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Make a Bubble Map with Excel

Plotly with Excel

City Populations

Follow along below to make a bubble map of your own.

Step 1 - Upload your Excel data to Plotly’s grid

Open the data file for this tutorial in Excel. You can download the file here in CSV format.


Step 2 - Head to Plotly

Head to Plotly’s Workspace at and sign into your free Plotly account. Go to “Import,” click “Upload a file,” then choose your Excel file to upload. Your Excel file will now open in Plotly’s grid. For more about Plotly’s grid, see the tutorial:

Step 3 - Creating Your Chart

Label your columns like we did below. You’ll have a column for latitude and longitude. Then, click both the “Size By” and “Text” options on the left; assign “Text” to the city and “Size By” to the population.

Select “Bubble map” from the MAKE A PLOT menu and then click bubble map in the bottom left.


Your plot would initially look something like this.


Since our data only encompasses the U.S., we can change the map layout to focus on the Lower 48, Alaska and Hawaii. Head to the LAYOUT popover, then select the “Geo layout” option and select “USA” within the scope dropdown.


You can just the “Type” of layout within the dropdown. We suggest going with “Albers usa” for this plot.


Step 5 - Finalizing Your Graph

We’ve titled our chart. You can too. We came up with “2014 U.S. City Populations.”


You can download your finished Plotly graph to embed in your Excel workbook. We also recommend including the Plotly link to the graph inside your Excel workbook for easy access to the interactive Plotly version. Get the link to your graph by clicking the “Share” button. Download an image of your Plotly graph by clicking EXPORT on the toolbar.


To add the Excel file to your workbook, click where you want to insert the picture inside Excel. On the INSERT tab inside Excel, in the ILLUSTRATIONS group, click PICTURE. Locate the Plotly graph image that you downloaded and then double-click it. Notice that we also copy-pasted the Plotly graph link in a cell for easy access to the interactive Plotly version.

Excel workbook

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