In our December update, we promised to have some big things to share about Power Map for Excel in the first quarter of 2015. This month, we are ready to start revealing a few of these great additions. With our brand new feature, data cards, and a few amazing improvements to how you use heat maps, we are looking forward to seeing the new stories you will tell with your data!
Data cards–Tooltips the way you want them!
Data cards extends the Power Map tooltip to let you display more contextual information about the data on your map. This becomes powerful when you need to quickly drill down into the details behind the columns and pie chart visualizations, like showing a list of Olympic events and associated medal count spanning a time period for a specific country. Just hover over or click any visualization on the map and a data card is displayed with easily readable information about the geo, height, category and time related to the data point.
You can also customize the data cards to fit your data exploration and presentation needs. Some of the options available are:
- Add/remove/change aggregation of data fields
- Add a title (e.g. location name)
- Re-order the data fields
- Rename the data field headers
- Select from a set of layout templates
Below is an example of a customized data card. Notice that even a series of data (from aggregate values) can be displayed, allowing you to drill down into the more interesting details of the data on your map.
Learn more about how to create and customize data cards and let us know what you think about this new feature.
Heat map improvements
Using heat map visualizations in Power Map tours is great way to see trends and outliers in your data through a color scale. Below is a tour scene with traditional heat map visualizations. This month’s update comes with a few cool new ways you can use heat maps to represent the data just the way you want.
Changing aggregation type
The traditional heat map only showed sum data. Now you can use heat maps to represent other aggregation types, like average. By changing the aggregation type, an option in the Layer Options tab, we were able to display the average cost of new construction projects in the greater Seattle Area.
Customizing the color scale
The traditional heat map displayed points with a color scale ranging from blue to green, yellow and red. To better represent your data, it may be more effective to display your data across just a portion of this color scale or choose an entirely different color scale all together. Also under the Layer Options tab, you will find an option to change the color of your heat map visualizations. Select Custom in the drop down and then just choose the colors you want to include. Using the same tour scene, we changed the heat map colors to just blue and red.
With these new customizations, what you can do with heat map visualizations is really limited to the data you have. Imagine an accumulated image of precipitation measurements of over 30 years can be made to look like with these options in Power Map.
Power Map for Excel is available with any Office 365 subscription that includes Office desktop apps. To use Power Map, open Excel and go to Insert > Map.
If you have automatic updates enabled for your Office 365 subscription, you should receive this Power Map update soon. If you don’t have automatic updates enabled in Excel, go to File > Account > Update Options > Update Now.