Optimized vehicle routing in Map Business Online means the tool’s routing engine chooses the most efficient path for your vehicle route. A user can create up to one hundred and fifty stops on a route in MBO with a full-year or team subscription. Each route will generate turn-by-turn directions, as well as an estimated time duration and distance measure in miles or kilometers. This information is presented to the user after the route has been processed.
That’s a pretty good start for routing tools for an online business mapping software that only costs $299.95 per user per year (USA coverage area.). And it gets better.
An MBO route user is not forced to conduct optimized routing. The route could be conducted as a basic point-to-point route; the route follows stops in the order presented as the route is created. You could route from a starting point to a finish point with no stops.
An MBO route user can drop points on the map with the draw tool (Add Location Button) or input addresses one at a time from the address bar. Hovering over those points, a car appears. Click the car icon to begin selecting the route stops.
Further, if you’re organized and have a spreadsheet of address stops, you can import that list into MBO which will place location points across the map area. The Data Window will open to display a tabular view of your imported data. Hover over the left side of any of those imported rows until the Car icon appears, click to set the stops incrementally – just like on the point labels.
With your data imported and selected in the Data Window the map user may choose to click the Add All Rows to Route button – located just before the far-right button of the Data Window Tool Bar. This button places all your locations from your imported dataset in the Route generator. Click the route button to route to all locations at once.
Once a route has been generated in Map Business Online, a set of detailed turn-by-turn directions is created for printing and general sharing. This directions document includes mileage and time estimates for route itself.
There are a lot of options in the MBO route tool that help a user customize their route. A route, as mentioned before, can be optimized – that is, the stop order will be routed in the most efficient manner possible based in the inherent road network information. Road network information includes road classifications, speed limits, turn restrictions, one-way and two-way streets, traffic histories. All these factors impact optimization.
A route can be created for a round trip or just a one-way trip. You will note that a route file is generated upon route creation. That route file can be shared with others in various formats, including formats for GPS personal navigation devices (GPX, ITN).
Once a route is generated the user can still adjust stops. Change stop orders by dragging up and down. Delete existing or add new stops. Note there is a favorites option in the Route tool bar, this lets you add recurring stops to an easy access list – I use it for my home address and for the Maine Animal Farm where I take my grandkids.
Time Window Support
Check the Route Options button in the route window to explore time compensating adjustments including route start times, stay durations, and route end times. Imported spreadsheets of route stops can also include columns for stop stay durations and other route time intervals. These time options allow user controls for entire day or week planning.
Map Business Online also provides an ability to create areas of route avoidance. Route avoidance options come in handy if you are aware of traffic congestion, construction issues, or road and bridge closures along your projected routes.
To build a route avoid area simply use your navigation tools to zoom into the problem area and then select a Map Business Online draw or search tool, like a polygon search tool. Create a polygon on a map that defines the area of avoidance. In the polygon draw layer edit box check the box labeled “Set as route barrier.”
Now any further routes pushed through that area will seek an alternate route around your polygon.
Shared Maps – Shared Routes
One of the outstanding features of Map Business Online is the MapShare option. MapShare is the ability to share a map publicly for zero or low-cost – depending upon quantity of web sessions. Each shared map can include a shared route. Your shared map viewers (at no charge) will be able to do the following:
- View your shared map including routes, sales territories, points & labels, and a data window view.
- Edit the shared routes
- Create multi-stop routes incrementally – up to 150 stops
- Conduct save-able and exportable data queries
Essentially, your map viewers, with who you share you maps, can expect, change or create new routes. How freakin’ cool is that?
MBO Routing Applied
MBO users apply routing for a variety of applications:
- Sales Planning – Begin with sales territory maps. Route to your customer list. Plan you trips. Include surrounding prospects. Analyze sales results
- Field Staff Management – Establish coverage areas and territories. Create, share and adjust routes and schedules. Confirm field activity took place. Monitor customer requirements and field work orders
- Retail Display Management – Route to retail stores based on a planned schedule. Update shelf displays and report sales results & inventory adjustments. These routes could cover entire weeks of driving times
- Real Estate Travel – Plan open house trips for key clients. Import a list of home locations for an optimized route plan – track features, home photos, and critical data
Many of MBO routing features serve to replace Microsoft MapPoint, lost to many business users since
- Consider Map Business Online as you go to MapPoint replacement and enjoy optimized routing, up-to-date map data, and a truly easy-to-use interface.
What’s not to like? Let’s us know how your using the tool and as always, contact us for technical support should you require it.
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Contact: Geoffrey Ives email@example.com or Jason Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 425-9035