Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on August 26, 2018

Excel 2016 owners with an office 365 subscription can now easily build beautiful map charts. Excel uses maps from Bing and it works very well, all you need to do is provide data.

The map chart below shows US states by population and I will show how I made this.

Download data

I copied US population data from wikipedia and rounded values to millions with one decimal.

Insert map chart

  1. Select data (A1:B56)
  2. Go to tab "Insert" on the ribbon
  3. Click "Maps" icon

This world map shows up, US states are barely visible. This is not what we want.

Map Chart settings

Double click on the map with left mouse button to access chart formatting.

Here we have three options we can modify, map projection, map area and map labels.

Map projection

  • Automatic - Self explanatory
  • Mercator - Cylindrical map projection
  • Miller - Modified Mercator projection
  • Robinson - Showing the globe as a flat image

Map area

  • Automatic
  • Only regions with data
  • World

Select "Only regions with data" and the chart changes to this:

Still not good, US state Alaska is so big it is hard to see the other states.

However, this setting shows different options if we add a third column to our data. Column A has value US in all 52 cells, see picture below.

Now change the data source to include column A. Right click on chart and select "Select Data...". Change the cell reference to A1:C56

Click OK button. The map chart changes once again.

Lets look at the formatting options. There are now five different map areas and the "Automatic" setting shows the above map chart.

  • Automatic
  • Only regions with data
  • Country/Region
  • Multiple countries/regions
  • World

Map labels setting lets you display state names: None, best fit only or show all. I have selected "Show all" and this is what the map chart looks like.

If you resize the chart, even more state names are visible. You can also add the population number, right click on map and click on "Add Data Labels", see chart below.

If you don't like the state colors you can change that, as well. Double click on the map and then click on a state, the format object task pane appears to the right hand side of the excel window, see picture below.

Click "Series Options" and then "Series Color" to see map chart color settings. Click the "Fill color" buttons and pick a lowest value color and a highest value color.

Download excel *.xlsx file

Excel map chart.xlsx