Repurposing an Existing Saved Map Using

I like the map I created last week for a business mapping blog on franchise mapping. I like the map for a bunch of reasons, including:

  • The map is easy on the eyes because it is colorful but not overwhelming.
  • The map has a lot going on, but it isn’t overly cluttered, and the various aspects are described in the map legend.
  • I think the blue ocean space relieves viewing stress.
  • It is an informative sales territory map with multiple relevant data layers.

Repurposing a Saved Map

This map was created from a previously saved map. I build and save many maps and templates in my work. I regularly repurpose maps, and so can you. If I require a map to make a point, I first think about all the maps I’ve created that might help me complete my new map requirement faster. Learn more about saving maps.

As you become more experienced at map creation, your mapwork will become more informative for your audience of map viewers. Those viewers could be peers, executive team members, or customers. You will naturally develop a map style that optimizes your map viewers’ experience. This is why repurposing maps should be both a time saver and a way to fine-tune your map presentation skills.

The Save Map Dialogue with map description section.

You can Open the saved map library by clicking the Open a Map button on the toolbar. Here you will find several ways to review saved maps. There’s a master list of all maps in alphabetical or time-saved order. There’s also a most Recent maps list. You can also drop down to the My Templates option to save significant work you want to be protected from overwriting.

I use the Recent Maps folder a lot. In all the MapBusinessOnline library archives, you can scroll through the saved maps and click once on a map file to review the title, description, and a small image of the map.

Once I find the saved My Map or My Template I’m interested in, I open it.  I immediately save the map with a new name if it suits my current purpose.  This protects the original map from overwriting – you never know when an associate, client, or soulmate might ask you for ‘that map you made,’ low those many years from now. Anyway, it happens.

Always avoid map clutter. Opening my saved Breweries parent map and saving it as a (2), I turned the Street layer off. This map has so much happening with overlaid imported data, business listings, and demographic color-shading; leaving the Street layer on would create clutter.

I did make a few changes to my saved territory map:

  • Labeling – I changed and simplified the names. I tried to keep the text short and consistent from label to label. I also tested the Large Label setting by editing the Territory layer in Map and Data. The Medium size label option worked best – it was readable and took up less space. You’ll notice I added a few relevant data points to the Territory label, which are relevant to the map’s purpose. I selected and moved all territory labels with my mouse cursor so they displayed well and minimized any overlap with imported data layers. I moved the labels to open spaces.
  • Territory Color – I darkened the three territory boundaries and changed each territory’s fill color to be further differentiated from each other and from the background ZIP code layer. I adjusted the territory fill transparency from 60% to 30%, making the territories more opaque while allowing some of the ZIP code demography to come through.
  • Demographic Theme – The ZIP code layer is color-coded to show population levels as a heat map. It wasn’t critical to this map, but I loved how it looked. I could have turned on the layer in the map legend to explain it to the map viewer. But the minimize clutter rule forbade me from adding more info.

Read more about map optimization.

I made minor adjustments to the symbol sizes and color-shaded ZIP code layer for my imported data. I also adjusted my imported data labeling, making the Map and Data layer names and Legend labeling more relevant to the map’s intent. This keeps labeling consistent across the map view.  You could always turn off Map and Data for your final map reveal. Learn more.

A repurposed brewery supply franchise map using MapBusinessOnline.

In Map and Data Map Options, I turned on the Map Title box. A Map Title pulls the entire ensemble together. Use the title to explain the map’s purpose to the map viewer precisely and succinctly. By all means, inform the map viewer what they are looking at.

A few other touches included:

  • I turned on the State boundary layer with black color and a one-step-up thicker boundary. The fill was left unchecked.
  • The map is now centered, so New England is off to the West. This gives me that blue ocean space over which to hang my Map Title and Legend. I liked the balance this offered the map viewer.
  • I left the Canadian data points on with Canada itself turned off or not present. I want the USA to be the focus.
  • I turned the Map and Data Box on and moved it to the upper lefthand corner – out of the way but present.

All of these map adjustments were deliberate and considered. If a saved map is available, repurposing an existing map doesn’t take much time. Reusing a familiar map background is often helpful in communicating messages within an organization – map viewers come to understand certain features.

Certainly, when sharing territory maps with individual sales reps or franchisees, map repurposing saves time and provides consistent map characteristics across the business, building trust and reliability. It’s just another way to make MapBusinessOnline your goto tool for business mapping.


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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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