Count on MapBusinessOnline to Provide a Count

Maps answer questions. A typical navigation map answers the question, ‘How do I get from point A to point B?’ Business maps help answer business questions such as:

  • Where are my clients located?
  • How much revenue did we get from Ter 3 in the second quarter?
  • How many older men live in Rockport, MA? (It sure feels like a lot.)

Often, those business map answers are related to a count.

The Count?

No, not the Count of Monte Cristo or Count Dracula. By Count, I mean a number of things or location points contained by an area. Digital maps and business mapping software can quickly gather an accurate numeric summation of points by area of interest.

In MapBusinessOnline, any imported dataset will provide easy access to a count of the number of records imported. View this information after the data is imported into the application. The data is also displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the Data Window, for any selected data layer.

Take a look at the ZIP code map layer in the Data Window.  In the lower left-hand corner, you will see the number of boundaried ZIP5 codes displayed at 33,309. Suppose you import the available, total ZIP code point layer (see Master Toolbar – Dataset – From Server – Public Data) into the map view. In that case, the total number of ZIP codes increases to 40,997 as of January 2021.  Read more about ZIP codes here.

A ZIP Code Points Only Map Using MapBusinessOnline

In MapBusinessOnline, draw a map object like a circle or a polygon on the map. Click the associated mini toolbar’s Summary Button.  In the Summary dialogue, drop down to an imported dataset. Note the first selection listed in the Columns option list is Count. Unless you have created a Count column in your imported data, that Count is not from you. And it’s not from Monte Cristo or Dracula either. In fact, in MapBusinessOnline, you’ll almost always find a column for Count ready to apply.

You’re welcome.

If the business data your importing includes a count column, revealing X number of records per ZIP Code, you can undoubtedly color-code points or ZIP codes based on that column. The fact is, you do not have to include that column. MapBusinessOnline does it for you.

Get the Count

If, for instance, you imported a list of clients to your business map, you can color-code those points by Count. Click the Color-Code by Symbols button on the Master Toolbar. At the Summarize dialogue, choose County, ZIP, or another map layer. In the following dialog, where you pick your data column, drop down to Count. And there you have it, the ability to color-code points by the count of a dataset within a county.

You could also turn off that point layer and color-code the counties by the imported dataset MapBusinessOnline assigned count column. Once again, a Count column is there for you to access and color-code.

You’ll also find Count to be a data column option in Charts, Color-code by Circle, and Filtering within the Data Window. Count is even available through Calculated Data Columns when calculating and using imported data.

The Count in Calculated Data Columns

Other count related operations in MapBusinessOnline include:

  • Clicking a point on an imported data list to see if that generates a list of stacked points at that location
  • Using a polygon or radius search to count all of the points in an area
  • In the Data Window – as mentioned above – note the lower left-hand corner total point count display for an imported data layer or marketing list

A count column provides that instant quantity snapshot that sales managers and data analysts seek. Did our numbers go up or down this week? Check the count for this week.  Compare this week’s count to the past six weeks of counts and view the trend.  Read more about charts and map visualizations in MapBusinessOnline.

In short, whether you are Count Dracula, Count Basie, or Count Chocula, you can count on MapBusinessOnline providing a Count column for your geographic counting requirements.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power and the Danger of Overlays On Your Business Map

Overlaying multiple datasets to a business map is a powerful feature. This ability to overlay layers allows a map creator to bring numerous elements into a map project to support its purpose. Elements like:

  • A defined area of interest on the map – this could be just one ZIP code or the entire USA
  • Relevant business location-based datasets
  • Numeric data imported and converted into a heat map layer to display data value by its visual intensity
  • Symbolized and color-coded specific location data points
  • Color-coded map layers like City Limits or ZIP codes based on an imported point layer
  • Color-coded map objects and map layers – color-coded by demographic category
  • Uploaded business listings from any major industries
  • Visual map layers for reference, such as highways or city points

There are eight categories noted above. The map creator could apply a variety of business datasets. All told, this list of overlays constitutes many moving parts for a business map. There must be some road rules to control the application of all these layers to a map.

Indeed there are. Please read on.

Understand Your Map’s Purpose

The first step in building a helpful business mapping project is to understand your map’s purpose. Get clear on it.

Business maps are generally a visualization of a business process, problem, or plan. For instance, a common use of a business map is the depiction of sales results for commission assignment and account responsibility. That is a process-focused map. The map’s purpose is to define boundaries and establish goals. These maps are usually sales territory maps.

