Web Maps for Those Intimidated by Technology

(If you’re comfortable with technology, do not read this. “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”)

October, 1974: Rockport High School, Rockport MA. I first noticed it in the Math Department room. Rick Cabrell, Kevin Baker, and James Day were using this new fangled machine. They were typing some sort of cryptic code into a machine which appeared to generate a mechanical process that controlled some sort of typewriter. Someone said it was a computer. Hmm, that was news to me. I went on to gym class.

January, 1978: Colby College, Waterville ME. Four years later I took a short “January Plan” in computer coding at Colby College, but all the if/then statements were still Greek to me. I passed that short course by the grace of God Almighty.

It wasn’t until I was three or four years out of college, in the early eighties, that I started working with computers. And it was another seven years before I sent my first email and used word processing software on a PC.

And at every step, for me it was intimidating. Sure I warmed to the legacy business systems of the 80’s and 90’s. And I cut my techno-teeth on Apple products handed down from my generous and technology-empowered bother in-law, but the intimidation hung in there for over a decade. At work the trend was towards PC’s. I got used to AmiPro and Word Perfect, before moving on to MS Word. I also mastered spread sheets, to an extent. No classes and for the most part with no training, so my abilities are probably ‘meh’ – especially to an accountant or a statistician or my wife – a database wizard.

The intimidating part for me was all about the trudge through the learning curve, finally mastering software only to find that in very short order, there was a new tool required for my job. It might be a software upgrade, or that the company changed providers, or perhaps I changed jobs – but there was always new technology to learn and lots of it.

Today, my laptop is running hundreds of applications that require some level of my awareness, almost every day. And I manage it. It’s not always pretty – like when I pick-up the latest virus or trojan – but I manage it.

Because I relate to this intimidation factor, I penned this blog post for the people who need web maps or mapping software for work, but who are intimidated by the technology for whatever reason. Maybe you’re a late computer bloomer, or maybe you’re a slow learner. It doesn’t matter. Web maps are entirely within your ability to manage. Sure, they require some basic web skills, but you can master this and apply basic mapping skills to your business processes like a pro.

The required skills to work with our web map – Map Business Online – are the following:
• The ability to use a web browser. Web maps work within a standard web browser – just like a Google search. Simply type in www.MapBusinessOnline.com and sign in.
• The ability to login and set-up a password. That’s right – remember your email and the password you created. Write it down. This opens the door to sales planning maps, territory mapping, and radius search maps.
• The ability to import a spreadsheet. All data points on the map – your customers, your target customers – are imported as a spreadsheet. Choose the import data button and navigate to your target spreadsheet. Follow the dialogue box process. You’ll display your business data points on a map in no time.
• The ability to try things and cancel out of them. Click on a tool across the tool bar on the top of the screen. If your get overwhelmed – click the “X” in the upper right hand corner. Now breathe.
• The ability to email or call us – if you get stuck, let us know. We can help.

That’s it. We believe we created a business web mapping tool that is truly easy for all to use. And the benefit for taking this technology leap into the void is the ability to work with your business data on a map; to see where your customers are; to search for your business data by geography; to find the droids that you are looking for.

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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