Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Power Map

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Power Map

Article excerpt

Q I'd like to plot a year's worth of our company's data on a map and then view that data animated over a period of time to see if we can visually detect trends. I've seen this kind of reporting before, so I know it can be done, but I don't know how. Can you direct me to this type of solution?

A The solution you seek can be achieved with Microsoft Power Map--a free, add-in utility included with Office 365 subscriptions (a preview version is also available for stand-alone versions of Excel 2013). Following are steps for installing and using this new add-in to analyze your data.

1. Install the add-in. To install the Power Map add-in in Excel 2013, from the File tab, select Options, Add-Ins; then, at the bottom of the Excel Options dialog box, select COM Add-ins from the dropdown box and click the Go button. In the resulting COM Add-Ins dialog box (pictured below), check the box labeled Microsoft Power Map for Excel.

This action will install the add-in and insert the Power Map icon on the Insert tab's Tours group, as circled in the picture below.

2. Prepare your data. Make sure your data contain columns of both dates and locations. The locations can be countries, states, counties, cities, ZIP codes, addresses, or GPS coordinates. As an example, I downloaded a database of 38,449 arrest records for Chicago occurring in 2011, a partial listing of which is pictured below. (You can download an Excel file containing this data set at

Note that, in this example, column B contains dates and times, and columns H and I contain latitude and longitude coordinates.

3. Create a Power Map. Select any single cell in the data range, then from the Insert tab, select Map, Launch Power Map, and then click New Tour (or select Carlton's Tour of Chicago Crime to see a Power Map that has already been created). The New Tour screen should appear as pictured below.

Notice that Power Map recognizes the GPS coordinates and plots the data on the globe, which, from the view shown above, appears as a tiny blue dot over Chicago. …

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