Another widespread use of a business map is for strategic planning. For business planning, maps offer a unique view of possible futures. A planning map’s purpose is to provide ‘what if’ scenarios. “If we grow sales in New England for the next two years, how many more electric delivery vehicles with charging stations are required within these four radii?”

A map used to layout a problem area should include one or more possible solution views.  That’s just common business sense. You know that, right?  Never present a problem to your boss without a viable solution.  “Boss, your mother-in-law just entered the building carrying pepper spray. You should climb out the window located here, on the building and grounds map, and hide behind those bushes.”

Overlays of various data sets on one map can provide those varying views quickly. Use the Map and Databox in MapBusinessOnline to turn imported data layers and map layers on and off. A confident map user can present a map project using MapBusinessOnline live. In this way, a map creator can vary the layers, turning them on and off to present offer possible solutions.

A coverage area map explains your organization’s coverage extent. Coverage area maps do not show extraneous information. These maps should be very focused on areas covered and not on non-related map themes.

The point is, connect your relevant map layers to your map’s purpose and your map will be well received.

Import What is Relevant

This brings me to my next point. Import only data layers relevant to the overall map purpose.  A tech company’s coverage area map might include these layers:

  • Color-coded ZIP codes of areas covered by traveling technicians
  • A customer density data layer
  • Headquarters and branch locations

But the same coverage area map should not include:

  • The previous year’s sales by customer or ZIP code
  • All the Home Depots in the coverage area
  • An overlay of all vernal pools within the coverage area

Keep only relevant data layers in your business map project. Wandering too far from the central purpose of your map risks watering down its effectiveness. If you’ve ever worked for a person with ADHD, you’ll have experienced the frustration of a distracted decision maker. Pass the Adderall, please.

Health Care Insurance Network Map – Many Layers but Purposeful

Minimize Your Data Layers

Some maps deserve extra data layers; make sure your business map requires all the data layers you give it. A good business map is more like Lincoln’s Gettysburg address than Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Too many layers, and your map purpose gets lost in the sauce.

Importing ‘extra’ data layers opens your map up for misinterpretation. Busy, older decision-makers can be overwhelmed by too much detail – too many data layers. Do not subject yourself to ridicule by creating a map visualization that is too busy. Wherever possible – keep it simple.

Steps you can take to keep your data layers under control:

  • Combine similar imported datasets where possible. Combine prospects and customers into one Excel spreadsheet. Use a Customer Type column to differentiate customer types on the map through symbolization and color-coding
  • Consider not using a background map. A blank background with a State outline layer turned on may be all you need for background map reference. Try it both ways and decide
  • Look for redundant map layers and imported data you can turn off. If you don’t need counties or ZIP codes, uncheck them
  • In the Map Legend, uncheck layers that do not require map identification. For instance, no one needs to be told in the Map Legend that the state layer is the state layer

“Make it Stop!” Too many layers…

Review Your Map Text

As your map project takes shape, double-check any text you have added to the map.  Look for misspelling, wrong names, inadvertent map points., and oddball imported data names.

Here’s a list of text areas on a business map that can turn your map project into a laughingstock if you are not careful:

  • Rename imported datasets to something short and descriptive. Our imported data is often named quickly when the dataset is filed on our desktops. You might import a file called – RBDialscustlist11220XCV. Rename it to something such as Client List as of Jan 2020 or even just Client List
  • Review text boxes, map titles, and map legend for misspellings or poor word choices. I find that my focus on map creation may leave the rough text for names or descriptions. Go back to a full map view and carefully review all text on the map
  • Map Titles – MapBusinessOnline map title control is in Map and Data. Name your map title something related to the map purpose. When you near completion of your map project, double-check your title

Consider Your Map Audience

A business map is not something every businessperson has experienced. Mapping and spatial awareness are not natural for all people. Many people comprehend maps quickly. Still, other people may need an  introduction to business mapping. Be aware of your map audience.  Don’t assume the Corner Office is comfortable with maps. Follow the guidelines above and some other best practices listed below and keep your map audience in mind.

Stick to your map purpose, and don’t overwhelm your map viewers. Avoid redundant data layers and double-check your work. Don’t give that skunky VP something to complain about. You know how he can get.

Further reading:

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Generate Location-Based Business Reports Using MapBusinessOnline

Business mapping is, in large part, the geographic arrangement of business data. Business data that is location-based, containing a locating component, is precious because of its geographic visualization potential. Welcome to the magic of business mapping software.

