How to Make Geographic Heat Map in Excel

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How to Make Geographic Heat Map in Excel

Creating a geographic heat map in Excel is an excellent way to visualize data related to different geographical locations. A heat map can help identify trends, patterns, and outliers across various regions, making it an invaluable tool for data analysis and presentation.In this guide, we’ll explore how to make a geographic heat map in Excel, discussing its significance and providing a step-by-step process based on top Google search results.

Significance of Geographic Heat Maps in Excel

Geographic heat maps are powerful visual tools that allow users to:

  1. Identify Geographic Trends:

Easily spot trends and patterns in data distribution across different regions.

  1. Enhance Data Interpretation:

Visual representation makes complex data more understandable and accessible.

  1. Facilitate Decision-Making:

Helps businesses and organizations make informed decisions based on regional performance or demographic information.

  1. Present Data Effectively:

Engages audiences by presenting data in a visually appealing and easy-to-digest format.

Step-by-Step Process to Create a Geographic Heat Map in Excel

Step 1: Prepare Your Data

Before creating a geographic heat map, you need to organize your data. Your dataset should include:

Geographic locations:

This can be in the form of country names, state names, or city names.


Numerical data associated with each location that you want to visualize.

For example, your data might look like this:

Step 2: Insert a Filled Map Chart

  1. Open Excel and load your data into a worksheet.
  2. Select your data range. For the example above, you would select cells A1:B6.
  3. Go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon.
  4. Click on Maps in the Charts group.
  5. Select Filled Map from the dropdown menu.

Excel will automatically create a geographic heat map based on your selected data.

Step 3: Customize the Map

Once the filled map chart is inserted, you can customize it to better suit your needs:

  1. Adjust Map Projection:

Click on the chart to select it. Use the Chart Tools on the Ribbon to adjust the map projection and zoom level to focus on specific areas if necessary.

  1. Change Color Scale:

    Right-click on the map and select Format Data Series.

    In the Format Data Series pane, go to Series Color.

    Choose a color scale that represents your data effectively (e.g., a gradient from light to dark to show lower to higher values).

  1. Add Data Labels:

    Click on the map chart.

    Go to the Chart Elements button (the plus sign) on the upper right corner of the chart.

    Check the Data Labels option to display the values directly on the map.

  1. Adjust Chart Title:

    Click on the default chart title.

    Type in a new title that accurately reflects the data being presented (e.g., “Sales by Country”).

Step 4: Fine-Tune Your Map

  1. Formatting Options:

    You can further format the chart by clicking on different elements (e.g., legend, data points) and using the Format options in the Chart Tools.

    Adjust the font size, color, and style for better readability and visual appeal.

  1. Filter Data:

    If you have a large dataset, you can use filters to display only the regions of interest.

    Click on the filter button next to the map and select the regions you want to include in the visualization.

  1. Advanced Customization:

    For more advanced customization, you can use Excel’s built-in Power Query or Power Pivot tools to preprocess data before visualizing it on the map.

    Add calculated fields or aggregate data to show more meaningful insights.

Step 5: Interpret and Analyze the Map

After creating and customizing your geographic heat map, it’s important to interpret the data correctly:

  1. Identify High and Low Values:

Look for regions with the highest and lowest values to identify key areas of performance or concern.

  1. Spot Trends:

Observe any geographic trends, such as clustering of high values in certain regions.

  1. Outliers:

Identify any outliers that stand out from the rest of the data, which might warrant further investigation.

Example Use Cases

  1. Sales Performance:

Visualize sales data across different regions to identify high-performing and underperforming areas.

  1. Population Studies:

Map population density or growth rates to study demographic trends.

  1. Healthcare Analysis:

Display the distribution of healthcare facilities or the prevalence of diseases across regions.

  1. Marketing Campaigns:

Assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in different geographical areas.


  • Creating a geographic heat map in Excel is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your data analysis and presentation capabilities.
  • By following the steps outlined in this guide on how to make geographic heat map in excel, you can effectively visualize geographical data and uncover valuable insights.
  • Whether you’re analyzing sales performance, population trends, or marketing effectiveness, a well-crafted geographic heat map can provide a clear and compelling view of your data, helping you make informed decisions and communicate your findings more effectively.

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