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Microsoft 365

Excel Power Map September update

Each month we strive to improve Excel Power Map with features that matter most to you, so you can tell richer and more creative stories with your data. This month we are rolling out two big features, Power Map Filtering and Custom Maps, to make your experience using Power Map easier and more exciting!

If you have an Office 365 subscription with automatic updates enabled, you should receive this update soon. If you don’t have automatic updates enabled in Excel, go to File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.

Power Map is part of the powerful and interactive data visualization features within Excel, which are enhanced with Power BI for Office 365, our cloud-based solution for analyzing, visualizing and sharing data insights.

Power Map Filtering enhancements

We heard your feedback loud and clear. As of this month, you can now use filtering to refine your Power Map tour. By using filters to see individual portions of your data set and compare how different factors can alter your data, you can uncover deeper insights in your data.

Power Map includes the ability to filter data using three different options:

  • List filter. Let’s you select or exclude individual categories. The data is listed in alphanumeric order, and only the first 50 in the list are shown. You can use the search box to narrow down your results and get to the rest of your data. Simply select the All check box to remove any filters.
  • Range filter. The slider helps you filter a numerical field between the minimum and maximum values. Both the minimum and maximum are inclusive—in other words, “between” means including.
  • Advanced filter. Use predicate statements, such as “is greater than 1000” or “is after 8/01/2014” to filter your data with pinpoint precision.

Excel Power Map filter

Filters operate per scene, per layer. This means the filters you create and set in one scene are independent from any others (and the same for each layer within a scene). So, you can create tours where data is filtered differently from one scene to the next.

You can further customize your filtering controls by choosing the aggregation method by which Power Map will filter your selected data. For example, if you selected a field of numbers and decided to use the Range filter control, changing the aggregation will allow you to choose whether to filter based on the sum, average, count, minimum, or maximum for each point on the map.

Explore data across any map with Custom Maps

We took data visualization to an entirely new level by introducing Custom Maps, which extends all the existing features of Power Map, so you can tell rich and interactive stories using any map.  Just choose an image—like a building floor plan, a map of public transit routes, or a system architecture map—and quickly transform your data into a powerful and dynamic visual story.

Check out this video to see Custom Maps in action:

Power Map works great with geo-spatial data. For example, you can quickly show your sales in Tokyo or New York City on a globe or a flat map—but what about showing sales inside your store? Or where customers spend time inside your coffee shop? You can now do this with Custom Maps.

Excel Custom Maps

Custom Maps leverages x and y coordinates in your data to allow you to plot the data across any image file. The Custom Map options allows you to adjust the data to fit your image file as you expect it to. The Scale option allows you to expand and collapse the data across the image, while the Offset option allows you to shift the data in any direction. Once your data and image are aligned, you can use the custom map for multiple scenes and even in more than one tour.

Use your custom map to build dynamic data explorations just like standard Power Map visualizations. Add meaning to the data points with bar charts, pie charts and heat maps. You can also add legends, annotations and even a time parameter to bring your story to life. Then create a video and share your tour with colleagues, classmates and friends.

Try out these new features and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or click the Send a smile  (send a smile) button in your own Power Map tour in Excel. For more information see, Learn more about Power Map and  Power BI for Office 365.


—Igor Peev, senior program manager and Jim Sun, program manager, with the Power Map team contributed to this article.


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