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Excel to Google Earth Tool Released

The Excel to Google Earth (E2G) tool has been developed for mapping data stored in Excel spreadsheets. This tool can help overcome several of the barriers that have limited the use of mapping for decision support and monitoring and evaluation.
Excel to Google Earth Tool Released

Map of Nigeria made with the Excel to Google Earth tool

January 12, 2009

Easy to Use

The Excel to Google Earth (E2G) tool is easy to install and use. All that is required is an Excel spreadsheet that has geographic identifiers (district, ward, province, etc.) included as part of the data. A wizard walks the user through the steps necessary and provides the opportunity to modify the color selections and classification breakdowns used on the map. Once the user has defined the elements of the map, a Google Earth compatible KML file is created and displayed in Google Earth.

Easy to Export

Once the KML file is opened in Google Earth it can be printed out or saved as a .jpg file for inclusion in reports or publications.

Strengthens Data

In order to map data using the tool, it is necessary for the spreadsheet to conform to data schema best practice. This means the data has one record per geographic unit and variables associated with each geographic unit. Structuring data this way makes it easier to maintain, analyze and update the data. This leads to more robust data sets and a stronger data infrastructure.

Target Audience

While the tool is not a substitute for a geographic information system (GIS), it does provide a free, easy to use means of displaying data on a map. It can help decision makers, program planners and anyone else who uses Excel see their data mapped.

Access E2G!

http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/e2g

Background

The Excel to Google Earth tool was initially created for use in the 15 PEPFAR focus countries and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to enable decision makers, program planners and analysts at all levels to display their Excel-based administrative region data on a thematic map.

For questions, contact John Spencer, Senior GIS Specialist, at e2ghelp@unc.edu.