Add Value to Your Business Map Using the Search & Draw Tools

MapBusinessOnline presents two drawing tools along the Master Toolbar of our business mapping software:

  1. Under Search Tools, the user will find a Circle Icon and a dropdown arrow displaying the circle tool and, if you drop down, all the other Search Tools – polygon, drive time, and free form.
  2. Just to the right of the Search Tools are the Drawing Tools, which also show the Circle tool (or the most recent tool used) and a dropdown for all the drawing tools.

Draw Tools and Search Tools in MapBusinessOnline

The difference between the two tools is that the Search Tools offer a quick popup menu that searches all MapBusinessOnline map layers, such as ZIP codes or Counties, and imported data layers.

The Drawing Tools also provide line drawing tools and access to a Text Box feature for placing text anywhere on the map. We call these drawn circles, lines, and polygons Map Objects.

Be Sure Your Map Object Adds Value

Use the Draw/Search tools to add value to your map project. Adding value to a map means you are adding relavant information to the map that enhances your map’s purpose. Don’t add map objects just to be clever. Do not create distracting map clutter. Keep your map focused on the problem at hand.

Both the Search Tools and the Draw Tools provide a menu of map operation options that looks like this:

Search & Draw Tools Operations Menu

Map Operations Available from Drawn Map Objects

When an object is drawn on the map, a menu of operations appears. The drawn object could be a circle, line, or polygon, but the options will all be the same:

Search – A pair of Binoculars icon represents a search option. In Draw, this option functions the same as the immediate Search offering using the Search tool. It allows the user to search map layers (like ZIP codes) or imported data layers like a list of customers. Such a search will return all records within the drawn object as a list in the Data Window. For returned imported data searches, we refer to those results as a Marketing List. You could say the Search is a Spatial Search resulting in a Marketing List.

Please note that for any such spatial search, there is a check box at the top of the dialogue that lets the user choose between Search within the drawn object or for all records outside the drawn object. We call that an Inverted Search.

Zoom To – Click the Zoom-to button, and the map extent view will shift, in or out, to include the entire map object.

Business List – You can search for, purchase, and download business listings from within MapBusinessOnline. This button enables the business listings tool to search for listings you select from within your drawn polygon or circle. Read more about business listings here.

Properties – This button opens a separate dialogue which lets the user adjust the look and feel of the drawn object itself. The user can change color, line thickness, object fill color, and transparency. Circle radii are adjustable by the map creator, and text additions are optional. In the picture above, Properties is the box on the left.

Summarize (Sigma Sign) – This powerful tool provides direct access to Demographic Data, Imported Data, and Calculated Data Columns. The map creator can access these datasets and quickly move columns into a basic spreadsheet for export or placement on the map. The Summary option is a fast way to collect data for a specific area. It adds value to your map.

Delete – You guessed it. You can also delete the drawn map object, no questions asked.

So, in general, Search Tools are spatial searches that offer a quick way to grab data for a specified shape or area of interest on the map. Draw tools can provide the same with another click or two. Draw tools focus more on drawing business maps’ areas of interest, which add value to the overall map project.

Searching for Customers in Colorado

I use Search Tools to gather customers or prospects in an area. I use draw tools to highlight an area of interest, like a bird nesting area or a hiking path. Use these tools to add value to your business map.


Discover 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 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 at or Jason Henderson at

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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