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Add a map to Excel

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A map provides a geographic view of data and allows you to explore and interact with that data. With ArcGIS Maps for Office, data that you've stored in an Excel spreadsheet can be displayed on a map. Additionally, you can combine your data with data from ArcGIS Online on a single map, allowing you to visually analyze the information and share it with others.

A map is a spatial document composed of one or more layers. A layer is the way in which ArcGIS Maps for Office visually represents geographic datasets. A layer is similar to a legend item on a paper map. For example, on a road map, roads, national parks, political boundaries, and rivers might be considered different layers. When you add data from Excel to a map, ArcGIS Maps for Office creates a layer and displays it in the Contents pane. Once the layer is created, you can configure how it's styled, set its transparency, enable clustering or heat maps, turn on pop-ups, and so on.

You can add up to five maps to an Excel worksheet. Each map floats in its own window, allowing you to move the map to a second monitor, or move it out of the way entirely when you don't need to see it.

Note:

Microsoft Word allows you to embed and work with an Excel spreadsheet in a document. This workflow is unsupported by ArcGIS Maps for Office and is not recommended.

Data import and format considerations

Number of features

When you're creating a map, it's easy to get carried away and try to add a large amount of data to the map. It's important to keep in mind that plotting too many individual features on a map can lead to viewer confusion and frustration and doesn't provide a clear picture of your business data. In addition to creating a map that's difficult to interpret, trying to add a large number of rows to a map may negatively impact the performance of ArcGIS Maps for Office.

For this reason, ArcGIS Maps for Office restricts the number of features you can add to a map at one time. Data import limits per layer are as follows:

  • Areas (polygons)—15,000
  • Lines—15,000
  • Features (points)—50,000

A map layer can contain a maximum of 1024 data columns.

If your data contains a large number of features, you can add them to the map in subsets; for example, if you have 100,000 features, create two layers containing 50,000 points each. To mitigate performance issues when panning and zooming, ArcGIS Maps for Office automatically clusters points on a layer that has more than 500 features. You can turn off clustering using the Cluster Points button on the map ribbon.

Data formats

  • Use Excel tables—In most cases, especially if you plan to enrich your data, it's recommended that you format your data as an Excel table before you add it to the map. Using an Excel table allows ArcGIS Maps for Office to add columns containing new information to the dataset. For more information, see Tables and named ranges.
  • Use text values—Columns in your dataset that will be used for location (ZIP Codes, for example) should be formatted as textual values, not numerical values. If your data contains a number that includes a leading zero, as is common with ZIP Codes, Excel interprets these fields as numerical values and strips out the leading zero, changing the original value. Formatting such columns as text ensures that your data will remain accurate.
  • Use time formats— When your data contains time-only fields (as opposed to date and time fields), ArcGIS Maps for Office converts these values to strings to display them in pop-ups. Because of this, unlike true date and time values, time-only values cannot be used in time animations. To ensure that time values display properly, use the Format Cells option in Excel to choose the time format to apply to all cells in that column before creating the layer.

    Time values in pop-ups and in layers or maps shared on ArcGIS will display in the format set by the map author before creating the layer.

    Some ArcGIS Maps for Office time formats may contain slight differences from the standard Excel time formats. The following table shows some of these format differences:

    Excel time formatArcGIS Maps for Office time format

    13:30:55

    13:30:55

    30:55:2

    37:30:55

    *1:30:55 PM

    1:30:55 PM

    1:30:55 PM

    13:30

    13:30

    1:30 PM

    1:30 PM

Add a quick map

When you begin the Add Data workflow, ArcGIS Maps for Office scans the currently active Excel table or cell range and attempts to find location-based information. Your data must contain at least one location-based attribute, such as address data or longitude and latitude values. ArcGIS Maps for Office analyzes the data in your spreadsheet and suggests the best ways to represent it on a map, offering a selection of styles from which to choose. You can quickly add a map to your spreadsheet by choosing one of the suggested maps styles.

