If you already regularly import your business data into Map Business Online please move on. This blog post is for people just beginning to import their customer or prospect lists into a business map.
Possibly the most popular use of business mapping software is data visualization. “Data visualization” is nothing more than viewing an address database against an accurate map. The ease with which you can do this in Map Business Online is why many users claim we offer the best business mapping software. You can import your business data into Map Business Online using a paid subscription or the free trial. The free trial limits the user to 1000 locations. With the full year subscription, you can import up to 100,000 records per map.
To achieve such data visualizations, you need no more technical capability than the ability to create, edit and save an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure your address, city, zip code and state data are allocated to separate columns in your spreadsheet. And make sure each column has a simple heading like “Address”, “City”, “State” and “Zip code.”
Include any other pertinent data columns you’d like to add. Business users might include sales data, product data, type of accounts, or any other information that relates to their business. Make sure the spreadsheet does not include descriptive sentences or paragraphs above the data heading sections. Those descriptive sections tend to interrupt the import process.
Sample address spreadsheet – ready for import
Some of you may export your data from a customer service tool, a CRM or ERP system that have customer numbers or a record ID. These fields are not required by Map Business Online but can be used to semi-automate the data up-date process. So, if you’ve got unique ID numbers, go ahead and use them. There’s a Unique Identifier field in the second import dialogue page.
Plot Your Data
When you are ready, click the Plot Data On Map button from the Master Toolbar. Navigate to your data and select it. As you click the next buttons, choose which sheet you want to import from your spreadsheet.
At the first dialogue page confirm that the address information in your spreadsheet is being accepted by the address function in Map Business Online. This page shows a twenty line preview of your spreadsheet. I typically glance at this page just to make sure the location placements are all fitting into place. I confirm that State goes into the state bucket, Zip Code into the zip code bucket and so forth. Latitude and Longitude are shown here as well, in case you imported by lat/Lon.
The Five Flex Fields
The next and final dialog page in the importing process lets the user choose which column of your data will be in the Left Hand column of the Data Window. You’ll see the Unique Identifier field here. Finally, the user can also choose which columns of your data will be represented in the five flexible fields of your pop-up label. Once the data is placed on the map these flex fields will be displayed when you hover your cursor over an imported data point or when you click on a point and the label displays.
Now import your data and view the data on the map background. You’ll see colored dots on the map and the Data Window will pop open showing your data layer in full spreadsheet tabular view in Map Business Online. Map Business Online will ask if you want to color code – don’t feel obliged to do so. You can always color code from the master toolbar later. You see the symbol feature on the Data Window toolbar in case you want to change the symbol right away.
Try It Again
If you don’t like how your import went, delete the layer in Map and Data and start again. It just takes a couple of seconds. Or import the layer a second time, no one will arrest you.
Callouts are Labels
Once you see your data points on the map as colored balls you can start thinking about color coding the data or turning on the data callouts or labels.
Each point of your data will display a label when you touch or click the point with your cursor. To turn all Callouts or labels on move your cursor to Map and Data and hover over your imported layer. Click the Edit Gear and choose the Callout Tab along the right side. Here you can manipulate the Callout options like Compact Callouts and Open all Callouts.
Edit, Add and Delete
And finally, if you desire to add records to your imported data or edit and delete records in your data layer, the user is able to do that. Use your cursor to select one of your imported points. In the mini-toolbar that pops up choose the Edit Location Properties button or Delete selection options. Delete is a pretty straight forward yes or no decision.
Editing a point is more complex. It opens a dialogue that includes the basic data fields associated with your map point. You can edit those fields.
To add a data point to your imported map layer you can either:
1. Type the address into the address bar in the top upper left corner of the application and then click the Binocular button, or
2. Choose the Add Location button from the Draw Layer tools located next to the Ruler along the master toolbar. Drop a point on the map where you would like to add a record.
Once your point is established on the map, click the Copy Location to Dataset button and follow the dialog for adding a record to your dataset of choice and add that location to the map. This is a multistep process. First choose the Dataset to append then choose to copy or add the location.
You are now an official Map Business Online Data Import Wizard. Walk the Earth with your head held high.
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Contact: Geoffrey Ives email@example.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866