Thursday, 2 August 2012

Bing Maps in Microsoft Excel 2013 using Power View

There has been a lot of buzz in the BI community since yesterday, and the reason is none other than the public preview of Office 2013 (Excel 2013 in particular). There’s been a lot of articles written on the new features available and the integration of PowerPivot and Power View has really got everyone talking about.

Power View in Excel 2013 has the ability to create maps from your data and uses Bing maps for the same. Unlike the maps in SSRS, here you do have the ability to zoom and pan as needed. Also, Bing maps automatically detects the location and hence you don’t need to provide a shapefile or even the latitude/longitude information. In this blog, I will take you through the steps to create a map report in Power View.

Creating a basic map report

1) Open up a new workbook Excel 2013 and then enter the following data in the cells



USA Charlotte, North Carolina 100
USA Madison, Wisconsin 50
USA Jacksonville, Florida 140
USA Rochester, New York 40
USA Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 120
2) Select the entire data, go to the Insert tab and click on Power View icon

You should get a loading screen while it takes a couple of seconds to open Power View

3) Now click on the Country field, and then you should be able to see the Map icon appear on the menu above. Click on the Map icon as shown in the image below

You should get a warning to enable content as the data needs to be sent to Bing to get geocoded. Click on enable content to proceed. Note that you would need an internet connection for implementing this.

4) Now you can pretty much rearrange your fields by dragging them into the areas below. I have dragged Sales into the Size, City into Locations as well as Color. So I get a map report below which shows the cities as bubbles with corresponding colors and size as the amount of sales

5) You can also play around with other properties like Title, Legend, Data Labels and Map Background. They are present when you click on the Layout tab.

It is interesting to note that the data used for creating the Power View report gets imported into PowerPivot by default. This is because Power View can only communicate through DAX currently, and hence needs a tabular model behind it. The PowerPivot model can be viewed by clicking on the PowerPivot tab and then selecting the manage tab

Since there is no way to add additional data into this model without deleting and recreating the table, it would be a good practice to create the PowerPivot model first from linked tables, and then using the PowerPivot fields to create the Power View report. This way, we will be able to keep on adding data as long as there is a link between the table and PowerPivot. I will be showing you how to do this in the next part

Creating a drill down in map report

1) Select the same set of data in excel, go to the PowerPivot tab and select the Add to Data Model icon as shown below.

Note that you can still create Power View reports directly, but we will be using this technique for the reasons mentioned above earlier.
2) Select the home tab, then click on Pivot table option and select Power View to create Power View report

It is recommended to set the reporting properties of the Country and City field, so that Power View can recognize them as geographical entities, as shown in the image below

3) Now you should be able to see Power View (in case you don’t, you can click on a blank cell, go to the Insert tab and click on Power View icon). Notice that the Country and City fields have a map icon

4) Now click on the Country field, and then you should be able to see the Map icon appear on the menu above. Click on the Map and then drag both the country and city fields within locations. You can also put the Sales measure in the Size area. Now you should have a map report which drills down from the Country level to the city
If you double click on the blue dot in the center (which is USA), you will get the drill down report by cities. Notice that the title has automatically changed from Sales by Country to Sales by City. You can also click on the up arrow (highlighted in the image below) to return to the parent report
You can also create hierarchies in your PowerPivot model, and that can be directly added dragged and dropped to the Locations area. This will ensure that you don’t have to drag and drop each field individually and the drill down would be present across the entire hierarchy.
You can also see the benefit of adding the linked table to the PowerPivot model instead of using a range. Now if I have to add data, I can just go to the excel sheet and append the rows that I want as shown below

Now, all I need to do is to go to my Power View sheet and refresh the report. You can see that the new data is already included in the report

Creating Pie charts in map report

1) Use the previous report, and then add the city to the Color area. Now you can see that there is a pie chart by cities at a country level

2) You can hover the mouse on the pie charts, and the pie chart will expand and show the tooltips as shown below
You can also use the horizontal / vertical multiples location areas to split it by the selected field as shown below
Similarly, you can use the Tile By option also (however, this feature is not available if you use the multiples option)
Another best practice is to concatenate your city names with state/country info also (as I have done in all the examples) as there might be duplicate city names and doing this will help Bing in geocoding it better. You can also do this operation as a calculated column in PowerPivot, if you don’t want the city names to be displayed with their country/region info appended

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