We can assume your business has a list of customers and the amount of money those customers spent on your products over the last year. For example:

Customer Sales Dollars 2020
ABC Corporation $15,678
Vulcan Electric $24,789
Gates Rubber Co. $51,475

The above spreadsheet is valuable to an extent. But this spreadsheet is not a dataset that can be viewed geographically. A location-based dataset would include locating components:

Customer Sales Dollars 2020 Address City State
ABC Corporation $15,678 19 Norwood Ave Rockport MA
Vulcan Electric $24,789 16 Main Street Beverly MA
Gates Rubber $51,475 20 School Street Salem MA

The second spreadsheet is location-based. The data can be imported into a map and accurately located. Complete addresses, ZIP codes, counties, and latitude/longitude coordinates enable the geolocation of data on a business map.

Complete addresses and latitude/longitude coordinates are more accurate than only ZIP codes or Cities. ZIP codes alone only provide a centroid point – the center of the ZIP code. County geocoding requires a State for placement on the map.

Imported location datasets can include other numeric data columns.  Once the data is in a business map, jurisdiction columns such as ZIP code, City, State, County, or Territory, can be analyzed. Location data can also be analyzed by drawn map objects like circles, polygons, or even rhombuses.

Visualizing Your Business Data

In MapBusinessOnline, data can be aggregated or summed by jurisdiction by appending data in labels or adding data to the Data Window view associated with a map object. Label data aggregations communicate totals by area to the map viewer. Jurisdiction label summations are helpful for sales reporting, count tracking per area, percent calculations, and reporting demographic trends. Read more about appending data to the five flexible label fields in MapBusinessOnline.

Label aggregation of COVID-19 vaccination efforts quickly communicates virus mitigation progress for almost anyone’s area of interest. Labels by area are a fast way to get a numeric point across.

USA Full Vaccination Status as of 4/20/2021

Figure 1: Visual confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination progress by % of the total population, using MapBusinessOnline

Generating Location-based Reports

Overlaying location-based datasets on top of business maps is also a mechanism for analysis and reporting. With a business’s location data imported onto a business map, tabular analysis views are suddenly possible. The data can be arranged in the business map analysis view and exported for use outside the application.

The natural beauty of a business map‘s tabular data view is the many potential data overlays possible. These views support nearly all business and organization types:

  • Manufacturing Sales Organizations – Any large or small sales organization will have access to location-based data. CRM systems, ERP systems, Accounts payable records, product sales by region all can be location-based. Find location data and import it into a business map for views and analysis. Popular applications of business map analysis are sales planning, tracking sales results, and expansion planning
  • Franchise Organizations – Franchises areas must be sold. Franchise businesses are usually associated with specific areas of interest or territories. Business maps and accompanying analysis present critical demographic and business elements in support of franchise sales
  • Marketing Organizations – Identifying market segments based on geographic placement or demographic characteristics is essential for marketing planners. Business maps are excellent identifiers of where and why businesses successfully sell into an area. Marketing pros then take that information and triangulate the results across multiple regions to identify new areas where products and services should sell well
  • Operations – Field staff organizations use business maps to establish theaters of operation. Operational maps will efficiently communicate where fieldwork needs to take place. Business maps support construction workers, traveling clinicians, field technicians, and delivery fleets with routing tools, map visualizations, and ZIP code or address lookups, enhancing productivity and improving response results

Select & Arrange Your Data

Analysis views in MapBusinessOnline take place in the Data Window.  Map editors can pull various datasets into the analysis view using the Choose Columns button in the lower right corner of any Data Window view.

The Choose Columns dialog in the MapBusinessOnline Data Window

Figure 2: Choose Columns dialogue used to create map analysis views in MapBusinessOnline

Read more about the powerful Choose Columns button here.

Chose Columns enable the ability to import and arrange the data presented in the Data Window view.  A map creator can remove the default MapBusinessOnline columns and replace them with more relevant data. Further, both map creators and map viewers can filter the data through spatial queries and data filters to generate relevant analysis results for export as reports.

Choose Columns lets the map creator pick one or more columns of imported business data. Often this is the sales data referred to above, but it could be any location-based data relevant to your map analysis. You decide which data is pertinent to your business.

Select columns from the left side of the dialogue and move them to the right using the Arrows in the middle. Move data columns from the right to the left to remove columns from the analysis.  Adjust data layers up and down to place columns exactly where you want them in your output.

