How Do I Generate Demographic Data for Concentric Circle Maps?

This week I discovered the below outlined, interesting Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis solution for creating concentric circles with demographic data.

Businesses sometimes need to describe business processes using concentric circle maps. Concentric circles are circles with varying radii generated from one central location point. Each concentric circle represents an area on the map and in this analysis, that area has a corresponding selection of demographic data associated with it.

Business mapping users create concentric circle maps for multiple applications:

  • Concentric circles are often used to represent delivery areas. The circle or radius search areas are often derived from driving times and distances from a central location and are organized into rings. Some concentric circles maps are used to define the costs/prices to ship from an origin point to destination points located within each ringed area.
  • Demographic data associated with concentric circles can describe the potential market that exists in each band. Often those market circles are determined by driving times and driving distances.
  • Concentric circles could be used to demographically define sections of urban areas or cities based on their distance from a city centroid point.
  • Concentric circle maps can also be useful as visual bands that define distance ranges from a central point. A map viewer may be able to easily estimate distances when looking at concentric circle maps based on standard distances between bands.

Create Concentric Circles with Multiple Categories of Demographic Data

Only Map Business Online Pro can achieve this slightly complex map operation quickly, through the Market Analysis option called – Summarize Demographics.

Problem: A business needs to display on a map four or five concentric circles around a central point and assign each ring area three (possibly more) demographic data category totals.

Solution: Using Map Business Online Pro, Create and import a spreadsheet. Assign the Demographic Categories. Generate the circles.

  1. Using Excel or a standard spreadsheet software set up an address spreadsheet with these columns

Address | City | State | ZIP Code | Radius | Demographic Category

  1. For however many concentric layers you require, create a spreadsheet with the identical address for each center point, varying only the radii required for each concentric ring. List as many addresses as you require circles.
Address
City
State
ZIP Code
Radius
100 School St
Boston
MA
02134
5
100 School St
Boston
MA
02134
10
100 School St
Boston
MA
02134
25

 

  1. Usually, you would import your spreadsheet using the Plot Data button. But for this exercise, go to Market Analysis and select the Summarize Demographics option at the bottom of the options listed.
    1. Use the Plot Data function at the top of the dialogue. Plot your Data.
    2. With your data plotted, go back to the dialogue and put your choices in the functions listed:
      1. Choose the three demographic categories you require
      2. At Radius selection, Choose the Radius in Data Column option
      3. Select Draw a Circle and choose a color and thickness
      4. Click Next and Done.
  1. The Data Window will now pop up and display the datasheet view of the centric circles with demographic data information applied. Export as always using the far-right button on the Data Window toolbar.

Now some of you might be thinking, too bad it only adds three categories. For you, we have a special treat. Simply return to the Market Analysis function Summarize Data, choose three more categories and run it again. Viola! Now you have six demographic categories associated with your concentric circle map!

Map Business Online Market Analysis is available in both Map Business Online Standard and Map Business Online Pro. The Pro features include driving time and distance analysis across multiple center points. But keep in mind, Standard subscriptions have access to Market Analysis tools for only straight line distance analysis.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Do away with Adobe Flash Player!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

 

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The Power of Market Analysis in Map Business Online Pro

One possible market analysis scenario, requiring both Map Business Online Pro and Business Listings, is a retail manager planning for a new set of convenience stores along the I-95 corridor in Eastern Virginia. Such analysis using Map Business Online would tap into Business Listings search as well as the drive-time-based Market Analysis tools now available in Map Business Online Pro.

Let’s begin with no Background Map selected in Map Business Online. Instead, we’ll use a Census Tract background colored purple to highlight store locations. By selecting the highway layer from the Add Map Layers button your map will reflect the major highways, important to this analysis view.  Read more about Background Map options.

A user could turn highway layers off and display the Imagery Background layer which may display aspects of your proposed new convenience store locations that could be hidden by the roads layer. Check the highway layer on and off and Zoom way in to verify your proposed site locations. Are there buildings, exits, or mountains nearby? But for the final map view, a color shaded map layer background may be more effective.

Satellite View DC/VA I-95 Corridor

 

 

 

 

Over that pink map background, with the highway layer turned on, is a drawn polygon, created to represent a rough buffer zone around the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to Virginia Beach, VA.

No Background Map – Colored State Layer

Remember, our map audience for this map project are the developers of a new set of convenience stores. They are interested in opening a series of convenience stores near I-95 exits in Virginia. As part of that market analysis, we need to understand more about the existing competition. And there is plenty of that, including multiple 7-Eleven and WaWa stores located in close proximity to the highway. Market analysis must answer the question, “Does this even make sense?”

Business Listings

All Map Business Online subscriptions now include access to business listings. So, a next step would likely be to select the Polygon buffering the I-95 corridor and choose the Yellow Pages icon located on the Polygon’s mini-toolbar for a Business Listings search for competitor locations.

Doing so will reveal a little more than one-thousand 7-Eleven stores and about seventy WaWa stores. Keep in mind, that’s 1,000 7-Eleven stores in the Virginia I-95 corridor alone. Yikes!

