Suggestions for First Time Users of Map Business Online

Some of you are excited – ready to dive in. Go for it.  Others are reticent -wary of new technology. Still others, like me, are old farts. Perhaps you geezers are sick of robocalls, email scammers, and password wars. Regardless of who you are, you should all be able to use Map Business Online to conduct your business mapping. Just remember, a business map is a visualization tool. It’s different than a word processor or a spreadsheet.

Use the Help Button, the Help YouTube Videos, and the Blog

Help documentation is your friend. The help, YouTube videos, and the Blog are all searchable by topic. Chat and email are great for simple questions. Chat is tough for complex questions. You may want to start with this introductory video which will get you familiar with the basic tools in map Business Online.

Is Map Business Online Easy to Use?

Some users ask this question. We certainly think Map Business Online is easy-to-use. We spend a lot of time thinking about ease-of-use and updating the program to make it more functional and to make it easier for users to understand and master. But ease-of-use is very personal. Today, all of us use a multiplicity of online digital tools both at home and at work. It can get overwhelming. Take it slow. And as much as you can, try to make it fun. Maps are cool and so are you for using maps at work.

What’s easy for Mary may be torture for Mark, and require some effort from Marni.

Replacing MapPoint

Map Business Online is a MapPoint replacement. It does 80% of what MapPoint did and in many ways is a better application. Our methods vary.  MapPoint was a desktop tool, Map Business Online is a cloud service.

Use the Map Business Online App

The App is a better user experience overall. More effective, more efficient, and and easier to access once set-up. Do yourself a favor. Use the App.

Importing Data or Dropping in Addresses

Plotting an address spreadsheet, with separate columns for Address|City|State| and ZIP code is the easiest way to get your location data into Map Business Online. Here’s a video on importing location data from an Excel spreadsheet. Dropping points on the map one-by-one using a drawtool or the address bar in the upper left-hand corner is easy but it can mean you lose the ability to query data in the most effective manner.

Digital Maps are not Always Correct

While rare, errors in the map data do occur. Sadly, maps are not perfect. They are created mostly by people. Let us know if you think something is amiss and we will make sure our data providers are made aware and, if it proves to be a real error, they will correct it.

Save Your Map

If you’ve put some work into building a business map, and it’s starting to look like something useful to you, save that map. Click the Save button on the left side of the Master Toolbar (3rd button in from the left.).  Now your map is stored in the Map Library Folder (2nd button in from the left.) During the save process you can always save your map as a Template, thus preserving original map work for all time.

The Easy Stuff

You are going to use map business online to create some sort of map visualization of your work. Many of these processes are straight forward.

  • Import, visualize and color-code your business location data. Importing an Excel spreadsheet and viewing your business data is the most common application of Map Business Online. Thousands of business map users are doing this every day. So, you are not alone, and it’s eminently doable. Don’t just plot addresses one at a time. That’s caveman stuff. Import an organized spreadsheet of your data and import it using the plot data button. Read more here.
  • Create fast and accurate radius searches. Read this blog: Plot a Point – Draw a Circle – Query the Population There’s a video included in the blog. Radius maps are easy. But remember there are polygon search tools and drive time search tools too.
  • Build heat map visualizations. Heat maps take your numeric data, imported as a spreadsheet, and turn it into an intensity layer on the map. Like a tornado map. Watch out! Read more about heat mapping.
  • Build and edit sales territories. This is the same as territory management or territory alignment. Don’t be fooled by nomenclature. It’s all about creating zones or areas of interest that are assigned to people. Map Business Online makes it easy. And territories, though most often used by sales departments, are used by insurance claims departments, by home care organizations, by franchise companies, and many other types of business. They pretty much all work the same. So don’t let some whiz-bang at a party make you feel like he’s special because he designs casket territories. His business is probably dead anyway.
  • Quick Demographic Data pulls or summaries – When you create a radius/circle or a polygon search in Map Business Online a mini-toolbar pops up. There’s a sideways M icon on that toolbar that initiates a quick Demographic selection process based on your map object’s shape. This is the Summary Button and it lets you grab data pulls for areas fast, for map viewing or export.
  • Optimized Routing – Create marketing lists out of your imported location data. Use the Data Window’s Route to All Rows button to generate routes for your business trips, sales associates, or field staff. Remember, you can share maps as an interactive URL for free or at extremely low cost. Your constituents will be able to generate routes with that shared URL. You’re welcome.

The Harder Stuff

  • Calculated Data Columns – Sometimes you need to do some work on data layers to get what you need out of a map. Like combining all the Older aged population layers to get everyone aged 65 and older in one data layer. Calculated data columns will help you sum and subtract or multiply and divide data layers. Read more.
  • Market Analysis – Map Business Online standard includes a Market Analysis tab that enables straight-line distance analysis across a set of location centers. It’s a great first step for businesses interested in exploring better markets for their products and services based on the success they’ve had in known markets. See Map Business Online Pro and explore market analysis even deeper – driving times, driving distances, enriched data, and up to 250,000 location points per map. (Release is scheduled for Friday)
  • Access Business Listings – Business listings are available through Map Business Online.  They cost $0.15 each and you’ll need to search based on NAICS or SIC codes that you find onlineRead this blog to learn more. I said this stuff was harder.

Are you using the Map Business Online Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Escape Web-Browser Tyranny!

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling Map Business Online.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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