# how do I create a 3-d plot in Excel?

1. ## how do I create a 3-d plot in Excel?

On my spreadsheet, I've got three columns (compass bearing from a smoke
stack, distance from the stack, and smoke concentrations downwind from our
stack). Can Excel create a 2-D (concentration value shown at distance and
bearing) or 3-D plot (this might look like a topo map on a circular base)
with this data? I can manually convert the locations to latitude and
longitude tediously, but I'd like to be able to paste new data in the table
each month and see the effects without having to calculate latitude and
longitude each month. I could not find a way to automate the bearing and
distance conversion from the stack point to latitude and longitude. ...or
find a 3-D chart function within Excel. Is this too much to ask???

2. ## RE: how do I create a 3-d plot in Excel?

Select your three data columns, start the chart wizard and choose the Surface
chart type.

3. ## Re: how do I create a 3-d plot in Excel?

Unfortunately, three columns of X-Y-Z data will not produce a useful
surface chart. Surface and contour charts have severe limitations,
especially for this case, the X and Y (lat and long) must be presented
in a uniform regular array:

Y1 Y2 Y3 ...
X1 Z11 Z12 Z13
X2 Z21 Z22 Z23
X3 Z31 Z32 Z33
....

See http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/P...cle.asp?ID=447 for
more about contour and surface charts.

I'm sure the measurements are likely to be located at positions which
are convenient to measure, not convenient to plot. Therefore you would
need to convert distance and bearing (R-theta) measurements to lat-long
(X-Y) measurements, then interpolate the measured smoke concentrations
onto the regular grid to be plotted.

There have been some efforts to build 3D XYZ charts in Excel; for
example check out Andy Pope's 3D Scatter Chart at http://andypope.info.

- Jon
-------
Jon Peltier, Microsoft Excel MVP
Peltier Technical Services
Tutorials and Custom Solutions
http://PeltierTech.com/
_______

Phil Preen wrote:

> Select your three data columns, start the chart wizard and choose the Surface
> chart type.

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