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Activating and Using the Bing Maps Add-in in MS Excel

Joshua is a graduate student at the USF. He has interests in business technology, analytics, finance, and lean six sigma.

This map from the Bing Maps add-in can be paired with a table to display locations and attributes about those locations.

This map from the Bing Maps add-in can be paired with a table to display locations and attributes about those locations.

The Bing Maps add-in can be utilized to show locations on a map with corresponding attributes that describe those locations. Additionally, locations can be visually distinguished by their numeric attributes with varying sizes of location markers.

For example, If you have a business in three different countries, you can easily create a Bing Map in Excel to plot a marker for each location where the sizes of the markers will display in different sizes. The varying sizes can be based on the revenue or some other numeric figure to show how each location varies from the other.

Next, we'll look at the steps used to insert a Bing Map into an Excel spreadsheet.

Insert the Map

To insert a Bing Map, first click on the insert tab, then click on the Bing Maps add-in button from the add-ins section of the ribbon. The button is hard to miss because it looks like the Bing logo.

If your version of Microsoft Excel does not have the Bing Maps Add-in find the add-ins section under the insert tab and click on the "Get Add-ins" button. Use the search bar to search for Bing. Here you will be able to download the application.

If your version of Microsoft Excel does not have the Bing Maps Add-in find the add-ins section under the insert tab and click on the "Get Add-ins" button. Use the search bar to search for Bing. Here you will be able to download the application.

Activate the Map by Trusting the Add-in

Click on the button that says "Trust this add-in" to get the map to appear.

Microsoft has you trust the Bing Maps Add-in to assure that you understand that your data is not private. Remember that the Bing Maps Add-in has access to any content in the workbook that it is running in.

Microsoft has you trust the Bing Maps Add-in to assure that you understand that your data is not private. Remember that the Bing Maps Add-in has access to any content in the workbook that it is running in.

Below is what you should see after you trust the add-in. To make the add-in useful, data needs to be added to the map. Otherwise, the map will hot have any location markers or functionality.

activating-and-using-the-bing-maps-add-in-in-ms-excel

Adding Location Data to the Map

Generally, you have two main options for displaying your data on your Bing Map.

You may want to just show categorical data. In this case, the locations would be the only data to display on the map with a marker.

In another instance, you can have categorical and numeric data. For example, showing company locations and the revenue for each location would represent this scenario.

Once you add locations to a column in Excel and numeric data related to that those locations in a column to the right, you can select that range of data and click the location icon on the Bing Map. This will save the data to the Bing Map.

Below is an illustration of how to set up your columns and where to find the location icon. If you only want to show the categorical information, you would only select the location column.

The Bing Map works best when used with data that needs to display locations. Locations can be determined by zip code, city, region, or even by country. The map can be utilized to mark locations in any country in the world.

The Bing Map works best when used with data that needs to display locations. Locations can be determined by zip code, city, region, or even by country. The map can be utilized to mark locations in any country in the world.

Adding Multiple Numeric Data

You can add more than one piece of numeric data. Adding multiple columns of numeric data to your table can allow your Bing Maps user to look at the data with more dimensions.

One categorical variable and multiple numeric variables example

One categorical variable and multiple numeric variables example

Creating Location Filters

There is a feature that allows you to filter the specific views by limiting the number of locations that will be plotted on the map. This feature can be opened by clicking on the filter icon on the map toolbar.

Filter settings

Filter settings

Bing Map Settings

Use the Bing Maps settings to create a map look that is best for your audience. The settings that can be changed include:

  • Map type
  • Data Point Display type
  • Optional Legend
  • Color of markers
Bing Map settings

Bing Map settings

Increase Map Size and Zoom

Lastly, you can change the map size by dragging the corners of the map inward or outward. The magnification of the map can also be changed with the use of the zoom buttons.

Changing map zoom and size

Changing map zoom and size

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Joshua Crowder

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