In Map Business Online the Manage Map & Data Box provides a myriad of tools that help the map creator edit their business map view. One of theses tools is the Custom View drop down found on the Toolbar at the top of Manage Map and Data. What on Earth is the Custom View drop down used for?
Manage Map & Data is that light blue box the hovers over the west side of your map view when you first open MBO. If you close it, you can re-open it by clicking the light blue arrow tab to the far left-middle of your map screen.
Map & Data opens with Custom View selected by default. You’ll also see the three most popular administrative district layers (Zip codes, Counties and States) listed as map layer options and the map background layer included.
I typically use the Custom View for the maps I make. I use all administrative districts layers quite regularly. So why would anyone use the other Custom View options? Click the drop down arrow and view the various options and we’ll explore each one.
The Streets View background option in Map & Data means you will not be including any other map layer on your map. The Street background will be selected – but, you could hover over that layer and choose from the other background options, if you like. You have a couple of topographic map backgrounds and two satellite background options from which to choose. Click the Map Options Tab to select one.
A map creator who is sharing her finished map with a group of map viewers, perhaps in a call center, might choose Street View. You can still import data points. The shared map will be very basic. Not a lot of distractions or abstract colors, just a typical web map. Maybe a nice option for a ‘find your closest service center’ application.
Satellite Imagery View & Satellite Imagery with Streets
This is a quick way for Map Creator to generate a map with aerial imagery or satellite imagery (depending on your MBO Zoom Level) as opposed to the Streets map background. You could choose to have it with or without streets included.
Once again, no administrative district map layers are included. This view also offers a basic map view with minimal distractions for your viewing audience.
Aerial imagery views provide realistic indicators of what on the map might be metropolitan and what might be rural. Adding the street layer provides orientation and transportation details. I like to use satellite backgrounds for territory maps and other business maps because it easier on the eyes, IMHO.
If I was building a map presentation in Power Point, with multiple slides, I might vary the map background to keep the audience awake. Or insert a picture of a cute little kitten. You choose.
Here we have the majestic state layer turned on. No map background is provided in this view. A state layer view of the USA is instantly recognizable. For national companies it’s an obvious map view to apply for overall coverage depiction.
Keep in mind, the map layer is configurable. You can adjust the color of the states (which at default is beige.) Hover over the layer in Map and Data, click the Edit Gear and adjust colors and boundaries to your liking.
Use the state view to make major announcements, or bold and broad statements about business in general. Stuff that doesn’t require gory detail. Use the Map Title option located in the overall Map and Data Edit Gear.
You could, for instance, color code the state layer states by a demographic category like population or median income. There are plenty of demographic layers to choose from. Use your imagination and dream up a color scheme that is relevant to your business. Don’t forget, you can use Calculated Data Columns to combine demographic layers and color code by that too. Now you’re on your way to ’employee of the month.’ Congrats!
Counties custom view includes both States and County layers. I like this view. Counties are a wonderful map layer at the national level because they add detail that your eye can discern. Unlike ZIP codes which are crowded and lose meaning at a full national view.
Counties are often used for territory mapping. In Map Business Online the county layer enables the creation of split state territories. In my territory maps, I tend to use State boundaries as a reference layer. That way, if you are zoomed way in somewhere, you’ll see the state boundaries and know where you are.
Counties require states for geo-placement on the map. That’s because counties are not unique, like ZIP codes. How many Montgomery Counties are there anyway? Too many.
ZIP Code View
The ZIP code custom view includes ZIPs, counties and states. As I mentioned above, ZIP codes at a national level can make a muddled map. But ZIP codes are also the most popular map layer. Everybody loves a good ZIP code map. Once you’ve zoomed into a region of the USA, the ZIP code layer starts to really shine.
ZIP codes and counties were born to display demographic data. For many businesses ZIP’s and county population or median income data are critical to an understanding of growth potential. Demographic data, included in Map Business Online subscriptions, is often used to balance or optimize territory creation or define market potential.
So that’s pretty much all I have to say about Custom Views. We’d love to know how you use Custom View or Map Business Online in general.
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