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Bubble Map on Excel

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-27
Hi, does anyone have a good tool for creating bubble maps in excel? Similar to the ones you see online -- last one?

http://www.tushar-mehta.com/publish_train/data_visualization/10%20Dashboards.shtml
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Question by:Angelmar
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6 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Michael Vasilevsky
ID: 37812859
Not sure what you mean by "tool", and that link isn't working for me, but if you want to learn about bubble charts this might be a good place to start: http://chandoo.org/wp/2009/10/05/bubble-chart-tutorial/
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Author Comment

by:Angelmar
ID: 37813191
i know how to make a bubble chart. what I am looking for is a template or software to have the bubbles appear on a map(us map) instead.
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
dlmille earned 2000 total points
ID: 37815604
First you need to purchase Microsoft MapPoint http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/en-us/MPLanding.aspx?refcd=go002208s_mappoint
or other 3rd party map software add-in.  Find one that allows you to plot bubbles or other charts on top of the map.  

Here's a free one that sits on Excel supporting bubble thematics:
http://freegeographytools.com/2010/excel-add-on-for-map-and-data-visualization

Here's a tip on how to overlay an actual bubble chart on top of a map, though it can take some work as you have to set up the x,y axis to align with lat and long's on the map:
http://www.mrexcel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=515764

Here's a blog on Excel dashboard which appears to have this functionality, though you might have to tweak VBA code to get it working for you:
http://www.clearlyandsimply.com/clearly_and_simply/2011/03/the-next-level-of-interactive-microsoft-excel-dashboards.html

There's also Tableau:
http://www.tableausoftware.com/solutions/data-visualization

SpotFire is one we use at work that can do this as well - and you can download a trial version to test it out.  I don't think SpotFire is an Excel add-in, but from the documentation it appears there's a good interface between the two.
http://spotfire.tibco.com/

Here's a Spotfire demo of crime statistics from their website, using bubbles in a geographical area.
http://ondemand.spotfire.com/Public/ViewAnalysis.aspx?file=Public/Crime%20Data%20(Arlington%20County)&waid=b456bc9331368fccb5867-b6d0

Personally, I do more sophisticated mapping, and I use MapInfo (an independent program, not part of Excel) and MapBasic (to do some automation) to do all my mapping and associated modeling.  It is one of the more powerful apps (and also has a free download) but may be more sophisticated that Spotfire (which I personally haven't used) though Spotfire I understand has good statistical and D/A functions which may be more up your alley.
http://www.pbinsight.com/products/location-intelligence/applications/mapping-analytical/mapinfo-professional/

If you have access to Excel 2002, you can probably do it with that as well, but after 2002, Microsoft makes this feature available via purchase.  I tried to find it in my version of 2002 and despite the Wiki's claims that Excel 2002 has it, I couldn't find it.  As I recall, it was fairly rudimentary, however.

There's a lot of dashboard software out there that uses mapping and supports thematics like bubbles, though you'll have to search more diligently to find those that sit atop of Excel.

Dave
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Author Closing Comment

by:Angelmar
ID: 38011917
really didn't get me anything different than i already had.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:dlmille
ID: 38012649
>>really didn't get me anything different than i already had.

While my response may not have given you additional help, it was a broad and thorough effort, sharing tools that we use at my shop as well.  The C grading doesn't quite ring true based on my posting and your response.

Please explain the C grading.

Please see the following Grading Guidelines, as posted by our moderator, zorvek, here: http:/Q_27278078.html#a36563097:
Grading Guidelines

A: The Expert(s) either provided you with a thorough and informative answer or with a link to information that answered your question.

B: The Expert(s) provided an acceptable solution, or a link to an acceptable solution but you needed more information to complete the task.

C: You have given the Expert(s) ample time to respond to your clarification posts and you have responded to each of their posts providing requested information, and the answer, after clarification, lacks finality or does not address the issue presented.

Dave
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