Choose Columns also provides access to valuable MapBusinessOnline datasets for analysis:

  • Demographic data – For USA jurisdictions, you’ll have access to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data. There are a lot of demographic data across multiple years. Canada jurisdictions provide access to Canadian demographic data
  • Geographic data – Work with city, county, state, and ZIP code map layers. MapBusinessOnline Pro lets users add geographic elements to imported data
  • Business Listings – A paid service; see credits included with each subscription. Search MapBusinessOnline business listings by polygon, circle, ZIP code, City, or State. Lookup business listings by Industry type (NAICS & SIC codes). Access contacts and phone numbers by business
  • Calculated Data Columns – Summed and calculated formulas generated from demographic and imported datasets. Display summations, percentage calculations, ratios. Get creative

Export Your Report

Once the territory columns have been optimized, the entire data view can be exported as a CSV file.  MapBusinessOnline’s Data Window has a toolbar along the top. The Export button is the far-right button on the toolbar. Click the button, save the file. Users can open the CSV file from within Microsoft Excel.

Supplement your exported report with exported map images in Jpeg or PNG format. The combined map image and location data report provide documentation for business transactions and market analysis records.

And what sales and marketing pro would not be impressed with a rhombus map object?

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Started with MapBusinessOnline Territory Mapping

Creating and editing territories is a core feature of MapBusinessOnline. First-time users should begin by creating a territory using a polygon search tool.

I suggest using this approach first because it gives the user a more visceral experience creating a territory.  Select the Polygon option from the Search Tools section of the Master Toolbar.  You’ll see the dropdown arrow – click that arrow and select Polygon. You could also try the Free Form selection tool. I happen to prefer the Polygon search tool for territory creation.

MapBusinessOnline’s Polygon Search Tool

While the user can choose to create territories using one of many map layer alignment options let’s build our territories on ZIP5 codes for this exercise. Each MapBusinessOnline territory is based on one map layer. You cannot mix ZIP codes and Counties in one territory.

In Map and Data, make sure the ZIP code layer is checked on. Then, along the Master Toolbar, look for Search Tools. There, dropdown to select the Polygon search tool. Place your cursor on one of the ZIP codes you intend to include in the territory. Then hold down the cursor button and drag a line through the ZIP code you want to include. Each ZIP code you touch with your line will be included in the territory.

As you drag the line, stop, lift your finger, and press down again to begin in a new direction.  Continue this lassoing of ZIP codes until you drag your line back to the very beginning. When you reconnect your line to the beginning, the shape snaps to a full polygon, and several dialog boxes pop open:

  • In the ‘Search Data‘ box that appears, select the map layer of choice – in our example, it would be ZIP5 codes.
  • With the Map Layer selection made, the ‘Create or Edit Territory‘ dialogue requests a territory name. Name the territory and click Create.
  • With the territory now displayed on the map, and the Data Window Analysis view will pop open.
  • To adjust the analysis view in Map and Data, click Choose Column in the lower right. Read more about the territory analysis options here.

Basic Territory Edits

Your new territory is now created.  Select the Label and click Edit Properties to adjust the territory name, color, and territory labels.  Read more about territory label editing here.

You can adjust the look and feel of the territory you’ve created. This will establish one look and feel on all further ZIP code territories in that map.  Look and feel adjustments are made in Map and Data.  Hover over the Territory Layer and click the Edit Map Layer Properties button.

The General tab opens, and you will find tools for the following adjustments:

  • Territory Outline controls for thickness and color. In general, keep territory borders dark
  • Hide Internal Boundaries – This button would make the ZIP code boundaries internal to your territory disappear. Hide Internal Boundaries is an effective clean-up tool to make your territories look cleaner, less cluttered
  • Transparency Scroll Bar – Move this scroll bar control to the right to make the territory fill more transparent. Adjust to your personal preference or to differentiate the territories from background map objects
  • Color Code Territory Layer – Click to color-code territories by demographics or imported data
  • Manage Calculated Data Columns – Not something a first-time territory creator needs to worry about – Read more here.

