Via APB I learned about the public preview of Microsoft's project codename “GeoFlow” for Excel, which delivers 3D data visualization and storytelling. Considering the dominance of Microsoft Excel in multiple sectors, it may become a popular mapping tool.
From their Excel blog announcement: "GeoFlow lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive "tours" to share with others. […] With GeoFlow, you can:
- Map Data: Plot more than one million rows of data from an Excel workbook, including the Excel Data Model or PowerPivot, in 3D on Bing maps. Choose from columns, heat maps, and bubble visualizations.
- Discover Insights: Discover new insights by seeing your data in geographic space and seeing time-stamped data change over time. Annotate or compare data in a few clicks.
- Share Stories: Capture "scenes" and build cinematic, guided "tours" that can be shared broadly, engaging audiences like never before."
Related, Esri Maps for [Microsoft] Office 2.0 was released earlier this month.