Microsoft’s new 3D data visualization BI product – Power Map

Microsoft has introduced a new BI product that will provide 3D data visualization using Bing Maps. This product is still in beta and is codenamed “GeoFlow” but should be out late 2013 or early 2014. This preview will allow you to plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create visual tours. It is a really cool product and I can’t wait to use it in a business atmosphere.

In this post, I’ll discuss the prerequisites and how to install “GeoFlow” and I’ll give an introduction on how to use this feature.


  • Requires Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus
  • Supports 32-bit or 64-bit machines
  • Requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2008R2 (requires .NET Framework 4.0)
  • Requires internet access


Download and install the preview from Microsoft Download Center (make sure Excel is closed while installing)

Open Excel and “Maps” will appear as a new item in the “Insert” tab of the Excel ribbon:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
Now that “GeoFlow is installed, we can begin using the new feature.

For this tip, I’m using the AdventureWorks2012 database and the result set from the following query imported into Excel:

  FROM [AdventureWorks2012].[Sales].[SalesOrderHeader] soh
  JOIN [AdventureWorks2012].[Person].[Address] ps ON soh.ShipToAddressID = ps.AddressID
  JOIN [AdventureWorks2012].[Person].[StateProvince] psp ON psp.StateProvinceID = ps.StateProvinceID
  WHERE StateProvinceCode = 'CA'

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
Once you have the data in Excel, click on the “Insert” tab on the Office ribbon and click Map. You should now see the “GeoFlow” globe:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
There are a few tabs you can use right away in the ribbon bar. Under the “Map” item you can change Themes and add Map Labels. I like to enable the Map labels so I can see a more detailed version of the map. You can also zoom in and out and move the map using the arrows and +/- buttons in the bottom right corner of the map.SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
On the right side you see the “Layer” pane. This is where you will choose your geography visualizations. For this example Ill select “PostalCode” under the range section and since we know that this column stores zip codes we’ll map it to “Zip” under the Geography section:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI

Once the fields are selected, click Map It.

You might notice that 86 records were updated meaning that there are 86 unique zip codes in California and it placed a marker on each zip code:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server Excel GeoFlow Power Map BI
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Creating an SSRS Map report with data pinpoints

SQL Server Reporting Services has some cool features such as displaying maps and data points on the maps.  In this post I’ll show how to take a list of addresses and display them as pinpoints on a map in an SSRS report.

With SSRS 2008R2 you have the capability of adding maps to your reports using spatial data. In this tip I’ll show you how to accomplish this.

If you have a table with addresses, zip codes, etc. we’ll need to find the latitude and longitude of each address. You can accomplish this by using a geocoding website. There are many out there but I use because it’s fast and easy to copy and paste multiple addresses into their input box, click “start geocoding” and within seconds it will output latitude and longitude information.

Once you get the latitude and longitude information you can import it into your database. See below for an example of my table of Alabama cities and zip codes with their appropriate coordinates.

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSRS Maps

Once you have your coordinates we will need to create a new column with a geography data type that we will add our spatial data into. The following code will accomplish this.

ALTER TABLE ZipCodes ADD SpatialData geography

We should now have a table that looks like below:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSRS Maps

Inserting the data into the SpatialData column can be time consuming if you have a lot of records. The best way I have figured out how to do this is to use a basic UPDATE statement. Below is my script I have created for my table for this example.

UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(85.972173  31.809675)' WHERE ZipCode = 36081 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(88.053241  30.686394)' WHERE ZipCode = 36685
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.602739  33.621385)' WHERE ZipCode = 35173
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.265837  32.35351)' WHERE ZipCode = 36106 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(87.022234  32.41179)' WHERE ZipCode = 36701 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.102689  33.43451)' WHERE ZipCode = 35161 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(87.571005  33.209003)' WHERE ZipCode = 35402 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.584979  34.729135)' WHERE ZipCode = 35801 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.007172  34.014772)' WHERE ZipCode = 35901 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.809484  33.517467)' WHERE ZipCode = 35266 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.300629  32.38012)' WHERE ZipCode = 36124 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(86.977029  34.60946)' WHERE ZipCode = 35602 
UPDATE ZipCodes SET SpatialData = 'POINT(85.239689  31.941565)' WHERE ZipCode = 36072

Once you update your table with the spatial data and run SELECT * FROM ZipCodes you should see the following output:

SQL Freelancer SQL Server SSRS Maps
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