The above process is the manual way to create and optimize territories in MapBusinessOnline.  Understanding of this fundamental process, a MapBusinessOnline user can then move on to selecting territories incrementally (a mouse click at a time, holding down the shift key) or importing a territory spreadsheet.  An imported territory spreadsheet should look like one of the below options:

ZIP Code Territory Name Other Data Other Data
01966 Franchise 1 Abc Abc
01986 Franchise 1 123 123
01975 Franchise 2 Abc Abc

Or for counties

County State Territory Name Other Data
Essex MA Franchise 3 Abc
Essex MA Franchise 3 123
Carroll NH Franchise 4 Abc

With your spreadsheet saved, click the Create Territories button, and follow the step-by-step dialogue process. Read more about importing territories here.

Varying Approaches

MapBusinessOnline territory managers can get creative in the way they approach territory management. For instance, a map creator can label their territories creatively:

Sales Organizations may have an interest in naming their territories by the designated sales rep. If Phil Raymond is responsible for a territory, then it makes sense to call it Raymond Territory or even Ray 1 for short. Sales commission calculations and progress against goal can be tracked through the territory process.

Franchise Organizations sometimes name their territories after the area represented geographically. The name of the territory becomes descriptive and can help sell the franchise area.

Insurance Companies have created claim territories named after their associated risk factor. Traveling insurance claim adjusters might assign Area RF-85 for an 85% risk factor. Identifying high risk by area of interest or territory can be a quick visual representation of risk.

Manufacturers, at times, will design their territories around product categories. The territories could be named after a sales rep or a distributing organization. Each product-gets a set of national or regional territories. The overall business view includes marketing budgets, sales forecasts, and eventually sales progress against goal.

Urban vs. Rural Territories

Territory managers will vary territory alignment structures as area characteristics shift from urban to rural settings. Inner city and suburban territories are generally ZIP code-based.  As the business expands into more rural areas, more driving is required. Territories encompass smaller populations. In these more spread-out areas, county-based territories may be more appropriate.

Businesses that may need to consider varying map alignment layers are field staff management organizations and retail chains that cater to urban and suburban customers, like True Value Hardware or General Dollar.  As territory and market analysis move from city to town, counties carry more weight than ZIP codes.

MapBusinessOnline Territory Management

Other factors impacting territory creation approaches include:

  • Coverage areas – Regional or local territories vs. national territories
  • Sales strategies – Online sales, retail sales, direct mail sales, franchise sales
  • Field staff requirements – Clinical, sales, or technical support

Additional Reading

To explore more territory considerations, and options read these articles:

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

MapBusinessOnline’s Map Gallery & Case Studies – Ideas for Map Geeks (Like you)

MapBusinessOnline posts example business map applications in our Map Gallery. These business map examples are interactive web maps.  Non-subscribers can access the Map Gallery on the website. Access to the interactive maps requires a download of the free Map App. Once the Map App is installed on your machine, click on any Map Gallery link to view the interactive sample maps. You can also select the Map Viewer option from the Map App list of services in the Windows Start Menu or MAC Applications Folder.

These Map Gallery sample maps represent both real-world applications and dreamed-up use cases of MapBusinessOnline.  The advantage for you, the business map user, is that by viewing the Map Gallery, you will get ideas on business map design, map look and feel optimization, and other aspects of creating a compelling business map for your geospatial audience. (Yeah, I said ‘geospatial.’)

Walmart Stores Radius Search using MapBusinessOnline

As you review the Map Gallery example maps, pay attention to how the maps are compiled:

  • Thematic colors are generally soft colors accompanied by a concise map legend
  • Background map imagery tends to compliment the map’s purpose. In some cases, no background imagery makes more sense to focus the map viewer on the problem at hand
  • These sample maps tend to focus on one problem at a time and avoid pulling in too many data layers
  • For the most part, the map text on these maps is grammatically correct (Although we’re not perfect.)

Business maps, just like business documents, spreadsheets, and articles, are a personal reflection of your work ethic. They showcase your attention to detail and your ability to focus on a business problem. A business map may let your peers know if you are or are not taking your meds. Order the ‘I took my meds’ t-shirt here.

Case Studies

Another website exhibition of MapBusinessOnline business mapping applications is our Case Study section of the website. Case Studies provide more process detail on how an organization benefits from MapBusinessOnline. Each case study describes how a specific MapBusinessOnline user applies the tool to solve a set of business problems.

Business maps can help solve organizational challenges at multiple levels. Sometimes a simple coverage map addresses the business problem of explaining the areas our business serves. That’s a fundamental challenge that a business map can address in short order.

Market Expansion

Other business mapping software challenges are more complex.  You will note several Case Studies focus on the challenge of analysis in support of market expansion.  Business maps can be extremely useful in guiding and informing market expansion plans.

