How to create a map for PowerPoint

Eoin Comerford by Eoin Comerford  |  7 minute read
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When you create a map for PowerPoint, it brings a slide to life in an engaging way while visualizing important information about your operations. From text, icons and images to flowcharts, videos and even heat maps, PowerPoint can help you communicate a concept, a process or a data set in a digestible and interesting way.

PowerPoint is not the only presentation software on the market – perhaps you use Google Slides or Keynote – but it is the most popular. PowerPoint has racked up 500 million users across the globe, who collectively click their way through 35 million presentations each day.

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However, with just 40 words on the average PowerPoint slide, the presentation software really lends itself to more visual elements. Maps that can show your current sales territories and potential areas of expansion are a great example.

Adding a local or world map to a PowerPoint presentation can really bring a slide to life. It can help you visually demonstrate the geographical areas in which your business, sales reps, customer service agents and other departments operate

Engage your audience more effectively – add a map to a PowerPoint Presentation to convey complex data in an easy-to-understand way.

What do I need to create a map in PowerPoint?

In order to add a map to your PowerPoint slide show, you need to have the right tools. These include:

  • Excel: Before you can create your map and include it within your PowerPoint slide show, you need to have the relevant data. Your mapping software (which we'll get into later) should enable you to upload this data directly from Excel. This makes it easy to plot out relevant locations, either with a world map or smaller, regional maps. Simply include your country, cities, ZIP codes or specific addresses in Excel first. This ensures your data is formatted correctly and can be easily recognized by your mapping software. Check out this article for more detail on uploading your Excel data.
  • Mapping software: A robust mapping software solution like eSpatial provides you with a user-friendly, streamlined way to upload your data directly from your Excel spreadsheet. Once your data is in Excel, simply log into eSpatial and navigate to the Add Data button, located at the top left of the screen. From here, you can upload your data straight from Excel, a CSV file or an existing dataset saved in the eSpatial data library. After the upload is complete, eSpatial does all the heavy lifting for you and automatically creates a map from your unique data points.
  • PowerPoint: The final piece to this puzzle is your PowerPoint presentation software.

Once you have your data and your tools lined up, you can get started with creating your map in PowerPoint and adding a compelling visual element to your slide show. Here's a step-to-step guide:

Step 1 – Upload your data and create an eSpatial map (Don't know how? Find out here):

A map you want to embed in your PowerPoint software

Step 2 – Click on the Print icon in the control panel:

Location of the print icon in eSpatial

Step 3 – Choose the resolution and orientation of the embedded map:

Choose the settings to prepare your map for PowerPoint

Step 4 – Click Download. Unless you specify otherwise, your image will be save to your Downloads folder with the default title “ExportImage.jpg”.

Step 5 – Open the page in your PowerPoint document where you want to embed your map.

Step 6 – Click the Insert tab in PowerPoint and then Picture. Choose Insert Picture From This Device and then select the image from your Downloads folder.

Use insert picture to place your map inside PowerPoint.

The map JPEG will be inserted into your PowerPoint document.

A map created for PowerPoint

Click and hold on map to reposition it or grab the corners to resize. You can also add explanatory text to the slide.

TIP: Remember you can add a Hyperlink to any picture in PowerPoint. Simply right click on the image, select Edit Hyperlink and paste a URL into the blank address bar. Get the URL of your eSpatial map by clicking the share button on the control panel, then the option Shared Publicly. Copy the map link and paste into your picture in the PowerPoint. Now when the map image is clicked, you will be taken directly to the interactive map.

How to create a map with pins in PowerPoint

One of the advantages of using a mapping software solution like eSpatial is the ability to plot relevant locations through pins on your map.

Using your own datasets – or one of the third-party datasets in our library – eSpatial mapping software can automatically create pins on your map, which can then be displayed within your PowerPoint slides.

And, best of all, once pins are automatically created, you can adjust them to your particular specifications. This might include adjusting the location settings or customizing the icon used for each pin, as well as the color and size. You can also add customer names and other details to your map pins simply by including these in your Excel spreadsheet. Our advanced eSpatial mapping software takes care of the rest during data upload.

Editing an existing map

Because it's so simple to create a map in eSpatial and add it to your PowerPoint slides, you may find cases where you'd like to reuse an existing map, but update or edit it with new information. This is a streamlined process as well, thanks to tools like eSpatial and the user-friendly interface of PowerPoint.

To update an existing map, eSpatial users just need to edit the record that is associated with that particular map. Open the map in eSpatial, click on the particular point on the map that needs to be edited, and use the Pencil tool to adjust the information. Check out this step-by-step overview for more details.

If you'd like to do some new analysis on the same map, you can click the save icon and select “Save As” to create a new copy of your map. Then you can analyze your data with heat maps, radius maps, bubble maps and more.

Once the map is updated and saved in eSpatial, you can use the same process described above to add the visual to your PowerPoint presentation.

Potential use cases for PowerPoint maps

Adding a map to your PowerPoint slides provides you with an easy way to visualize your unique data and display it within an engaging presentation. As opposed to just listing out client locations or sales territories, you can use your eSpatial map and add a striking visual element to your PowerPoint slides.

Here are some popular use cases:

  • Showing the locations of your highest volume or highest priority client accounts.
  • Displaying your current sales territories, based on region or individual sales rep.
  • Mapping out the locations of your supply chain partners from end-to-end for the best visual representation.
  • Highlighting the regions that include your highest concentrations of customers using heat maps.
  • Identifying areas of potential expansion for your business.

Check out our success stories to see how else businesses are using eSpatial.

Benefits of using mapping software for creating maps in PowerPoint

Mapping software isn't the only tool you can use to add a map to your PowerPoint slides. However, there are some significant advantages to using a mapping software tool like eSpatial:

  • Include your own unique data: Sure, you could add a generic regional or world map to your PowerPoint slide. But a map that includes your own sales team, client location or other unique data truly makes a statement. And, with eSpatial, you're able to select the individual color, icon and details associated with each pin on the map.
  • Fill in gaps with eSpatial's data library: In addition to creating a map from your own Excel spreadsheets or CSV file, you can also incorporate third-party data that eSpatial acquires from only the most accurate and trusted sources. This includes third-party geographic boundary and demographic datasets that can help fill in any gaps with your internal data. Check it out here.
  • Automatic and streamlined map creation: One of the biggest advantages of using mapping software like eSpatial to create a map for your PowerPoint presentations is its ease of use. In just a few clicks, you have a custom regional or world map that shows data points important to your business. Automatic map creation from your Excel spreadsheet makes the process quick and easy.

For more eSpatial mapping tutorials

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Eoin Comerford Written by

Eoin Comerford

Eoin is an eSpatial mapping expert with more than 10 years of experience in the field. He specializes in using mapping to help sales and marketing professionals target revenue growth, make cost reductions and improve customer service.

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