With the map now populated with the major competing stores, we can assess how many competing stores exist within a specified drive time of all our proposed store sites. With Map Business Online Pro a user could assess both straight line, driving time and driving distance, but with so many stores in the area, I felt driving time was the most appropriate analysis.

The proposed job sites are located close to key exits along the I-95 corridor. They are displayed on the Map as large orange circles with white doughnut holes. We’re interested in locating those stores only where there are less than three 7-Eleven stores within a five-minute driving time. Driving time is important. I know for me, when I must exit the turnpike to get gas, coffee or food, I want to minimize the time I lose from my trip. I’m not going to get off and drive for more than five-minutes.

Map Business Online Pro – Market Analysis

Using Map Business Online Pro, we choose the option in Market Analysis called Find the Nearest. Following the options listed in the dialogue box, we choose the following:

  • Measure – Drive time
  • Customer Locations – 7-Eleven store dataset
  • Store Locations – Proposed convenience store locations
  • Time – 5-minutes from 7-Eleven to the proposed site location

The results of this analysis, displayed in the Data Window, will add Site Location data to the 7-Eleven dataset based on a Drive time of under five-minutes. Negative numbers indicate 7-Elevens that fall outside the range of the Find the Nearest parameters. Filter the Drive Time column to show only results that are greater than zero (> 0). Now, still in the Data Window arrange all the Proposed Sites in order and view the sites with the fewest competitors. These include Proposed Site 4, 5, 6, 7 8, 9, and 14.

Multiple Drive Time Territories

Another approach to investigating the areas surrounding a list of multiple center points, or proposed sites, is to build a set of territories around those locations and then pull data into the resulting analysis using the More Data button. Read more about More Data.

The combined elements of assessing multiple center points based on drive time areas require Map Business Online Pro. Use the first option in Market Analysis. To keep the territory map layers smaller, I would turn on the Census Tract layer which generally has tinier jurisdictions than ZIP codes.  Census Tracts are available in the Add Map Layers button.

Choose Search and Segment Data from Multiple Centers in Market Analysis.

  • Select or Plot Dataset – Proposed Site Locations
  • Use – Drive time
  • Radius – 5 minutes
  • Checkbox – To draw a drive time polygon

Click Next [note the routing credits used for this process] click Next again. In this final dialogue page, to create territories or marketing lists it is important that the user chooses to Segment the data by checking the Segment Checkbox underneath the Dialogue.

  • If you choose to segment a point layer to query, marketing lists are generated.
  • In our case, select a Map Layer option, Census Tracts, to generate territories

Process the analysis by clicking Next.  With a territory layer now created, use the More Data button in the territory analysis view to remove superfluous data layers and add data layers you find valuable. Results can be export and saved within Map Business Online for further analysis, or for data enrichment, another feature of Market Analysis.

Use Map Business Online Pro as a market analysis toolkit. Try different approaches. Every company has a slight twist to market analysis that is all their own.

Many of the features and applications associated with Map Business Online are interelated. Market Analysis helps with and benefits from sales territory management. Demographic analysis is one component of market analysis and a key element of sale territory management and competitor analysis. Business listings can be critical to a sales or marketing campaign while also providing key factors in strategic planning.

I guess the message is, maps are really helpful in business analysis and planning.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

 

 

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How to Work With Cities & Towns in Map Business Online

This seems a simple question, “How do I show cities on my business map?” And it is a simple question. But still, there are multiple options available to Map Business Online users when it comes to showing cities on their maps. It’s worth exploring those options in a blog.

A business mapping software is intended to make a business point. Sometimes the placement of cities is important to that business map point or purpose. Map Business Online has at least five ways for users to display cities on the map.

Cities are used in professional mapping software for a variety of applications:

  • Marketing analysis  – Cities and urban areas often represent the primary marketing areas of interest for businesses.
  • Sales Territory Mapping – Cities might be used for the base map layer of territory construction or reference points for salesperson start of day positions.
  • Map Visualizations – Cities provide map orientation points and are often relevant anchor points for business descriptions.

Background Map Cities

A basic business map often includes a map background, optional in Map Business Online. The lowest checkbox in Map and Data controls the background map options. The options noted as Streets and National Geographic include cities. These city details or points on the background map display larger cities only when viewed at a broad view or a nationwide level.  Smaller cities and towns show up only when zoomed in.

This web mapping characteristic, to display map objects like cities in a graduated style related to Zoom levels, is common across all business maps. It controls the object placement on the map so that only limited and relevant map objects, ZIP codes, counties and cities show at the most expanded map view. This generalization controls map clutter and eliminates overlapping map objects on the map. Think about it? Should small towns be displayed on the map at a nationwide view? No. That would create a map with impossible to read text and would leave very little discernable relevant detail.

So, background maps help display more cities as the map view is zoomed in. To maximize the visual impact of cities in the map view, try adjusting the zoom level of your map view to optimize the background map cities displayed. For many business maps, this background map option works well.

Keep in mind, background maps are a tapestry of map visuals, not points or overlaid boundaries. These cities and other map objects cannot be queried.

