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How to Create Geo Charts in Google Sheets

Unsure which chart type to use? Click here to find the right chart for your data and the ideas that you want to convey.


Geo charts are one of the more sophisticated forms of charts that you can create in Google Sheets. Geo charts are used to visualize types of data that depend on location. For example, geo charts can be used to compare the same metric across countries or states. 

Google Sheets offers two formats: the one where the countries are shaded, labelled as Geo charts; and the other one where the relative values are represented as bubbles above the countries, called Geo chart with markets.

The icons of the geo map chart types offered by Google Sheets. From left to right: geo chart, geo chart with markers.


In this tutorial, we will learn how to create geo charts in Google Sheets. 

How to format data for geo charts

The data should be in two columns: 

  • The first column contains  geographical data, i.e. name of the country. You can spell out the names or use the region codes..
  • The second column contains your numeric data. The label can be added in the row before the first entry.


For our example, we want to make a geo chart of GDP of all countries. Our data looks as follows:

GDP data by country. The first column contains the name of the country while the second column contains the GDP. 


How to create a geo chart

Step 1: Select the data that you want to plot.

Data selected.


Step 2: Click Insert then select Charts.

Click insert then Chart. Chart option selected. 


Step 3: A geo chart will not be selected by default:

Original chart generated by Google Sheets. Still needs to be changed manually. 


Go to the Chart editor sidebar that will appear on the right side of Google Sheets, then click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of options will appear. Scroll down and click on the option for a  Geo chart.

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Geo chart highlighted. 


Step 4: The Geo chart is done.

Final geo chart.


How to create a geo chart with markers

Step 1: Select the data that you want to plot.

Data selected.


Step 2: Click Insert then select Charts.

Click insert then Chart. Chart option selected. 


Step 3: A geo chart will not be selected by default:

Original chart generated by Google Sheets. Still needs to be changed manually. 


Go to the Chart editor sidebar that will appear on the right side of Google Sheets, then click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of options will appear. Scroll down and click on the option for a  Geo chart with markers.

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Geo chart with markers highlighted. 


Step 4: The Geo chart with markers is done.

Geo chart with markers.

Geo chart with markers take some time to load, and when you use the Download option, the circles may not be included in the resulting image file. 

How to change the color range of the geo chart


As you can see, the selected range is from red to green, with red for the smallest values while the green has the biggest values. We can change the colors. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Go to the Chart editor sidebar, then select the Customize tab and click Geo.


Chart editor sidebar, Customize tab, Geo options.


The options for min value, max value, mid value, and no value appear. For example, let’s say that we want to change the min value color to yellow, the mid value to green, and the max value to blue.

Step 2: To change the min value color, click the color below the Min label. A palette will appear where you can select the color. We want to select the yellow color, and we will choose it from the palette. 

Chart editor sidebar, Customize tab, Geo options, color palette appearing after clicking the min value color option.


Step 3: Repeat Step 2 for max value, mid value, and no value (if you want to change it).

The result is now:

Geo chart with modified color palette.


How to zoom in to a specific region in the geo chart


When you have a world map for a geo chart, Google Sheets allows you to “zoom in” to a specific region. Let’s say we want to “zoom in” to Asia. To do so, here are the steps:

Step 1: On the Chart editor, click the Customize tab, then select Geo options. A list of options will appear. Select the drop-down box below the Region label.

Chart editor, Customize tab, Geo options, Region drop-down box.


Step 2: A list of regions for the world will appear. Select Asia.

Region options. Includes six continents plus the United States.


Here is the result:

Geo map of GDP of Asian countries.


How to create a geo chart for US states

You can also create a geo chart for US states’ data. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Select the data, then click Insert, then select Chart.

US States data 


Step 2: Go to the Chart editor sidebar that will appear on the right side of Google Sheets, then click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of options will appear. Scroll down to find the Geo chart option and click it.

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Geo chart highlighted. 


Step 3: By default, the world geo chart will appear, but it will be empty:

 

Unmodified geo chart data for the US states. Can you guess what US state was mistakenly labeled here?


To change the region to that of US states, click the Customize tab in the Chart editor sidebar, then click Geo options. A drop-down box will appear. Select United States.

Region options. Includes the six continents plus the United States.


We now have the following result:

GDP per capita of US states.


You can apply the previous steps to change  the color range as well:

GDP per capita of US states, with a better color scheme.


Key takeaway

Geo charts on Google Sheets are not as comprehensive as those of advanced visualization software available on the market, but they allow enough versatility in visualizing geographical data worldwide and in the United States, and they are also relatively easy to use, so you don’t even need to use a plug-in.

Sample sheet


 Geo chart sample sheet 


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