3D maps are three dimensional visual representations of a given location. 3D maps can give us an idea of depth, as well as width and height - dimensions in which conventional maps are limited. Here's how to make your own 3D map using the spreadsheet in Excel.
- Identify the landscape. First is to choose a piece of landscape of which you want to make a map. It would be better to choose a hilly terrain for your first try so that the contours can be clearly seen.
- Get a topographical map. Acquire the topographical map complete with grid lines of the landscape you have identified. The Internet should provide you with several resources for the purpose.
- Open Excel. Launch Excel and make sure that the number of columns and rows correspond to the number of grid lines your map has.
- Save the measurements. Gather all the terrain data on altitude, specifically at all the locations where grid lines meet. Since not all measurements on every contour are provided, then your best bet would be to closely approximate the values. Record these in their respective columns or rows on the Excel spreadsheet and save the data.
- Start making your 3D map.
- In your Excel spreadsheet, highlight the rest of the data. From the right hand side of the tab, click on the Chart Wizard icon. It is found between the Sort Descending and Drawing icons.
- The Chart Wizard - Step 1: Chart Type window appears. Under the Standard Types tab, notice that there is the Chart Type: section. Highlight Surface. Afterwards, select 3-D Surface under the Chart sub-type: section. Click on Next. The window Chart Wizard
- Step 2: Chart Source Data is next. Under the Data Range tab, select under the Series in: section. Click on Next.
- Step 3 will entail adding of labels if needed. Click on Next.
- Step 4 makes your 3D map. You have the option to save it either as a new sheet or as a new object. Afterwards, click on Finish.
- You now have your 3D map. If needed, you can just click on 3-D View. You can also view it at different perspectives, elevation or rotation by clicking on the corner of the frame to drag the cursor.
- Extract the 3D map. If you need to pull out your newly created map off Excel, you can save it as a Web page. After that, you can readily extract the image and save it onto your computer's hard disk.
Knowing how to make your own 3D maps is a useful skill as there are a lot of fields that require this skill such as computer game designs to school or office presentations.