Streets Map Background with Selected Cities Displayed

City Map Layer

Map Business Online also provides additional map layers for more detail options, including query-able city layers that are searchable. The first of these city/town layer options is the Cites Layer. This layer, along with other additional map layers, is added to your map project from the Add Map Layers button, a blue globe seven buttons in from the left on the master toolbar.

Adding the Cities Layer to the map adds city points with a city label to your map. Just like the background map, larger, more populated cities display at the Zoomed-out levels, and more cities and smaller towns pop into view as the user zooms in.

The City Layer does not allow editing of these city points. The font and color are not editable. This layer is sometimes helpful for general city reference, where boundaries and color shading by city is not required.

Cities Layer Against a State Layer Background

City Limits Layer

The second City layer available from the Additional Layer button is the City Limits Layer. This layer adds city boundary limits in addition to city labels to a user’s map project. The city limits layer is color shade-able just like the ZIP code or county layers.

The city limits layer has access to the demographic data library, to calculated data, and to imported user data layers for color shading, and label amendments. The city limits layer follows zoom level controls in a similar way to ZIP codes. At a nationwide view, smaller cities may not appear or may appear almost as points. Larger cities and towns will display boundaries and those boundaries will expand in scope, and more towns will appear, as the user zooms in.

City Limits data is great for city-based analysis. It is often used to build marketing models around urban or metropolitan areas. Keep in mind, the city limits layer is based on Census city and town limit boundaries. Places with tiny populations do not display boundary limits.

City Limits Layer Against State Layer Background

Public Data – Cities and Town

Map Business Online includes a set of public data sets that are available and supplemental data layers available for your map work. Access these layers by clicking the Plot Data button, then select the From Server option and choose Public Data.

The Public Data, Cities and Towns layer will plot 6,715 points on your map. Again, smaller cities or towns will come into view only as the user or viewers zoom into the map. The points imported as Cities and Town scan be symbolized and color-coded.

Import Your Cities

Occasionally, none of the Map Business Online options will display the cities you require at the zoom level you are comfortable with for your map audience. In this case, you can import cities as a spreadsheet for accurate placement on the map. This data will mirror the same import process and visualization options on the map as any other imported location point data set. Users will be importing city points.

Pubic Data Cities & Towns Point Data

 

 

 

 

Consider the MSA Layer Too

Also available in the Map Business Online add data layer options is the MSA or Marketing Statistical Area layer from the Census Bureau.  This map layer acts like the City Limits layer or the ZIP code layer. But it’s significance is that it combines regional urban areas into city-level market areas.  These are broader areas encompassing multiple cities.

Tweaking Your Cities

With your map project nearing completion one of the layers that is often used is city-data. If cities are critical to your map’s purpose, we recommend trying all the included city-data options available and described above. Observe how each city-layer helps your map communicate or detracts from the map’s ability to share information.

Experiment with different zoom levels and background map options. And remember, placing a point in incrementally for a particular city or town you want to highlight in a certain map view, is OK to do. Make your map sing by trying all the options available in your Map Business Online bag of tricks.

__________________________________________________

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

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Map Business Online Pro – Webinar Recording & Thoughts

Last week I presented a webinar focusing on Map Business Online Pro for users who were interested in our recently released Market Analysis tool. The above video is a recording of the webinar. Please review the webinar covering our latest Business Mapping Software release.

Webinar presenting is a bit like experiencing an ever-shifting roller coaster ride. You rely on the physical structure to hold and the technology to work, and you never know where you’ll end up. It could be you’ll end up in a heap on the ground – bruised, bleeding or worse.

People who present webinars know exactly what I mean.

Webinar presenting combines the abject terror of public speaking, with the unknowing anxiety of using brand new software when you are eighty-five years old and have a measure of dementia. And presenting adds a dash of strapping in for a ride on a Saturn Five moon rocket. You just never know how far the technology will take you, this time…

Sometimes I wake up at night from a nightmare where I’m presenting to fifty people and somebody just texted me that they can’t see my screen. And my laptop just turned into a vintage Etch-a-sketch.

Webinar Nightmares

At any rate, despite my anxiety, this webinar went pretty well. During the weeks leading up to the webinar, I spent a lot of time with Map Business Online Pro, exploring the tool and trying various application examples. Here are some tips I learned:

Keep Your Driving Time Analysis Local – Driving time analysis with specific time or day and week options turned on is a machine intense analysis. It takes traffic into consideration on top of the road networks. And keep in mind, that road network analysis is looking at all possible roads from a set of multiple points to, potentially, another set of multiple points. That is going to take some time, and if you run it across the whole country, well, you might want to take a nap. We’ll be adding some cautionary software stops to help users think through their queries. We believe that most of our users’ time-based analysis should be focused locally anyway.  If you require multiple point drive times for nationwide location datasets – talk to us.

