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3D Data Visualization Takes Another Step


Courtesy David Ramel, Visual Studio Magazine

Tables, graphs and 3D bar charts just don’t cut it anymore. To really glean insights from all that data you’re collecting, you need pretty pictures, maps and interactive "cinematic guided tours" that users can play with.

That’s the vibe at the PASS Business Analytics Conference underway in Chicago, as witnessed by today’s announcement of "project codename ‘GeoFlow‘ Preview for Excel 2013."

"Now you can apply geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D and create visual tours to share your insights with others," says this video about the new product that started out in Microsoft Research:

And there’s plenty more where that came from. The conference session schedule lists 11 presentations on data visualization, another tool to further Microsoft’s cause of self-service business intelligence (BI).

These things are a step up from the Pivot tool that I played around with a while back, and even more recent cool toys such as the "Data Explorer" preview and Power View. GeoFlow lets you work with more than 1 million data rows in an Excel workbook and combine it with a 3D package on Bing Maps, according to a Microsoft announcement.

It’s available now for download, provided you have: Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus; and Windows 8 or Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

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