A Map For Crazy Incorporated

Submitted by an Anonymous & Fictitious Female User

My boss is screaming again. He’s like the donkey in the horse yard, keeping the wolves at bay. Oh well, at least it’s not internally directed today. This time he wants to see all company job site locations on one map to better analyze our position in the marketplace. That actually sounds reasonable.  And for some reason he’s looking at me. I’m the latest genius in a long line of geniuses that the boss places all of his faith in for a few months and then he promptly fires them. Today he wants a female genius. Lucky me.

The boss doesn’t know it but I’ve used business mapping software before – both MapPoint and BusinessMap.  Both applications were great business mapping tools that were terminated by their publishers.  I need a replacement for MapPoint and BusinessMap that’s reliable and more advanced – if that’s possible – without breaking the bank.  His Nibs won’t pay a lot for that muffler.

Well, he is the boss.  All I can do is the best I can do, right?  At least for this project I’ve got Map Business Online.  I anticipated his latest hissy fit and imported all the job site records already, mapping multiple locations across New England – 250 lovely blue dots on a map. Now what?

Just then God’s gift to the C-Suite walked by my cubicle. “Sweetheart, I see you’re working on that map I want.  You’re alright,” smiling and patting my head in a way that makes me rethink my position on gun control. “Make sure you show me everything.  I want to see everything on one map.”  Just then, a ball of tin foil rolls by and the world’s most obnoxious CEO runs into the conference room to hook-up with Herman Cain Inc. He’s got a date with 9-9-9, I guess.

Back to the map. If I follow Mr. Whack Job’s demand and turn on all 250 map labels the map looks like the floor of a waste paper recycling transfer station. You can’t see anything meaningful for all the map clutter.  But I think it through and import even more datasets, turn on all the labels and save the file.  I’ll show that map view to his Majesty if he starts complaining about wanting more data labels. And while he’s contemplating that mess of a map I can get my coat, gather my things, and head out for the unemployment office.

In the meantime, I realize with Map Business Online you can filter the states. In a new map view I turn off the labels and turn on the State Map Layer and then filter the layer to show only those New England states we’re interested in. Then I turn off the entire street data background.  For this analysis, we don’t need the streets – it just adds to the map clutter. This map is looking better already.

Next I contemplate my data.  Turning on all job labels makes the map impossible to decipher. But I noticed each job is named after the city it’s located in. There a few cities with multiple jobs, but not many. Hmmm. I decide to turn on the City Limits data – a layer option within Map Business Online. That looks interesting – all those metro areas are now outlined and labeled. No need to show the job names.

Next I realized with Map Business Online you can color code the City Limits by the imported Job Site data.  A few clicks on the tool bar icon and I’ve arranged a shaded city map that color-codes the cities based on the quantity of jobs we’ve got in each metro area.  Map Business Online even generates a legend that defines the color scheme and labels the data layer as “Crazy Inc. Job Sites – New England.”

I even turn the blue dots back on, color them black, and then use the sizing control to make them just noticeable. That’s a great way to show where the job sites are specifically located while keeping the map looking clean. It provides a density view of our data as well.

I had imported sales dollars by account data too. For a final touch of drama for our job site map I used the heat map Excel button to display sales. Heat maps are cool because they look a little like a weather storm map – they add a flashy layer to the map that wakes the map viewer up. Very cool.

Wow. That looks pretty good. But he wants it on a wall-map. With Map Business Online you can save the file as a large format PDF file and then bring the file down to Kinko’s to run a plotter print.  And just then I hear the yelling stating up again. Slipping the map PDF file onto a USB drive I grab my coat and purse and head out for Kinko’s, confident that for one more day I’ve got a job at Crazy Inc. Thanks to Map Business Online.

“Hey! Someone stole my lucky mouse pad!” I hear as the door closes behind me. Maybe Kinko’s needs some map plotting help?

Find out how digital maps can help you learn about your business.

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.


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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