Measurement Tools in MapBusinessOnline

MapBusinessOnline is a business map designed to support organizations with map visualizations that depict aspects of their work, such as:

  • ATM and vending machine placements
  • Billboard placements
  • Construction site placements
  • Customer locations
  • Delivery and pick-up ranges
  • Infrastructure maps
  • Insurance coverage areas
  • Investment zones
  • Significant field resources – such as fuel stops, hospitals, repair locations
  • Market analysis areas
  • Retail store market areas
  • Sales territories
  • Service coverage areas
  • Staff placements in the field

Measuring on Your Map

The above list represents some real examples of business mapping applications. I could go on. I’m always surprised by the variety of applications our user-base finds for MapBusinessOnline.

Measuring can sometimes be necessary for a basic business map. In business mapping, there is more than one way to measure. In fact, in MapBusinessOnline, there are three or four ways that measure up.

MapBusinessOnline has Business Listings – Read More Here

The Line Measure Tool

MapBusinessOnline includes the ability to draw a line that measures distances. The Distance Measure Tool is located on the Master Toolbar under Drawing Tools, left middle of the toolbar.

By clicking on the Measure tool, a user activates the line measure function; the button will highlight in Yellow. Once engaged, the cursor is placed on the map, held down, and dragged in the desired direction. The line will display a distance in miles or kilometers. Turns are inserted by lifting your cursor and then continuing in a new direction.

To measure curves, repeat the mouse click as you drag and make the turn.  Turning can take a little practice.

Go ahead and try drawing a measure tool line on your business map.  It’s easy to delete the line and start again. Get a sense of how the measure distance tool works.

Settings for feet or line measurement units are stored in Map and Data. Click the Map Options button on the short Map and Data toolbar. In the panel that opens, you’ll find a section in the middle for Units of Measure. Adjust, as necessary, between miles and kilometers.

Once your line is complete and accepted, there is a properties button with the Measure Distance tool. Select the measured distance line to activate the Properties Gear. Click the Properties button to adjust the following:

  • Select from line-segments options (line only, arrow, double arrow)
  • Adjust the width of line-segments
  • Adjust the color of lines
  • Control the text labels associated with any line

When using standard Draw Tools (button to the left of the Distance tool), the straight and curved lines display distances as drawn. But those distance measures disappear after the drawn object is complete, so the resultant map object is clean.

The distance measure tool is excellent for defining distances on a map.  A free form Draw Tool is a good solution for a quick measure of a curved line. The Distance Measure Tool is useful for posting the distance of that curved line on the map.

Routing as a Measure Tool

MapBusinessOnline includes an optimized routing tool. A user can specify stops one-by-one through the Address Bar or import a list of address stops for one-button route creation in the Data Window.  Up to 150 stops are allowed per route, so the Data Window views of imported address lists may need to be filtered to enable the one-step Add to Route button on the Data Window toolbar. Read more about optimized routing.

But, once you’ve selected yours stops and processed a route, you will find, in the lower left of the Route presentation, the total distance and time duration expected for the queried journey. This calculation is like a Drive Time query, except it is focused on the specific stops used to calculate that particular route. Read more about Drive Time queries.

Driving time and driving distance queries are route measurements in all directions. In the Draw Tools, a user selects the Drive Time draw tool option, places a point on the map and, inputs a desired driving time or distance. The query results show the resultant polygon for that distance or time in all  directions.

Driving times or distances can be used to define delivery Zones.

One of my favorite map visualizations

Speaking of driving time and driving distance queries, MapBusinessOnline Pro can calculate multiple distance measurements as an array between two datasets. These are advanced queries but could be considered measurement tools. To explore this further, read more about generate multiple driving time and driving distance results using MapBusinessOnline Pro – here.

Measuring Square Miles

Another convenient measuring tool is the ability to quickly derive the total area in square miles or square kilometers associated with any map object. A map object could be a ZIP code, a polygon, a circle, or any other shape drawn on the map.

To measure the area in square miles or square kilometers of a map object:

  1. Draw and/or select the map object on the map
  2. When selected, the map object is highlighted, and the mini-toolbar displays. Click the Summary Button on the mini-toolbar
  3. Scroll down through the entire demographic library of categories. At the bottom, you will see two options for area calculations – one for Square miles and one for Square Kilometers. Choose your preference
  4. The map object area will display in a data report which, you can export or choose to display on the map

The area’s Square Mile text box also has a properties edit gear. You can choose the size, color, orientation, and italics for the text.

Totaling Data Columns

Another measurement option within MapBusinessOnline is the ability to total a column of data. In the Data Window view, any data column containing numeric values may be totaled. The Total Function is at the bottom of the Data Window. It reflects the sum of all values in a column across the geographic subject.

For instance, if a territory dataset had included a demographic category for Population 2020, the user, could move their cursor to the bottom of the Data Window and, in the box labeled Total, dropdown to the column of interest and select it.  The total population for the territory would show in the Total display.

MapBusinessOnline Pro let’s you add driving distances to an imported address list. You could use this Totaling option in the Data Window to total the entire column of distances. There could be value in seeing, for example, the total value of driven miles by a clinician team.

The ability to measure distance and area is useful for estimating project costs, work hours, and developing capacity plans. Just another way in which online business mapping tools help us all to get the job done.


Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website –

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson

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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