Working with the 3D Maps feature in Microsoft Excel 2019

The 3D Maps feature was availableon Office 2016 but was called Power Map. In Office 2019, it is called 3DMaps and used to create animated three-dimensional map tours. It canplot financial, geographical, date, and time data model fields, as wellas a range of other sources.

An example of the use of a three-dimensional map is to set up avirtual tour of galleries around the world to show artwork, its value,and the date it was created. You could also use the feature to plotproduct reviews according to country, region, or city. The use cases areendless for education and business analysis, so this feature iscertainly not one to ignore!

Let’s create a three-dimensional map:

  1. For this example, we will usethe ProductReviews.xlsx workbook. The workbook consists of asmall table of reviews from clients and expert reviewers for ourproducts over a specified time period. The data is formatted as a tableso that any new data added at any point is included in the map rangeautomatically.
  2. Click on the table, then go to Insert | 3DMap | Open 3D Maps:
ms office 310
  1. If you have any existing tours that use 3D Maps, it opens the Launch 3D Maps pane and prompts you tochoose which existing tour you want to open, or to select New Tour at the bottom of the pane. Aseparate window opens, where the 3DMaps feature loads. Notice that there is a File and Home tab and the window is separated by aTour Editor pane to the left anda Layer panel to the right. At the endof the Home ribbon, you will find theView options, which allow you toremove and show these panes, as well as the field list. The globe ispositioned in the middle of the window. Themes can be applied to theglobe by visiting the Themes optionsunder the Scenes group. Try these out!When we add layers to our globe, we can plot on a flat map if we preferthis option to the globe. To zone in on a location, simply select theFind Location icon under the Map group:
ms office 245
  1. Let’s drag items from the field list onto the pane. Click on theField List icon to see a list offields from our worksheet data. As a basic example, we will position thefields by dragging the Region field to the Location area, then changing thegeographical type of the region to City. Then, drag Expert Reviewsto Height, then dragProducts to Category, andfinally, drag Review Date to Time. Your map should change as you selectthe options:
ms office 766
  1. Notice how the date and time box now appears on the map, as well asthe timeline at the bottom of the globe. Click on the Play arrow icon on the leftmost side of thetimeline to play the date progression of product reviews over time onthe map. Zoom into your map using the directional arrows, or use the+ or – icons to zoom in or out. Hover over theregion bars on the map to see detailed information for each plotpoint:
ms office 421
  1. To display labels for the map, click on the Map Labels icon under the Map group:
ms office 631
  1. To play the tour in full-screen mode, click on the Play tour from this scene icon, or goto Home | Play Tour from the Tour group:
ms office 741
  1. There are so many options to discover in 3D Maps, so be sure tocheck out the icons at the very bottom of the 3D Maps window to view, zoom, or show/hideelements. Experiment by adding more than one layer or creating multiplescenes, export tours as a video or image, and change the scene optionsand effects, the visualization type, and the colors.
  2. To change the visualization type, add a category, and edit thecolors, go to the Layer paneand select the Bubble visualizationicon. Notice how the data points on the chart are now huge bubbles.Navigate to the bottom of the Layerpane to Layer Options to edit the sizeof the bubbles by dragging the scale toward the left:
ms office 160
  1. Edit the bubble color to red, or select individual plot points onthe map and then edit the color for each one individually.
  2. Add the Sales field by selecting it from the drop-downlist under Category. Notice that theLayer legend alters to reflect theSales figures and the bubbles alter to reflect thechange:
ms office 559
  1. When you return to your Excel worksheet after closing 3D Maps, you will see a text box over yourworksheet data indicating that 3D Mapstours are available for this workbook:
ms office 772

You have now learned how to display worksheet data in athree-dimensional map and can customize the map by adding fields,layers, and scenes, as well as change a range of options. There is somuch more to editing visualizations toexplore and so much you can experiment with using different datasets. Inthe next topic, we will experiment further by getting to grips with anoverview of the different analysis tools in Excel 2019.

Leave a Comment