Map Business Online offers full-time subscribers a premium set of additional map layers. These additional layers are geographic map data options that were repeatedly requested by the MBO user base. To access these layers click the Blue Globe button, currently placed on the toolbar seven buttons in from the left. Select a layer and click Add to Map.
My favorite premium layer is City Limits. There is another city layer called Cities. We added Cities for people who require additional city names to display prominently on the map. Cities are points. City Limits are the boundaried jurisdictions associated with each city or town. With both city datasets you’ll expose more of them as your zoom in.
The City Limits data layer lets you edit the layer, as you would a zip code or state layer. Simply hover over the layer in Map & Data and click the edit gear to edit line and color features or to change the labeling fonts, colors, and text.
City Limit geographies can be used as a base layer for sales territory mapping or creating areas of interest. This means you could establish territories by city limits as opposed to zip codes or counties. This can come in handy for businessmap users. I also like turning on the city limits layer when trying to assess metropolitan areas form a nationwide zoom level.
And if you just want more city points, more than we offer with the Cities layer (they have specific display rules by zoom level), you can always import your own home-grown dataset of cities. Be sure to include a state column in your imported city data because you never know how many Meridiths there are in the country.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSA’s are Census Bureau defined metro areas. They can be used to define marketing areas of interest around an urban district largely to support market analysis. You could build territories using these geographies as well. Color coded, MSA’s create a striking map of the USA and can help get a viewer’s attention. If you look online you can find conversion charts for creating similar marketing areas out of zip codes – like converting a list of zip codes into DMA’s. You would than simply import spreadsheet to convert zip codes to DMA’s.
Census Tracts are also available in the MBO additional map layer offering. Accessed the same way, Census tracts can be used to create territories, and come in handing when defining busy areas of interest in heavily populated areas like downtown Manhattan or Chicago. In urban areas Census Tracts tend to be more granular than zip codes which makes them a nice alternative to zip code maps for describing business processes. For rural areas Census tracts tend to mirror zip codes.
For businesses doing a lot of work for schools we’ve also included school Districts. These could be helpful for transportation companies or service organizations catering to school districts. Once again, you can establish territories based on school districts. School districts are a nice back ground for a multi-stop route planner system supporting bus transportation.
Zip 3 code
Regular zip codes are made up of five digits. I grew up in 01966. The three digit zip code associated with 01966 is 019. Three digit zips cover a wider area then their subset five digit zip codes. Three digit zips can be a quick and dirty way to establish zip code territories that combine zips in an organized fashion. Direct mail folks like to monitor mail deliveries by 3 digit zip codes because USPS tends to deliver to homes in 3 digit zip areas on the same day. I’m sure the Post Office has operational methods that are organized around three digit zips but that information is classified – which means I don’t really know for sure.
Cites and Highways
The city point layer and the highway line layer are included in premium layers largely to support additional referencing over territory maps. With these layers, if you color code in your states, counties or zip codes layers, instead of making those layers transparent to show orienting background map data, you can simply drop the highway layer on top of your area of interest map. It’s an option that can keep your map looking cleaner and more focused.
Request More Layers
The premium layer button is a reminder that we pay attention to user requests. Please hit the contact us button with layer requests, if you run across any.
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