How to Append Data to Labels in Map Business Online

Importing a spreadsheet of relevant business addresses is pretty easy to do in Map Business Online.  That first map view of your business data, neatly arranged and labeled against a map of the USA or Canada, is pretty thrilling for most first-time users of the tool.

But the next step most users want to achieve is appending those imported point labels with information that is important to their analysis – however simple or complex that analysis might be. Map creators often seek to:

  • Append their imported points with demographic data provided by Map Business Online
  • Display relevant business data they’ve also imported underneath map labels
  • Display a critical data element that may require adjustment by users
  • Add information to a map layer label such as a ZIP code or a county

Customers want that ability to append data to labels for a whole bunch of good reasons. Some maps are for sharing across a business system and several key demographic categories may be important to decisions making.  An example might be a call center making determinations on repair or replacement orders.

I had a guy this week who wanted every imported address label to display the number of registered vehicles associated with each local. Another user had interest in noting the number of interns hired by each Senator across all Congressional district layer labels.

Labeling can pull appending information from imported data, demographic data, and Map Business Online’s Calculated Data columns.  Calculated Data Columns is a function in Map and Data available within each Map Layer (county, state, ZIP) that lets the user create a calculation across two or more columns. The formula options include summing, subtraction, and ratios.

I’ve had customers who would like to append summations of demographic data, such as the population older than age 65 years, or a formula combining high household incomes divided by the number of children of elementary school age.  This calculated data can be referenced in map layer auto labels (explained below) or used as a basis for color shading.

Callouts and Auto Labels

In Map Business Online we refer to imported data labels as Callouts, and map layer labels (ZIP codes, counties, states) as Auto Labels.  Callouts are labels associated with points on the map.  Auto labels are labels associated with map layers like ZIP codes or Counties.

Label management is accessed either by selecting an imported point Callout/Auto Label on the map itself or by selecting the targeted layer in the Map and Data box.  When you select a point’s Callout, a menu pops up. Click that menu’s Edit Gear and then click Format Callouts. This opens up a panel that will allow the Map Business Online user to:

  • Adjust the Callout look and feel
  • Append imported data columns to the Callout
  • Append color coding data values to the Callout

The Callout label is associated with imported address or Lat/Long data only.  You can change the imported dataset name at the Map and Data box or the Data Window by hovering over the layer name and clicking the Pencil icon.

By selecting the Callout label a mini-menu is generated. Click the Edit Gear on the mini-menu to append data to the Callout. In the resulting dialogue, a user will find a General tab and a Callout tab.  Use the General Tab to adjust symbol sizes and colors. Down below in the General tab is the user’s opportunity to edit the data associated with that Callout.

Under the Callout Tab a business map user can adjust the position of the symbols, format the text of the callout, and to edit the fields of imported data used by the Callout label. Click Format Callout to access the data options. You’ll have five flexible fields that can be filled with data, supplementing the automatically included Name and Address info associated with the Callout.

Auto Labels

On the business map, as mentioned above, the user also has customizable control over map layer labels or Auto Labels. This gives the map creator the ability to pull from imported data or tap into included demographic data and append that information to map layer labels.

Appending auto labels with demographic data means business map layers, like ZIP codes, can be color shaded to reflect a major demographic theme, such as median income, while the labels for each ZIP code could display up to five additional demographic category values such as:

  • Male population
  • Hispanic population
  • Number of rental units
  • Consumer expenditures on beauty products
  • Number of housing units of a given decade

Or the map creator can mix it up by appending some fields with demographic data and other fields with imported data.  Whatever floats your map’s boat.

This label flexibility lets the map creator spoon-feed their map audience the data most relevant to the map’s purpose. It could be critical data for a customer presentation or simply referential to strategy discussions around the conference room table.

Auto Label Formatting

To access Auto Label tools, go to Map and Data. Hover your cursor over the target map layer and click the Edit Gear.  Choose the label tab along the right vertical.  There are two functions here.

Along the bottom of the dialogue are Auto Label controls for text color, font size, and bold controls. Here you can choose to show auto labels or not.

Please notice the “Start Labeling From” option. Pay close attention to this option.  In the associated drop down the user can adjust the map zoom level at which the labels appear. This lets you maximize the presentation of labels at a given zoom level. It allows the map creator to turn on as many ZIP codes as possible at a full USA view. Experiment with the zoom level option to get a feel for when your map layer labels show up.

In the same dialogue, you will also find Format Labels.  Click into format labels to append data. Make sure on the top tabs you’re clicked into Auto Label.  The Custom Label option works the same way as Auto Labels but controls pop-up labels when the map viewer hovers over a ZIP code or county.

When you click into Format Auto Labels you will find the five flexible fields listed in order. Check the #1 option and use the drop downs to access available data for appending the labels. Tweak the Prefix as required.  Just like the Callout function, auto labels formatting provides up to five fields to append data to.  Click Change Labels when finished.

Auto Labels and Callouts pepper a business map with information. Always tweak the settings and consider appending fewer data. Ask yourself if the data you’ve appended adds significant value or if instead, it detracts from the map view. Business maps are a balance between too much data and not enough data. Find the sweet spot in the middle. Tweak sizes and colors. Ask a colleague for their opinion.

A business map with a little extra time and tweaking will serve your map purpose well and emboss your name in the annals of cartography.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

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