Create a Map chart in Excel

You can use a map chart to compare values and show categories across geographical regions. Use it when you have geographical regions in your data, like countries/regions, states, counties or postal codes.

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Notes: 

Download our examples

You can download a workbook with several map chart examples like the ones in this article.

Map charts can display both values and categories, and they each have different ways of displaying color. Values are represented by slight variations of two to three colors. Categories are represented by different colors.

For example, the Countries by Tax Revenue % chart below uses values. The values represent tax revenue in each country with each portrayed using a gradient spectrum of two colors. The color for each region is dictated by where along the spectrum its value falls. By default, the higher the value is, the darker its corresponding color will be.

Excel map chart displaying values with Countries by Tax Revenue %

In the following example, Countries by Category, the categories are displayed using a standard legend to show groups or affiliations. Each country is represented by a different color.

Excel map chart displaying categories with Countries by Category

Create a Map chart

  1. You can copy the following data that we used for our examples, or set up your own in a similar fashion. Start with one column for your geographic location (country/region, state or province, county or postal code), then your numeric or categorical values in the second column. In some cases, you might need to add another level of geographic detail (see Frequently Asked Questions).

    Country

    Category

    Tax revenue (%)

    Argentina

    B

    12.2%

    Australia

    C

    22.3%

    Brazil

    B

    12.9%

    China

    D

    9.4%

    France

    E

    23.1%

    India

    D

    11.0%

    Mexico

    A

    13.6%

    Namibia

    F

    28.5%

    Russia

    D

    9.1%

    Sweden

    E

    27.7%

    United Arab Emirates

    F

    0.0%

    United States

    A

    10.9%

    Select any cell within the data range, then go to the Insert tab > Charts > Maps > Filled Map.

    To insert a Map chart, select any cell within your data range, then go to Insert > Charts > Maps > select the  Filled Map icon.

  2. Depending on your data, Excel will insert either a value or category map.

    Value Map

    Category Map

    Excel Map Chart Recommended Value chart Excel Map Chart Recommended Category

    Tip: If your data is set up as an Excel table, and then you add a country to the list, Excel will automatically update it as a geography data type and update the linked map chart. Similarly, if you remove a country, then Excel will also remove it from the chart.

Formatting your Map chart

Once your map chart has been created you can easily adjust its design. Just click on the map, then choose from the Chart Design or Format tabs in the ribbon. You can also double-click the chart to launch the Format Object Task Pane, which will appear on the right-hand side of the Excel window. This will also expose the map chart specific Series options (see below).

Notes: 

  • There are several map chart specific Series options, however they are not supported in Android devices or Excel Mobile. If you need some of the map Series options, then you can build your chart in Excel for Windows or Mac and view it on an Android device or Excel Mobile.

  • Excel Map Chart Format Object Task Pane Series options

  • Learn more about Formatting Map Charts.

  • Map projections - Change the map's projection style. By default, Excel will display the most efficient stye.

  • Map area - Change the map's Zoom level, ranging from a state/province view, all the way to the world view.

  • Map labels - Show geographic names for your countries/regions. Chose to show names based on fit, or show all labels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: When I use certain text-based locations, I end up with a blank map and an error, or some of my points map in other countries.

Excel Map Chart with ambiguous data

Answer: If you use data where there might be more than one similar location in the world, map charts can’t necessarily tell the difference without more guidance. If possible, add a higher-level detail column to your data. For example, the following locations won’t necessarily map the way you expect since there are many places in the world where these are valid county names:

Excel Map Chart ambiguous data

But the data should map correctly if you add another column for higher-level detail, in this case, Province – This is called Disambiguation:

Excel Map Chart Disambiguous data

Excel Map Chart Disambiguous data chart

Limitations

  • Map charts can only plot high-level geographic details, so latitude/longitude, and street address mapping isn’t supported. Map charts also support one-dimensional display only, but if you need multi-dimensional detail you can use Excel’s 3D Map feature.

  • Creating new maps, or appending data to existing maps requires an online connection (to connect to the Bing Map service).

  • Existing maps can be viewed without an online connection.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

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