Importing One Spreadsheet with Origin and Destination Data – Make sure your header data specifically describes the address components. Something like this:

Origin Address

Origin City Origin State Origin ZIP Destination Address Destination City Destination State

Destination ZIP

10 We St Crazy IL 60609 10 Salem Rd Pendleton MA 01542

Map Business Online’s geocoding process needs to see those guiding address descriptors or headers to plot dual addresses effectively. You’ll be able to manually override the addressing as usual. All I’m saying is, do yourself a favor and be organized for origin and destination analysis. It is a complex analysis. Don’t take it lightly.

Experiment a Little

Make sure you try a few different approaches to get the results you require. We describe center locations, typically fixed, as “Stores.” The searched data is often referred to as “Customers.” Make sure your Stores and Customers have a similar relationship. Sometimes it may help to run a small test to see how the results turn out.

When you experiment, remember you can undo the calculated data your Market Analysis queries have added to datasets by choosing to edit the data in Map and Data, pick Customize Dataset and edit the Calculated drop down option.

Multiple Passes May Get You There

Think of Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis as a toolkit, a jackknife with many small tools that can be applied to solve your problem. For instance, you may want to Search and Segment some location based-data to derive a segmented marketing list for outbound calling for a retail store.

You will notice the seven Market Analysis button tools in Pro broken into these sections:

Search

  • Search & Segment Data from Multiple Centers

Distance and Time

  • Batch Calculate Distance and Time
  • Find the Nearest Locations

Summarize or Enrich

  • Aggregate Customer Data
  • Summarize Demographic Data
  • Enrich a Dataset

Think about how your requirements might fit into these sections. Perhaps the very same data would then undergo a Find the Nearest analysis to help prioritize a direct mail marketing campaign to the potential buys within a ten-minute drive time of the retail brick and mortar store.

And even later, that same list could be appended to show sales data for the sale period.

Multiple passes to generate the overall analysis maybe your best solution.  Let us know your thoughts about Map Business Online Pro.

__________________________________________________

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Access Demographic Data within Map Business Online?

How or where do I access Demographic Data in Map Business Online, business mapping software?

For those of us who use Map Business Online a lot, we know where the data is housed. But for new users, I thought a blog focused on only where you find that demographic data might be helpful.

The demographic data in Map Business Online is a library of categories with data listed by description and quantity. Usually, the quantities represent the number of people or households, but the data may also be posted in dollar value by household. Those demographic data listings are for use in Map Analysis and export by Map Business Online subscribers.

Map Object Access – Master Toolbar

The fastest way to access Demographic Data is to place a map object (a circle, or polygon) on the map. These draw or search tools are in the middle of the master toolbar, just to the right of the Business Listing book icon. They are the only tools on the Toolbar with dropdown arrows.

In either, the Search or the Draw tools select a circle map object creation button (radius search or circle icon) and place it on the map. Notice the mini toolbar that appears and is associated with the new map object. Click the Summary button on the mini toolbar (a sideways M). The radius search dialogue will immediately offer the entire library of demographic data for your perusal. Scroll through all the demographic data – if you have time. You can pull up to ten listings into your Map Object analysis for use on the map or for export. Other access points, described below allow even more data downloads. The summary button is for fast and easy access; to generate a quick spreadsheet or win a bet.

Territory Analysis – Data Window

One of Map Business Online’s most powerful tools is the presentation of Demographic Data in the Data Window’s territory view. Create a territory or select a previously created territory for viewing in the Data Window. With your territory view established, cast your beady eyes down to the lower right-hand corner of the Data Window screen. Notice the More Data button. Click the More Data to launch a database management tool that accesses the Demographic Data library. Read more about More Data.

Once you have the More Data panel open, on the left side, select the dropdown to see the data options you have available. Notice the demographic data layers are listed here. You will find your imported data their too, as well as access to any calculated data layers you may have created. Pull down the Demographic Data category of your choice and move it to the right, into the Territory Analysis. It will now be included in all territories based on that map layer (ZIP codes) in that saved map project.

The More Data Database Management Panel

Filtering – Data Window

Also located in the Data Window view is the Filter option. Click the Funnel icon on the Data Window toolbar to access filtering. Map Layer views and territory views allow filtering by demographic category. Try various modifier options to filter based on the number of people in an area or the median income values. Results will limit the number of records in the Data Window view based on your filter. Export using that button on the far-right side of the Data Window toolbar. Read more about the Data Window.

 

Color Code Map – Master Toolbar and Map & Data

Back on the Master Toolbar, twelve buttons in from the left you will find the Color Code Map button. This button allows the user to color shade map layers based on imported data or demographic data. Click the button, choose your map layer and in the dropdown provided select Demographic Data. To read more about color shading options read this blog.

Calculate a Data Column – Map & Data

Map and Data, the light blue box that hovers over your map allows duplicated access to Demographic Data. Here in the map layers, when you hover over the layer and click the edit gear, are alternative ways to color shade a map layer. But you will also notice a button called: Calculated Data Columns.

Click into Manage Calculated Data Columns and choose to Add a Data Column. Once again, you will immediately notice Demographic Data listed as an option for creating a column. Select a few categories and move them to the right. Notice you have options to sum, subtract, multiply and divide.

