email protected]
8145 SW Barbur BlvdPortlandOR97219Safeway Barbur(503) 452-6068Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/portland/8145-sw-barbur-blvd.html[email protected]
1550 NW 9th St Ste 100CorvallisOR97330Trader Joe's Corvallis(541) 753-0048Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/corvallis/154/[email protected]
1210 NW Couch StPortlandOR97209Whole Foods Market Pearl(503) 525-4343Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/pearl[email protected]
353 E Broadway EugeneOR97401Whole Foods Market Eugene(541) 434-8820Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/eugene[email protected]
3527 SE 122nd AvePortlandOR97236Safeway 122nd(503) 760-5448Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/portland/3527-se-122nd-ave.html[email protected]
9940 NE Cornell RdHillsboro OR97124Whole Foods Market Tanasbourne(503) 645-9200Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/tanasbourne[email protected]
15391 Bangy RdLake OswegoOR97035Trader Joe's Oswego(503) 639-3238Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/lake-oswego/142/[email protected]
2490 OR-99WMcMinnivilleOR97128Safeway McMinniville(503) 435-3120Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/mcminnville/2490-n-hwy-99-w.html[email protected]
4121 NE Halsey StPortlandOR97232Trader Joe's Portland Hollywood(503) 284-4232Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/portland/144/[email protected]
Drag and drop your file here
- OR -
Copy + paste your data include column files
AddressCityStateZipcodeNamePhone NumberGroupURLEmail
12032 SE Sunnyside rdClackamasOR97015Safeway Clackamas(503) 698-1121Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/clackamas/12032-se-sunnyside-rd.html[email protected]
4715 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez BlvdPortlandOR97202Trader Joe's Portland SE(503) 777-1601Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/portland/143/[email protected]
3380 Lancaster Dr NESalemOR 97305Safeway Salem(503) 399-1502Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/salem/3380-lancaster-dr-ne.html[email protected]
12220 SW Scholls Ferry RdTigardOR97223Whole Foods Market Greenway(971) 371-7000Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/greenway[email protected]
8145 SW Barbur BlvdPortlandOR97219Safeway Barbur(503) 452-6068Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/portland/8145-sw-barbur-blvd.html[email protected]
1550 NW 9th St Ste 100CorvallisOR97330Trader Joe's Corvallis(541) 753-0048Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/corvallis/154/[email protected]
1210 NW Couch StPortlandOR97209Whole Foods Market Pearl(503) 525-4343Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/pearl[email protected]
353 E Broadway EugeneOR97401Whole Foods Market Eugene(541) 434-8820Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/eugene[email protected]
3527 SE 122nd AvePortlandOR97236Safeway 122nd(503) 760-5448Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/portland/3527-se-122nd-ave.html[email protected]
9940 NE Cornell RdHillsboro OR97124Whole Foods Market Tanasbourne(503) 645-9200Group Ahttps://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/tanasbourne[email protected]
15391 Bangy RdLake OswegoOR97035Trader Joe's Oswego(503) 639-3238Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/lake-oswego/142/[email protected]
2490 OR-99WMcMinnivilleOR97128Safeway McMinniville(503) 435-3120Group Bhttps://local.safeway.com/safeway/or/mcminnville/2490-n-hwy-99-w.html[email protected]
4121 NE Halsey StPortlandOR97232Trader Joe's Portland Hollywood(503) 284-4232Group Chttps://locations.traderjoes.com/or/portland/144/[email protected]
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