You can add up to five maps to an Excel workbook.

To add a map to your Excel spreadsheet, do the following:

  1. In Microsoft Excel, open the workbook and click on a cell in the Excel table or range of cells that you want to use to create the map.
  2. Click the ArcGIS Maps tab on the Excel ribbon to display the ArcGIS Maps tools.

    tools

  3. Click Sign In to sign in to your ArcGIS account.

    See Sign in to ArcGIS for more information.

  4. Click Add Map.

    The Add data from worksheet window opens, displaying styling options specific to your data.

    Note:

    If your spreadsheet contains multiple tables or named ranges, or if ArcGIS Maps for Office cannot find location-based information, the Add Map workflow window opens; see Add a map from specified Excel data for more information.

    Add data from worksheet

  5. Review the Data, Location Type, and Style by Column options to ensure that they are correct.

    • Data—Allows you to choose the data in your spreadsheet that will be used to create the map. Choose data from a table, a cell range, or a named range. For more information, see Tables and named ranges.

      If your workbook contains multiple spreadsheets, tables, or named ranges, you must specify which data to use to create the map.

    • Location Type—Determines how your data will be mapped and controls what's displayed in the style options. If you choose address, city, or coordinates, your locations will be mapped as points. If you choose state, province, or other area location type, your data will be mapped as polygons. You can also map your data to custom location types, such as park boundaries or sales territories, that aren't included in the default list. For more information, see Location types.
      Note:

      Click Location Format to verify that ArcGIS Maps for Office found all the columns necessary to map your data. If you're having trouble getting your data on the map, it's likely that all your location columns were not identified correctly. You can manually select the location columns and try again.

    • Style by Column—Allows you to choose the column used to compare the points, lines, or areas on your map. For example, to compare all the stores in a franchise based on sales revenue, choose the column that contains the sales information. The style options list will display different ways you can compare the records on the map. Typically, you compare records by varying the size or color of icons. To map your records without comparison, choose None from the drop-down menu.

  6. Scroll through the available styling options.

    The currently selected styling option is highlighted, and a check mark appears beside it. Click another option to choose it.

  7. Click Add data.

    A confirmation window opens, listing the data to use to create the map layer, the location type, and the chosen styling option.

    Tip:

    To turn off confirmation for each new layer, check the Don't show this again check box. You can reenable confirmation at any time by changing the option in the map settings.

  8. Review and confirm the layer options and click Add data.

    The data from your spreadsheet is added as a layer on the map.

Add a map from specified Excel data

To add a map by specifying data in your spreadsheet, do the following:

  1. On the ArcGIS Maps ribbon, click Add Map.

    If the currently selected Excel table or range of cells contains location information, the Add data from worksheet window opens, displaying styling options specific to your data, as described above.

    If your spreadsheet contains multiple tables or named ranges, or if ArcGIS Maps for Office cannot find location-based information, the Add Map workflow window opens.

    Add Map workflow window

  2. Click Table, Cell range, or Named range to specify the areas in your spreadsheet that contain the data you want to map.
  3. Click OK.

    The Add data from worksheet pane opens.

You can add new layers to the map at any time; see Add layers from Excel for more information.

Add a blank map

To add a blank map to your spreadsheet, do the following:

  1. On the ArcGIS Maps ribbon, click Add Map.

    If the currently selected Excel table or range of cells contains location information, the Add data from worksheet window opens, displaying styling options specific to your data, as described above.

    If your spreadsheet contains multiple tables or named ranges, or if ArcGIS Maps for Office cannot find location-based information, the Add Map workflow window opens.

    Add Map workflow window

  2. Click the Close (X) button in the upper right corner of the window or click Cancel to close the Add Data workflow window.

    ArcGIS Maps for Office creates a map with the default basemap and no layers.

    You can add layers to the map at any time; see Add layers from Excel for more information.