I’ve eaten English Muffins for breakfast many times in my life. Especially growing up, when Ma was looking for quick, cheap, and easy ways to feed four growing boys before school. I thought Thomas’ English Muffins did a great job using Nooks and Crannies as their advertising tag line. You knew exactly what they meant – you could taste it.
Well, Map Business Online has nooks and crannies too. There’s a software developer behind every MBO nook and cranny. There are many small details and features we’ve added to our business mapping software that make it a richer, more productive mapping experience for the business mapping user. I run into these features often, partly because I’m constantly using the product, but also because people ask questions about how to do weird things and often I’m surprised to find out that we actually can do these things.
Copy & Paste Ten Rows
The other day I was providing some training for a collection of Map Business Online team edition users. The team edition is used for shared map editing. We were looking at sales territory mapping based on counties. We had added demographic data to the territory data base to create a demographic map. The question was asked, “How can we arrange the data in descending order by population and choose the top ten records for export.” A fair question, and I wasn’t sure what to do. A quick communication back to headquarters and I had my answer. Not sure if it’s a nook or a cranny.
Viewing your territory in the Data Window, click the header of the population column until you show the records descending in order from largest to smallest. Then arrange the data window bounding rectangle to show only your top ten records. Then, in the lower right-hand corner click the Cut & Paste button. This launches the Copy data dialog box. Up until now, I had not paid much attention to this box. I don’t copy and paste very often in MBO. Notice that it offers multiple choices for copying. Choose the lower circle – Rows visible on current page. Now paste into Excel. As they say in Rockport, MA where I grew up when something was wicked easy, “Dimes, or what?” Read more about Rockport MA here: The best things to do in Massachusetts.
The Power of the Data Window
Although the Map Business Online Data Window is not Excel by any stretch of the imagination, it does have some unique features that come in pretty handy. For example, any time you create a query thereby generating a data result in the Data Window, you can take that result and turn it into a territory or an area of interest. See the button on the Data Window tool bar that shows a green and red arrow over a blue puzzle piece. That button lets you Create new or Edit existing territories.
Using this approach, you are able to filter a dataset by a column of data pertinent only to your business, for instance just the banks in your account list, and then turn all of those geographies into a territory. This could be a nice way to create territories or areas of interest out of a master list without having to create subset data outside of MBO.
And keep in mind, the filtering capability of the data window will let you create multiple criteria for your filter. For example, determine all of the records with greater than $5,000 in sales, in zip codes 90000 to 90599, and in zip codes 87000 to 87599. And as always the results are exportable.
One more thing – an Area of Interest and a Territory are the exact same thing in MBO. These are simply groups of zip codes, counties, or other geographic districts you’ve selected to represent a focused area of interest. I use the term Area of Interest when applying the tool to market analysis projects and the term Territory when conducting more sales oriented customer mapping projects.
Imported Data Labeling
You know you can import up to one hundred thousand records per map. And you also know that as you import these records you choose the five most important fields to show when someone hovers over the imported data points. But if you made a mistake when you did this, or if you just want to change the fields that you show upon hover, you can do that. It’s a cranny, Granny. Hover over your imported Data Layer in the Map & Data Tab, click the Edit Gear when it pops up. Now along the right side of the dialog box pick the Callout folder tag. Choose Format Callouts and change your fields.
And while you’re in there, get familiar with all the various formatting buttons we’ve added there. Someday your boss is going to request some crazy way to display labels and we just might have it in there.
While you’re in Map & Data, click Map Options along the top to review the imagery options available. Imagery and Streets are new and provide a nice overlay that can combine street level detail with aerial imagery. Very cool in downtown urban areas.
To view more map back ground options, back out to the opening page of Map & Data. Hover over the Street layer and click the edit gear. Here you will find two topographic map view options. One is National Geographic data and the other more of a generic topo quad map.
I’ve run out of blog words and time for this week, but there are many nooks and crannies to Map Business Online. Just don’t go smearing pads of butter on your mapping software. That’s no good for any one. Instead, consider opening up a new map view and just click around. Explore the nooks and crannies that support your business mapping work.
Remember in MBO you can:
- Import your own symbols
- Edit data you’ve imported
- Add incremental records to the map manually
- Print regular or large format maps
- Draw free form shapes in the map
- Summarize your data
- Export your data query results
- Add demographic data to your map
- Share interactive web maps
- Create map templates
- Impress family and friends
Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com
Contact: Geoffrey Ives firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866