Calculate Data columns is where I go to sum demographic categories and get critical totals such as:

  • Elderly American population by combining the elder age brackets
  • House-Hold Incomes higher than $79,000 for an area

Label Access – Map & Data

Finally, a Map Business Online user can also access demographic data for use in Labeling. Chose a map layer in Map & Data, click the Edit Gear and select the Label Tab vertically listed along the right side of the dialogue. Now click Format Labels. Read more about labeling.

Auto Labels and Custom Labels, both provide access to Demographic Data. Each label option offers five flexible label fields that will display underneath ZIP code, County, State or Territory labels. By selecting a numeric demographic or imported data option to display in any of these five label fields, the data displayed will be a summation of the data for the designated map layer area.

Wrap Up

Well, those are the places in Map Business Online where Demographic Data is accessed. Don’t forget to use your demographic data wisely. Balance your map view with critical data elements that support your map’s purpose. Don’t overwhelm your map audience with too much content.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

 

 

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How to Build Clarity into Your Business Map

Map Business Online provides a variety of professional mapping features including map visualization, location database management, and summation and calculation tools.  These map and geographic database tools allow the user to identify and analyze areas of interest on a map for business purposes. A critical set of these tools is the draw and the search tools used to create map objects or shapes on the map. These buttons are located in the middle of the Master Toolbar just to the right of the Business Listings button. Button placement on the toolbar can migrate over time as new features are added, that’s one reason we like to point out button locations.

This week I interviewed a long-time Map Business Online user who has been applying some of these drawn map objects in a creative and yet entirely business-focused way. Her name is Maribel Roman and she is a manager at the Enrollment & Service Center at Www.tricare.mil in San Antonio, Texas.

Her maps were both informative and beautiful. This Map Business Online user places a 40-mile radius circle on a map area to reflect a hospital system’s general coverage area around the central address. Next, she often draws another circle with a 40-mile radius overlapping the original circle. This is to expose areas outside of the hospital coverage area and differentiate those areas from inside the original 40-mile HMO coverage circle.

Appreciating Map Clarity

What I liked about her map was its clarity. The purpose of the map was clear. The colors of the map were understated which further emphasized the map’s intent. The mapmaker used her own choice of color for unshaded ZIP codes, as opposed to the Map Business Online default colors. We’re not always right – think for yourself and for your map. I believe she used a very transparent yellow, which tends to serve well as a background color.

Maribel’s territory boundaries were carefully colored in a dark shade, not too thick. They are darkened just enough to highlight the critical HMO system territory areas.  I asked her to tell the specific color she chose. She wrote, “Map & Data: check Line box (color= 999999), transparency=50% then uncheck fill box.” Using a business map can get detailed.  I love it.

I also liked her logic. She used 40-mile radius because it reflected actual insurance coverage rules applied by the armed forces to their network of service people. Each HMO’s are responsible for armed services healthcare within a 40-mile radius of the major hospital locations. As you might imagine, Congress and the various military branches have all sorts of rules around requesting and receiving healthcare. Maribel expertly crafted several key maps that visualize these rules. I’ll be writing more on that in an official use case over the next few weeks.

Maribel’s Well Defined Map

Map Business Online offers a variety of shape creation tools or map object tools designed to produce a variety of shapes on the map and color fill them with appropriate and differentiating shades. By experimenting with a variety of colors, and border thicknesses the map creator will discover there are optimum map views to present to their map audience. Specific map views, with understated colors, carefully chosen map object boundary thickness and shades, will make your map stand out as more effective and more professional.

Give Your Labels Some Love

Another map element applied subtly by Maribel and that deserves a map creator’s careful attention, is labeling. Labels existed to identify ZIP codes, counties, states, and territories. A critical step is taking the time to decide which labels are most important to include on your map. Too many labels can make the map too busy, distracting from the map’s purpose.

Our map creator, in this case, chose to use ZIP code labels and to make them bold, non-italicized, and black. ZIP codes were the important elements to her health insurance map, so she chose to label them boldly. It made sense to give them prominent placement. It added value to the map.

For centuries cartography and map-making were restricted skillsets, available only to trained cartographers appointed by royalty or the Christian Church. Maps were state secrets. Mapmaking was half art and half science, although, during the Church era of the middle ages, science was abandoned in favor of God. Remember those Jerusalem centric maps of the world? (Me neither.)

Today almost anyone can access advanced map-making tools such as Map Business Online, or more advanced GIS tools like www.esri.com. I say, “Go for it.” Just make sure you apply some thought and creativity like Maribel Roman.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Approach Market Analysis Using Map Business Online Pro

When I think about writing about new Map Business Online features, I often consider describing possible workflows. With Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis tools, a workflow can be a very subjective experience.

Many Map Business Online Pro business mapping users may simply require a map-analysis operation to achieve a single goal, For example:

  • Create 30-minute drive time sales territories around twenty-four center points
  • Calculate the driving time distances to a Store from all Customers within a 10-mile radius of the Store
  • Determine the top 25 cities with the highest income living within a 20-minute drive time of the city center

Other users may have to conduct more a extensive analysis that involves applying multiple business mapping tools. At times, these more complex projects may require the export of results and further analysis or operations outside of Map Business Online, perhaps requiring a reimport for more Map Business Online work.

