More mapping data in Excel

Quite a long time ago now I wrote a post on my map of UK postcode towns in Microsoft Excel based on various posts I had seen on It turns out I do actually use this map quite a lot as it is very quick to use and doesn’t require any extra specialist software. So I thought I would revisit this.

First things first I thought I’d go back to the source of my original map to see if there were any new posts, and there were. There is a new post of mapping US counties but instead of just one big map there is now a main US map and a more detailed map of a particular county. This is pretty cool and while I’d like to do it for postcode districts or even sectors that would be too time consuming.

This brings be onto my next point. While these maps are handy for the quick mapping of simple data. At somepoint we need to stop using Excel and start using some proper GIS software lets not do that yet. What are the ways of using Excel:

  • Methods I’ve explored
  • Methods I haven’t posted on
    • Using the powermap plugin (com)
      • Could just be the PCs I’m using but it’s temperamental
    • ArcGIS plugin
      • This looks like it is very good, but you’d expect that from a professional piece of software rather than something you found on the internet. The biggest issue here is that you have to buy ArcGIS which I haven’t done.
    • Thematic map that doesn’t use VBA
      • Very time consuming to make a new map but no programming needed. I’ve seen people put maps side by side. But as this can use thousands of formulae it can make your computer very slow
    • Grid Maps
      • Very simple, one box per area you are looking at. You quite often see these during elections. Uses a similar method to as above but with a simpler chart.
    • Vector Chart overlaying a picture
      • I don’t really like the use of this in this dashboard, but you might find a use for it.

From a fairly extensive search google it seems that most posts on mapping on excel are derived from the clear and simply posts that I originally based my post on. Chandoo might have another method but I can’t find one.

Please let me know if you know of other methods.

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