Excel Power Map September update

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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.


  1. Hi,

    This is a real nice update, nice work!

    Can you tell me when this update will be avaliable for the office professional?

    • You will need an Office 365 subscription that includes Office 365 ProPlus in order to have these updates. Office Professional 2013 is not updated with these feature changes.

      • Hi, I have the Office 365 subscription with Power BI. What exactly is “ProPlus”? I know there is the software section that allows you to download and install Office directly from 365. Is this what you mean? Can you give specifics on how to access it via Office 365?

        • Yes. If you have Office 365 Enterprise E3, you have access to Office 365 ProPlus, the desktop apps that includes Excel Power Map. You can download and install Office 365 ProPlus on five computers at a time by clicking the gear icon in the upper right corner, Office 365 Settings, choosing Software, and then Office.

          • In my experience this arbitrary restriction is killing the uptake of this component. The power analysts most likely to have valuable data to map will be working in mid-large organisations that don’t (and will probably never) have Office 365.

            I’m also puzzled that the Power Query team seem quite capable of producing regular updates supporting all licensing scenarios and even Excel 2010.

  2. I love to surf the internet and the main reason being is the knowledge I get from posts such as this.I have read several blogs on this subject, this being my research topic. I need to know how filter operators works ?

  3. I understand the push for Office subscriptions from Microsoft’s perspective but to not have this available to Office Pro Plus users seems unfair. Time to reconsider Microsoft!!!

    • Thank you for your feedback. One of the key values of the cloud is the ability to provide an always up-to-date service allowing us to add new functionality to the Office applications at a much faster rate than ever before, with Power Map being a good example of this. As such, when you have an Office 365 subscription that includes Office 365 Pro Plus, you get the great benefit of getting a first look at new innovations, like Custom Maps and Filtering. You should expect future versions of perpetual Excel to also have these updates and more. If you are curious to try out Power Map and you have Office Professional Plus 2013 or Excel Standalone 2013, you are still welcome to download the Power Map Preview add-in on the Download Center. This preview showcases the powerful and fun basic features of Power Map, like mapping geospatial data on Bing maps, adding supportive details to your visualizations: 2D charts, legends and annotations, and creating and sharing cinematic tours.

      Power Map Preview add-in on the Download Center:

  4. Excellent. Is this update also available for Mac?

  5. So… custom maps are just image files? Still no SQL Server geospatial/geometry support? No updates to SSRS and the apparent replacement still can only do lat/long on top of a interent-based bing map, or just X/Y on an image?

    • +1 for that. It’s over a year after Power Map came out and I’m still really underwhelmed … great visuals and looks cool on a big screen for a demo, but lacking practical features. Meantime in the real world we are stuck producing SSRS reports to meet real requirements, still stuck with it’s 10-year-old UI …

  6. This Tool Is Awesome. I can wait to start using it with my click mappings tools and create heat maps over the screen. It looks really simple.
    One questions, is this tool being integrated with PowerPoint ? For example, if I create a heatmap and import it into PowerPoint, will I be able to edit it (from PowerPoint) as I do with regular charts ?

    German Viera

    • Thanks for the feedback and really glad you are excited to use the features. Looking forward to hearing about your experience!

      Currently, you are not able to have the interactive experience of Power Map embedded in any other app. You can, however, embed a Power Map tour video since it is a video file. We are definitely taking those type of ideas seriously for possible future investments. So keep them coming!

      Here is more information on creating a tour video in Power Map:

  7. This is off-topic but I cant find this anywhere on this site – how do I change my user password for You know, the one you emailed me in plain text together with my user name …

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