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Make an Impressive Interactive Map Chart in Excel

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Today, let’s learn how to make an impressive map chart with Excel. Something like this:

Excel Map charts - demo

Step 1: Set up your Data for the Map Chart

You need geographical fields (district / county/ state or country), few numeric values to create the map chart in Excel. Here is the layout of the data I’ve used.

I will explain the logic for “Calc. Column” in Step 3.

Data layout for the map chart

Step 2: Create “selection mechanism” with Data Validation

Select a blank cell to set up “drop-down” selection mechanism. This is where we will select one of the products to show on the map.

Go to Data ribbon & click on “Data Validation”. Change the rule type to “List” and point to the list of products. You can set up this list elsewhere in the spreadsheet or directly point to the table headers.

Related: Learn more about setting up “drop-down lists in Excel”

Data validation set up for the "product" selection

Step 3: Calculate the values for “selected” product

I recommend using either XLOOKUP or INDEX MATCH to calculate the values of “selected” product for our table.

Here is the XLOOKUP formula I’ve used. This assumes the drop-down list selection is in cell G6.

=XLOOKUP($G$6,
Table2[[#Headers],[Mint Chip Choco]:[After Nines]],
Table2[@[Mint Chip Choco]:[After Nines]])

The above formula looks up the G6 (selection values) against table headers and returns the corresponding product sales values to the calculated column.

Step 4: Make the Map chart

Select the geographical fields & the calculated columns alone, then go to Insert Ribbon & click on the Filled Map chart option (see below).

how to add a map chart (Insert ribbon > Maps > Filled Map)

Customize the map chart colors & title if you want.

Place chart next to the selection cell and you will have a dynamic map chart in Excel, like below:

Dynamic Map chart - Demo

Download the sample file

If you need a hand with this technique, check out the example workbook.

Video Tutorial – How to make map charts in Excel?

I made a video explaining this process with a few more examples & tips. Check out the video below or my YouTube channel.

Known issues & problems with Maps in Excel

Excel map charts are not perfect. Here are some known issues with it.

  • Not all geographical data is supported: In many countries, you can’t show data by district or city or regions. For example, if you try to make the same chart with districts of an Indian state, the map will not work.
  • No support for LAT / LONG or street addresses: You can’t create map charts with specific point information (like addresses or coordinates).
  • Incorrect maps: When a geographical boundary is disputed (due to wars or whatever), the map chart doesn’t show correct outlines or altogether omits the regions.
  • Unable to zoom: You can’t zoom in to a specific region with the map charts.

Possible Alternatives:

You can use Power BI or Tableau other data visualization tools to make the maps. They allow working with more granular data or can let you control the zoom for your maps.

Got a question?

Do you have a question or doubt about using map charts in Excel? Leave a comment so I can help.

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One Response to “Make an Impressive Interactive Map Chart in Excel”

  1. Gary J Keramidas says:

    what i do, because i have multiple product codes is. table1 holds all of the data, multiple rows for each state and code
    make a list of unique codes to use as a dropdown
    =UNIQUE(Table1[Comm_Code]) in AB1
    use this formula in the data validation list:
    =$AB$1#. this is in cell F2 and selects all of the unique items if the row counts change
    then i use a filter formula for the chart to plot the data in H2
    =FILTER(Table1,Table1[Comm_Code]=F2)
    highlight the from H2:H51 and (state) J2:J51 the tonnage.
    select the code and i get a map
    haven't spent any time trying to make it a dynamic range, i just set it up. excel ignores the blank rows, for now.

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