ArcGIS for Office

Add Living Atlas data from ArcGIS for Office

When using ArcGIS for Office, you can add valuable context to your own data by enhancing it with authoritative content from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

With a few simple steps, you can create a map that combines your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet data with information from Living Atlas about the surrounding people, housing, infrastructure, environment, and more. You can use the map to help visualize the data and answer questions.

Median home value and flood risk data from Living Atlas add context to your data.

For example, imagine you’d like to invest in residential property in Houston, Texas. You have a table of candidates based on price, square footage, and other data you collected from real estate web sites. To help you decide which property to buy, you also want to know the median home value of the neighborhood and flood risk. You can get this data from Living Atlas. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel and click the ArcGIS tab.

ArcGIS tab

To follow the steps in this workflow as written, you’ll need to sign in to ArcGIS to access the Living Atlas layers used in this scenario. If you are using ArcGIS for Office without signing in to ArcGIS, you can still add points to the map and access a curated subset of Living Atlas layers.

Step 2: In the ArcGIS ribbon, click Add Map. A map window opens.

Add Map selected from ArcGIS ribbon

In the map tools, click Layers to open the layer list, and then click Add from Excel.

ArcGIS for Office automatically populates the Dataset field with the first Excel table in the worksheet. If your data contains only cell ranges, click Select a cell range in the Dataset drop-down menu.

Step 3: Choose an appropriate location type and match the fields in your worksheet to the fields in the Add from Excel pane. For example, if your data contains latitude and longitude values, select Coordinates and match Longitude and Latitude to the appropriate columns in your spreadsheet.


Add from Excel pane

Click Add to map. Your data appears on the map, and the data you added is listed in the layer list. Each location in your worksheet is represented by a single symbol on the map.

Map window in ArcGIS for Office

Step 4: Change the basemap to Dark Gray Canvas so your property symbols stand out.

Data on Dark Gray Canvas basemap

Step 5: Now you’ll add the demographics layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas. Click Layers to open the layer list, then click Add from ArcGIS.

Add from ArcGIS button in layer list

The Add from ArcGIS pane appears.

Step 6: From the drop-down menu, choose Living Atlas.

Living Atlas selected

The gallery updates to show data in Living Atlas. You can sort results by date, title, view count, or owner, or you can filter results to only show items in specific categories or regions, or by type, tags, or status. In this case, you’ll simply search for the item using the Search field.

Step 7: In the Search field, type 2021 USA Median Home Value and press Enter.

Step 8: Click the Add button in the 2021 USA Median Home Values (by Esri) feature layer to add the item your map.

2021 USA Median Home Value selected

Median home value data is added to your map.

Map with median home values

You also want to see flood risk data from Living Atlas. Again, you’ll find it through a targeted search.

Step 9: In the Living Atlas search box, type USA flood hazard areas, press Enter, and add USA Flood Hazard Areas by esri_landscape2 to the map.

Flood Hazard Areas layer selected

The flood hazard areas are added to your map. Click the Back arrow to return to the layer list, then hover over your Excel data layer to view More options. Click Zoom to, and your map zooms in to the full extent of the points you previously added. The map automatically adjusts to show the ArcGIS data at the appropriate zoom level.

Map with flood hazard areas

Step 10: On the map, zoom in to view the area surrounding a potential investment property.

Now you can explore the data in the map to decide which property is the best investment. You see one in an area with high home values and low flood risk. That looks like a good choice.

Pop-up showing median home value

More information

Add layers from ArcGIS

How many million-dollar homes are in your town?


This article was originally published on November 5, 2018 and has been updated.

About the authors

I'm a group product engineering writer for ArcGIS documentation and ArcGIS Online. In addition to helping users make maps, I'm passionate about trail running, Nordic skiing, ski mountaineering, climbing, and English Pointers.


Gemma is a writer at Esri, focusing on content for the ArcGIS Business Analyst team.

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