For this reason, I like to refer to Map Business Online Pro as a toolkit. You may ask, “What sorts of projects in my business might warrant the use of Map Business Online Pro?”

Market Analysis

I can’t claim that every market analysis challenge will be suited to a Map Business Online, location-based solution. But I can say that if the markets in which your business plays entail geographic and demographic components, you may find business mapping market analysis helpful.

Examples of geographic components would be addresses, ZIP codes, city limits, or Market Statistical Areas. Demographic components would be applied if your business considers population, household income, or some other demographic characteristic important to sales success.

Expansion Planning – Moving to a new area is a location-based challenge. How do new ZIP codes compare to old ZIP codes? What’s are the best demographic ZIP code areas to expand the business into?  Once the move occurs, what are the new territories and prospective customer lists for each rep?

  • Create an existing and viable demographic profile by ZIP code (MSA or county) as a baseline against which to compare future marketing efforts
  • Develop a total regional market analysis map that provides up to a dozen possible areas with optimum customer, resource, and labor characteristics
  • Analyze potential location area costs for doing business – buildings, taxes, labor, insurance

Match Customers to Stores – Customers, patients, vendors – your business customers are unique to you. Analyzing the relationship between end-users and places of business can be complex. Use market analysis tools to understand customer placement concerning physical places of business.

  • Find the nearest group of customers to a specific store or set of store locations
  • Calculate the distances between end-users and facility locations, such as customers and dealers
  • Analyzing time and distances across a network of address points to address logistics issues like time on the road, fuel consumption, or general expense reporting

Field Sales Accountability – Map Business Online market analysis tools provide a set of tools for managing people on the road or in call center environments.

  • Create territories based on driving time or driving distances to and from home locations.
  • Assess sales potential based on demographic category statistics for standardized urban areas
  • Monitor sales results across all territory areas and share the results via interactive web maps or business meetings

Market Share Analysis – Businesses that are responsible for selling products that compete with other manufacturers are very interested in their share of the market. Map-based analysis of market share should include actual sales figures by sales target areas. If the user has total product sales estimates for the industry/area, and the user’s company’s sales figures for the same product, market share calculations should be straight forward.

  • Visualize total market and company sales figures against a territory map
  • Create a share market ratio using calculated data columns
  • Demographic overlays that describe market makeup by location or region

Accessing Tools from a Tool Kit

Map Business Online lets the user conduct market analysis by processing spatial analysis one process at a time. For instance, your project may require a map visualization of existing sales. Map Business Online provides such visualizations for almost every one of our customers, daily. And that visualization may be all a user requires.

But you may also require a demographic breakdown showing Median HouseHold Income by ZIP code, for instance. This entails a second operation, easy to apply and expand upon your original map visualization.

Market Analysis offers an additional array of map-based analysis operations to further extend the scope of your business analysis.   In terms of workflow, think of it this way:

  1. Import your organization’s relevant location-based business data into Map Business Online
  2. Color-code the imported points as required for optimum map audience viewing
  3. Create an appropriate demographic background map using map layer shading
  4. Use market analysis to
    1. Add drive time or distance-based territories
    2. Calculate driving times or distances between locations
    3. Find all imported customer data within driving times or distances of multiple center locations

By keeping your use of Map Business Online flexible, and taking advantage of all the simple and more complex operations available in the overall software, a map user will find answers to business questions that benefit your organization and that user’s value to the company overall.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

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How to Create a Route in Map Business Online

Many first-time business map users turn to Map Business Online for its routing capabilities, on top of the ability to generate marketing lists, customer visualizations, and market analysis. Many users just don’t need route planning for business. For others, routing is critical.

Based on chats I’ve answered of late, I thought it might be valuable to give new users a jump on basic routing functionality.

The Master Toolbar has a Routing Button. It’s the one with the Car Icon. But to begin routing the applications requires the user plot locations on the map. And just as there are multiple ways to get points on the map like importing a spreadsheet or dropping points on the map, there are multiple ways to access or generate a vehicle route.

More specifically there are three ways to generate a route in Map Business Online:

Route All Rows from an Imported Location Data

Usually, if a user is routing and seeking optimized routing, they are importing a location-based spreadsheet of possible route stops. With an imported dataset geolocated on a Map Business Online map, a user can filter the data or generates spatial queries (radius, polygon or drive time search), that generate a Marketing List in the data window view.

A Marketing List is a set of records, presented in the Data Window view, that are a result of a Map Business Online query. The user assigns a name to that dataset and it is saved in the Data Window as part of the saved map project. It can be deleted or edited as required, all within the Data Window.

Any Marketing List view in Map Business Online includes a button on the Data Window Toolbar described as Add All Rows in the Data Window to a Route – up to 150 stops maximum. Click the Add All Rows button to generate a pro-forma route. The Route window pops up and allows the user to edit stops, select a one-way or round-trip route, or optimize the routing stop order. The Add All Row button is the fastest way to populate a route with multiple stops in the application.

