How to Create a Map in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a map in Excel might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you know how. In a nutshell, you’ll be using Excel’s built-in mapping tool to plot your data onto a map of your choice. You’ll need some geographical data to get started, like the names of countries, states, or cities, and some values to plot, such as population numbers or sales figures. Ready to dive in? Let’s get mapping!

Step by Step Tutorial: Creating a Map in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to note that to create a map in Excel, you’ll need to have Excel 2016 or later, or a subscription to Microsoft 365. These versions have a built-in feature called 3D Maps (formerly Power Map) that makes mapping a breeze.

Step 1: Prepare your data

Make sure your data is organized in a way that Excel can understand.

Your data should be in a table format with clear headings for each column. If you’re using geographical locations, such as countries or cities, make sure they’re spelled correctly and consistently throughout your table.

Step 2: Insert a map

Go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Maps’, and select ‘3D Map’.

This will open a separate window within Excel, where you’ll be able to create your map. If it’s your first time using 3D Maps, Excel might take you through a short tutorial to get you started.

Step 3: Add your data to the map

Select the range of cells that contain your data, then click ‘Add to Map’.

Excel will automatically attempt to recognize and plot your geographical data onto the map. You can then adjust how your data is displayed, such as changing the color or type of the map markers.

Step 4: Customize your map

Use the tools available in 3D Maps to customize the look and feel of your map.

You can change the map style, the data labels, the legend, and even the perspective of the map. Play around with the options to get the map looking just how you want it.

Step 5: Share or embed your map

Once you’re happy with your map, you can share it with others or embed it into a report or presentation.

3D Maps allows you to create tours, which are like interactive slideshows of your map. You can also export your map as a static image or a video.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a fully functional map in Excel that you can use to visualize your data geographically. Whether you’re presenting sales data, population statistics, or any other kind of location-based information, a map can be a powerful tool to add to your data analysis arsenal.

Tips for Creating a Map in Excel

  • Always check that your geographical data is accurate and consistent to avoid errors in mapping.
  • Use the ‘Map Labels’ feature to add names to countries, cities, or points of interest directly on the map.
  • Experiment with different map styles and themes to find the best visual representation for your data.
  • Utilize the ‘Layer Pane’ to manage multiple layers of data on your map, which is especially useful for complex data sets.
  • Take advantage of Excel’s ‘Data Types’ feature for geography to get more detailed information about locations, like population or area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of data can I plot on a map in Excel?

You can plot any data that has a geographical element to it, such as sales by region, population by city, or weather patterns.

Can I create a map in Excel if I don’t have geographical data?

No, you’ll need some form of geographical data, like country names, state names, or latitude and longitude coordinates, to create a map in Excel.

What if Excel doesn’t recognize my location data?

Make sure your data is spelled correctly and formatted consistently. You can also manually add locations using the ‘Add Locations’ option in 3D Maps.

Can I add multiple data sets to one map?

Yes, you can add multiple layers of data to your map using the ‘Layer Pane’ in 3D Maps, which allows you to visualize different data sets together.

How can I share my Excel map with others?

You can create a tour in 3D Maps and share it as a video, or you can simply take a screenshot of your map and share it as an image.


  1. Prepare your data in a table format with clear headings.
  2. Insert a map using the ‘Maps’ option in the ‘Insert’ tab.
  3. Add your data to the map with the ‘Add to Map’ button.
  4. Customize your map using the tools in 3D Maps.
  5. Share or embed your map by creating a tour or exporting as an image or video.


Creating a map in Excel is a skill that can elevate your data presentation to the next level. By following the steps outlined above, you can turn rows and columns of data into a visual story that’s both informative and engaging. Remember, the key to a successful map in Excel is accurate and well-prepared data, a touch of creativity, and a willingness to experiment with the different features available in 3D Maps.

Whether you’re a student presenting a geography project, a business analyst sharing sales trends, or a researcher illustrating population shifts, mastering the art of map creation in Excel can give your audience a much clearer picture of your findings. So go ahead, give it a try – who knows what insights you’ll uncover when you see your data laid out on a map? And if you ever feel stuck, remember that Excel’s help resources are just a click away. Happy mapping!

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