This Lovely Data Viz of Tornado Hot Spots Was Made in Excel

Illustration for article titled This Lovely Data Viz of Tornado Hot Spots Was Made in Excel

This geometric data visualization shows the occurrence of tornadoes across the U.S. since 1950. It’s straightforward, good-looking and... made in Excel.


Created by John Nelson, the map looks like it could have been made something rather more design-focused. But given each of the cells is just a simple square, Excel can, it seems, do the job just fine. Nelson explains:

While pivoting data in Excel, it occurred to me that I could drag the latitude data into the row and the longitude data into the column. The result would be a 1980’s-Nintendo-looking chunky cell map (which, if I make the cells square, happens to be a pseudo-equirectangular projection).

And... it works! In fact, he’s put together a post that walks you through the process of creating such visualizations yourself, adding that “[o]nce you get the hang of it, you can crank these suckers out in about two minutes.” Perhaps not one for data visualization purists, but neat nonetheless. [John Nelson via Flowing Data]



It’s amazing how generally all-purpose Excel is... it is the one Microsoft product that is intuitive enough for the average user to accomplish a lot of things (even, as the article highlights, stuff that is not really in the normal domain of spreadsheets).