Add All Rows to Route Button

The Route All Rows option is the most efficient way to route in Map Business Online.

Incremental Routing

Route All is practically automatic routing. But a user can also initiate route stops and call up the Route Window by clicking the Route Car associated with plotted points on the map. That Route Car icon is available in two places in Map Business Online for incremental, point-to-point routing.

Data Window Incremental Routing

Looking at any point data set in the Data Window, hover your cursor over the left-most data column until you see a Car Icon appear. Click the Green Car to select that row address as a Start, Stop, or Finish point for your vehicle route. Repeat as required.

Route from a Location Call-out

Imported or manually plotted points on a Map Business Online map all include callouts or labels that show up after a user clicks the point symbol. Each callout, when selected, displays the Green Car routing icon. A user may incrementally select route stops through this process as well. Click the Green Car to select that row address as a Start, Stop, or Finish point.

The Route Window will pop open after the first address is selected for a route. A user can continue selecting points and adding them to the route. Alternatively, a user could select the Plus Sign in the Route window and type in address records to route to. This is a nice way to add stops to an existing route

Route Windows Tools

I have written previously about Routing subjects like optimized routing. Additional business route planning software tools in the Route Window include:

  • Route file sharing
  • Route address favorites
  • Total mileage and time estimates, by route
  • Stop reordering and deletion
  • Route printing
  • Time window support

Rules of the Route

Map Business Online routing is both easy and affordable. Optimization and time windows are advanced features, as is the ability to export to GPX, PDF, XML, and PND device formats.

Routing limits exist and include:

  • No more than 150 stops per route
  • No more than one saved route on a map at one time
  • Every subscription includes a set of routing credits. A one-year subscription includes $1200 in routing credits. These credits are applied to both routing and driving time operations

Routing is a function most people take for granted these days. We all have that functionality on our phones.  Map Business Online lets you route to location-based addresses you’ve compiled into a spreadsheet. Pretty straight forward, as long as you don’t have to explain it to great-grandma.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making business maps

 

 

 

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Map-based Market Analysis Tools with Map Business Online Pro

Map Business Online Pro is now released. The Market Analysis functions of Map Business Online Pro is available for Standard and Team Map Business Online subscribers to try in their Market Analysis buttons. This update to your subscription will be available until your subscription comes up for renewal, at which point it will revert to the Standard subscription. Unless, of course, you choose to upgrade. Enjoy!  Keeping in mind that Map Business Online Pro includes all Standard Map Business Online functionality.

And as you get set to try out Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis make sure to download your Mac or PC version of the Map Business Online App. It’s the better, Flash-free way to experience business mapping software.

With Map Business Online Pro, you will be able to perform new levels of market analysis within Map Business Online. Let’s explore a few of those specific features today:

  • Generate multiple territories based on multiple driving distance polygons
  • Batch calculate distances and times from multiple centers
  • Find the Nearest

These are just three examples of the powerful tools available in the Map Business Online Pro marketing toolkit. Your market analysis may entail applying several of these tools to any given analysis project. For example, a growing convenience store chain has a desire to expand into a lucrative urban area. That overall expansion analysis might include an assortment of operations within Map Business Online Pro market analysis.

Competitive Analysis – With imported proposed store locations and key convenience store competitors displayed on the map, the user can use the Search and Segment Data tool to develop a map that displays drive time areas around each proposed store location generating a list of the competitors within a specified radius of each new location.

Territory Analysis – Use the same drive time polygons generated in the above Competitor Analysis to generate multiple ZIP code territories around the best store locations. Then, in the territory analysis view in the Data Window, use the More Data button to import the critical demographic data layers for a thorough analysis of each store’s location appropriateness.

Sales & Marketing Analysis – Find the Nearest – For more detailed market analysis, the convenience store analyst imports a dataset of critical customers from corporate. Visible on the map in large quantities (up to 250,000 locations records per map with Pro!), the analyst applies the preformatted find the nearest search to match the customer address locations with the closest association to the proposed convenience store locations.

Generate Multiple Territories Based on Driving Time or Driving Distance Analysis

Use the first Market Analysis option Search & Segment Data from Multiple Centers. Create a list of segmented territories or build a marketing list for campaign management.

  • Choose the target imported or created data layer in Map Business Online
  • Select the analysis option – Straight distance, Drive time, Drive Distance. If you choose the time option, consider setting the time of day or day of week option which calculates based on historic traffic data.
  • Set a radius scope in miles or minutes, depending on the query. Or select a radius based on a column of your data
  • Configure the parameters of your resultant drive time polygon – color, fill, etc.

Run the analysis. A dialogue will pop-up that presents a CheckBox for multiple territories or multiple marketing lists. Choose the appropriate map layer. For instance, choose ZIP codes to create multiple ZIP code territories.

With those territories selected and created, your next task will be to review each territory to verify accuracy and scope.

Search & Segment by Multiple Drive Times

Batch Calculate Distances and Time

These are the second the third options in Pro Market Analysis. The first option lets you calculate distances or times across one entire dataset of points. The second option, third feature on the list, lets the user calculate distances or times across two datasets.

