Plot data from text file

Map Business Online supports plotting data from a variety of tab or comma separated text files:

  • Tab or comma separated text file (*.txt)
  • Tab separated text file (*.tab)
  • Comma separated text file (*.csv)
  • Tab or comma separated ASCII text file (*.asc)

To plot your data from a text file, follow the steps below:

  1. If your data comes from a CRM system, a contact manager application, or an accounting package, importing data should be a breeze. Just follow the instructions below. Otherwise you may need to re-organize your data to the format supported by Map Business Online. Check out Prepare data for plotting article for details.
  1. Click Plot data icon on the main toolbar.
  1. Plot data wizard will start, and you will see the introduction page (unless you turned it off before). Here you can find the basic information about data plotting, requirements to data organization and useful help links and video. Click Next.
  1. On Select data page choose From file tab and select an text file with your data by clicking Browse button. After that you can simply press Plot button and Map Business Online will do all the work for you asking a few questions only when necessary. That’s how easy it is to plot data! Note: The Plot button is available on every wizard page till the end of the wizard.

    Instead let’s take the longer route to demonstrate all the capabilities of Plot data wizard - click Next.
  1. Check the box as displayed on the picture below to retrieve data column names from the first line of the text file selected. Click Next to continue.
  1. Choose columns that contain location information in your data (address, city, state, ZIP code, etc.) Map Business Online automatically selects these columns for you, just check that automatic selection is correct. Once data columns are selected, click Next.
  1. If you plot demographic or territory data by ZIP code then check the box next to columns selection. That will instruct Map Business Online to skip any ZIP codes in your data that have no corresponding boundary. Click Next.
  1. On the following page provide more information about dataset being plotted. Make sure that correct Name column is selected. Name column will be used to label your data on map. Choose an ID column if you plan to update the data from a file later.

    Select columns containing business data that you want to show inside map labels (callouts or information boxes). For example: phone number, sales, number of products, product names, number of employees, territory, etc.

    Now you can click Plot button to map your data records, but we will choose Advanced option instead to demonstrate Plot data wizard further.
  1. On Advanced page you can specify whether to import all data columns or only those selected as name, location, ID and callouts. That allows you to control what data will be sent to Map Business Online cloud. In addition to that you can override a column name or format detected by Map Business Online. For example, you can tell MBO that a column contains numbers and not text. That is useful when spreadsheet is not formatted correctly. To change a name or format just move mouse pointer over a column header in the data sample and click Gear button that will appear.

    Click Plot.
  1. Plotting data may take some time depending on number of records in your data and speed of Internet connection. Click Done to see your data on the map.
  1. After plotting data you may want to change dataset properties such as symbol or name. You can access dataset properties from Map & Data window. To open Map & Data window, if it is not already visible, just click the arrow button centered on the left side of a map.
  1. Move the mouse pointer over a dataset name in Map & Data window and click Gear button that will appear to open Manage map and data dialog.
  1. Once inside Manage map and data dialog move the mouse pointer over a dataset name (Map & data tab) and click Pencil (edit) button that will appear. Enter new dataset name and finally click Change name button.
  1. If necessary change a dataset symbol. You can also modify a dataset symbol by clicking a symbol in Map & Data window.
  1. To turn on or off callouts for your data on a map first select Callouts vertical tab in Manage map and data dialog. Then click Open callouts button and choose an option from drop down list or click Close all callouts button.
  1. To show/hide data on map check/uncheck Visible box below a dataset name. You can also do that from Map & Data window.
  1. To remove a dataset click the button with Cross symbol. To remove all datasets from a map, click Remove all datasets button at the bottom of Map & Data tab in Manage map and data dialog. A dataset removal is also available in Map & Data window.