Manually attempting to map location data from Excel takes time and effort. Plenty of mapping tools are complicated or cumbersome, so make sure whatever software you choose allows automatic uploads of Excel data. The easiest option is third-party mapping software that automatically uploads your information to the map, creating a beautiful and custom map without the painstaking process of manually adding markers.
If you choose GIS software to create the map, look for a bulk upload function. The bulk upload function will automatically pin the locations within your spreadsheet using coordinates, addresses, or other location-specific details. Once the upload finishes, you’ll have a completely interactive map with custom markers.
Alternatively, you can use Excel software to chart values and show categories across geographical regions. This method is a bit more time-consuming and will often hold strict limitations on the functionality of the map.
How to Create an Interactive Map with Mapping Software
Creating your map using Excel data is relatively simple. Sign up for a free trial of the third-party software or log into the GIS software account. If you don’t have a program, look for one offering a fully functional trial to get a feel for the process before spending money. On the dashboard, select the “create your first map” option. You’ll want to give your map a name and enter any description of the map into the field below. When ready to start, select the “continue” option.
The most mapping software will prompt an upload from your Excel file at this time. The software will create a map from Excel, integrating all your customer information simultaneously. There are a few different ways to upload the data, whether you choose the copy-and-paste method, direct upload, or manual entry. Alternatively, you can use the API functionality to connect data directly to the map for real-time updates, connect your Google Spreadsheet data to the platform, or manually enter the information into a blank map.
After the information uploads to the software, users can manually select the columns to include the location data. These will automatically match to categories within the software, allowing complete customization. When finished, share the maps, embed them into different blog posts, or integrate them into marketing materials.
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How to Create an Interactive Map Using Map Chart in Excel
The map chart allows users to compare values and show different categories across a geographical region. Users must set the spreadsheet with geography data types that offer geographic values. These values include city, postal code, zip code, country, or state. Excel will automatically convert all data within the column to geography data type, including relevant properties to that data.
After uploading the information, you’ll want to create a map chart. Select any cell within the data range and choose the Insert Tab. From there, select the Charts, Maps, and Filled Map options. If the preview of your map looks good, select the OK button.
Excel does offer a few different formatting options, although they are more limited than GIS software. If you’d like to adjust the design, click on the map, and choose the Chart Design tabs in the ribbon. There are a few different map projections, but Excel will display the most efficient style.
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What Can Mapping Software Show Us?
With different maps comes a further understanding of your data. Most programs will hold hundreds of features available to view the data differently. For example, a heat map with Excel data will highlight different geographic information. The heat map will become darker where there are higher densities and lighter where there are few to none.
Alternatively, grouping spreadsheet data on a map will help users automatically find unique values within a column. These markers show as a colored pin on the map for each row in the spreadsheet. Every color in the map area will represent a unique value from grouping columns.
Planning routes can help business owners capitalize on routes or deliveries. An optimized route will reduce travel time and minimize wasted time stuck in traffic. An optimized route can also help sales representatives, especially when visiting multiple appointments throughout the day.
Establishing sales territories is another critical component of mapping Excel data. Users can accurately determine which areas are highly saturated and identify other struggling sites. Balanced regions improve efficiency and help sales representatives set a core service area. Keeping territories balanced and even will minimize burnout of representatives and encourage interaction with current customers within the sales process.
Excel is a powerful data visualization tool that can be used to create interactive maps. In this tutorial, we showed you how to convert data into an interactive map in Excel. We also provided some tips on how to improve the usability of your map. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!