In either approach, click the function in the Market Analysis button. The tool lets you select a target dataset. To generate a distance analysis across all the location points in one dataset means you’ll need one column for origin points and another column for destination points.

Origin Name Origin ZIP Destination Name Destination ZIP
Tangier 01966 One Center 01971
Blue 01978 Two Broadway 01964
Red 01964 Six Main 01972

Those points could be addresses, latitude/longitude coordinates, or even ZIP codes. Alternatively, the user can select a point on the map and choose the Market Analysis button associated with that point. Use that point as the center target for all your distance measures from the assigned dataset.

To reiterate – there are three ways to approach this analysis.

  1. Use a dataset with Origin and Destination columns.
    1. Import your data into Map Business Online
    2. In Market Analysis choose the second option Batch Calculate Distance and Time across One Dataset
    3. Select the data and the origin and destination columns
  2. Select a point in any dataset you’ve imported to your map
    1. On the Popup menu associated with that point choose the Market Analysis button
    2. Select the dataset you’d like to Calculate Distances to and process
  3. Place a new location point on the map using the Address Bar or the Draw Tool point placement.
    1. On the Popup menu associated with that point choose the Market Analysis button
    2. Select the dataset you’d like to Calculate Distances to and process

Here’s a video describing the Calculate Distance tool in a basic format.

With both Store and Customer datasets imported into Map Business Online, choose the Aggregate Data button in Market Analysis.

  • In the dropdowns provided assign the appropriate datasets to Store and Customer
  • Select up to three columns in the Customer Data set to include in the Store analysis report
  • Assign a specific radius distance

Here’s a video showing the exact process described above.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to explore the various applications and operations associated with Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

America’s best geo mapping software.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Discover Map Business Online – tools for making maps for business

 

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Map Business Online Pro – Press Release

CORNISH, ME (September 30, 2019) — SpatialTEQ Inc., publisher of North America’s leading business mapping software, today announces the release of Map Business Online Pro (MBO Pro), a map-based business intelligence software for sales and marketing professionals, and operational planners. Map Business Online Pro, a cloud service, offers advanced market analysis capabilities and the ability to import and plot an industry-leading 250,000 location points per map. Map Business Online Pro includes all the functionality of Map Business Online Standard with the addition of multiple location search with segmentation by driving time and distance, as well as a ‘find nearest location with distance’ calculator.

MBO Pro users will use this advanced tool to conduct a variety of market analysis including:

  • Generate proximity searches across multiple datasets for the nearest target objective
  • Identify new market opportunities by area assessments and demographic analysis
  • Create dot-density maps of up to 250,000 imported location points per map
  • Develop customer and prospect lists supporting sales and marketing activities
  • Assess straight-line and driving time distance calculations between facility location points for analysis and planning
  • Generate multiple territories from multiple center point radius searches by ZIP code, county, or alternative map layers

Search & Segment by Multiple Drive Times

Search and Segment Data from Multiple Centers

Map Business Online Pro market analysis enables the creation of multiple straight line or driving time/distance queries across an array of center points. MBO Pro users will compile market analysis query results into marketing lists for follow-up or further analysis. Results may be segmented by center point or distance.

In addition to providing straight line and drive time query distances, MBO Pro will enable map visualizations of more than one-hundred drive time polygons at once. These drive time queries will be time-of-day and day-of-week configurable, enabling traffic assessments for businesses with critical delivery deadlines.

MBO Pro market analysis searches of multiple center point map layers may be used to generate multiple territories at one time. Query results may be augmented with Map Business Online demographic data or other user imported data layers.

Find Nearest Locations & Distance Calculator

MBO Pro enables the generation of proximity searches by straight-line or drive time distances across an array of data. For example, sales department users will be able to search the proximity of all customer locations for the nearest specific store. Health care users will be able to search an array of patient locations and report the nearest medical center(s).

In addition to any nearest locations search results, driving time and driving distance calculations will be reported. A straight-line distance option is also available.

Batch Calculate Distances

With Map Business Online Pro, logistics planners will be able to calculate driving distances and driving times for a set of origins and destinations. OD calculations will apply to pairs within one dataset or across two disparate datasets. Results assist in the assessment of best routing options for delivery businesses.

Additional new features in Map Business Online Pro include the ability to:

  • Generate time-of-day or day-of-the-week configurable drive time and driving distance queries. Useful for traffic assessments and alternative route planning
  • Create Region and Division sales territory assignments
  • Save Up to 400 map files

Map Business Online Pro is a cloud-based service available as a downloadable desktop application for Windows or Mac computers or a web browser-based accessed service.   Subscriptions include access to technical support. Custom map services for an hourly fee are available upon request. Read more about Map Business Online Pro here.

Create Multiple Territories Quickly

About Map Business Online                                                   

From the creators of BusinessMAP, www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive cloud-based business mapping software, for Mac and PC users, since 2010. Design, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create and manage sales territories that drive accountability into your sales force. Replace discontinued Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline. Access optimized multi-stop routes to drive down travel costs. No other mapping software solves so many problems for such a small investment.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives            geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

 

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