I haven't used ArcGIS Maps for Office for a while but the release of a new version seemed like a good time to reacquaint myself. By jiminy, what a change! I found the whole experience of creating and working with a map much more intuitive. I imported a csv of windfarm applications, set it up as a table and then inserted my map. The wizard lets you choose the coordinate fields (lat, long in this case) and which field, if any, you want to base the symbology on:
For the first map I used the planned number of turbines and the smart mapping function picked graduated circles as the symbol. The map defaults to using clustering (aggregating points that are close) but I chose to switch it off this time. With a couple of minutes of picking settings I had a map showing where proposed sites of different size are across Scotland (Map 1 in the image below).
I’d spotted the Arrange Maps button on the toolbar so I didn't stop there. This time I used X, Y coordinates and set the projection to British National Grid (done in the add map wizard). I also chose a text attribute this time – the development status. What I hadn’t expected was that the clustering function picks up on the symbology type and switches to showing pie charts of the development status for the locations in each cluster. I tweaked the clustering distance a bit and with only that small change I got a really informative map that summarizes my data at the country scale (Map 2):
Other parts of the ArcGIS platform have included chart style symbology but it didn’t just work by magic!
ArcGIS Maps for Office 4.0 includes some other cool features and I had a quick look at a couple. If your data has a temporal field you can activate the time slider (from the layer settings) and look at the data patterns changing through time. The other thing that is much more powerful than last time I used Maps for Office is the selection. You can now make a selection interactively in the map and use this to filter your spreadsheet; as well as being able to manage the current selection from either the map or the spreadsheet.
You can see animations of these and other new features here.