I like to refer to this market expansion support as Map-based Market Analysis. By using business maps to conduct market analysis, an organization can bring multiple analysis perspectives to bear on the business expansion challenge:

  • Identifying Where You Currently do Business – Understanding where your business exists and where your customers live is a critical component of market analysis. This ‘where’ information can be as simple as your retail store address or as complex as where each traveling salesperson starts their day. Where or location information changes from industry to industry and from organization to organization. A business map ingests address or latitude/longitude coordinate spreadsheets and converts them into color-coded symbols on a map.
  • How Far Are Your Customers from Your business? – How far in driving distance and how long in a driving time are not the same. Driving times and distances have huge impacts on how customers do business with any company. Business maps often provide driving time and distance calculations between location datasets and assign appropriate distance and time results to the data. How far will a family drive to pick up a pizza? How far does a massage therapist have to travel to generate adequate income for her services? Driving distances and times impact so many organizations – retailers, home care agencies, restaurants, movie theaters. The list goes on. Urban and rural business placements present very different time and distance scenarios for similar businesses.
  • Who is Your Customer? – Demographic data is compiled by the US Census Bureau to, quote, ‘provide quality data about the nation’s people and economy.’ Online business mapping software taps into the broad library of US Census demographic subjects to match locations and areas with economic and crowd statistics. The results are a general understanding of where demographic characters and characteristics exist that will likely drive business.
  • Where are Your Resources? – Every business requires resources to keep business happening. Resources could be energy sources, labor sources, reasonably priced raw materials, or even business-friendly local rules and regulations. Business maps can display these resources as other business address lists or as jurisdiction characteristics – city limits that favor food truck vendors, as an example.

Map-based market analysis pulls all these various views into one geospatial visualization – a map with a datasheet view. Both color-shaded thematic map layers and associated business and demographic datasets are combined to reveal answers to crucial business expansion planning questions. Questions such as:

  • What cities or ZIP codes across the USA match our best operating parameters?
  • What cities or counties contain the largest population of our critical demographic characteristics?
  • Which urban areas carry the labor force required to support our manufacturing requirements?
  • Which urban areas have enough critical industry to generate our metal components affordably?

Business Expansion is just one popular and common strategic process supported by business mapping software. These strategic processes include general Market Analysis, Sales Planning, Site Selection, Strategic Analysis, and many other business analysis challenges.

Case studies describe how one organization applies a business mapping tool to a particular set of problems. No two companies use MapBusinessOnline or approach their strategic planning in the same way. That’s one aspect of MapBusinessOnline that makes it an excellent geospatial tool – it brings advanced business mapping tools to all industries, affordably and within an easy-to-learn user interface.

In addition to map-based market analysis, you’ll find case studies listed on MapBusinessOnline.com that describe applications of business mapping for event planning, insurance coverage, subscription media management, and USDA agriculture map access.

We’ve got more in the works, so keep checking in.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Outstanding MapBusinessOnline Support Options

Welcome to MapBusinessOnline. This article is a blog describing the various ways to get help with your business mapping software.

We estimate that ninety percent of MapBusinessOnline users never contact us. Most users rarely require help.  As a rule, MapBusinessOnline is intuitive, easy-to-use, and we’ve got various ways to support our user-base.

Help Documentation

As you use MapBusinessOnline, you will find the Help Documentation is in the Help button on the far right of the Master Tool Bar. Help documentation is organized by subject and includes images and some videos describing popular processes like:

  • Basics and Getting Started – Understanding the mapping tools
  • Importing Data – Importing your own business data
  • Working with Maps – How to start, save and open a map
  • Sharing Maps – How to share a map with your constituents
  • Color-coding Location Data – Color-code your imported data by flexible simple or map layer
  • Sales Territory Mapping – Create areas of accountability for your sales team
  • And many more topics

Just click that Help button and take a stroll through the help menus.

The MapBusinessOnline Blog

Each week I write a blog post related to business mapping and MapBusinessOnline applications. I try to cover popular or exciting applications of MapBusinessOnline – which means I’m interested in learning about your use of the tool. Feel free to contact me with your application if you’re interested in sharing.

Popular applications for MapBusinessOnline include:

The Blog also covers standard MapBusinessOnline processes. These articles are similar to help documents but include user tips, application examples, and recent revisions to the tool. And every so often, I include a pun or refer to a TV show from my childhood – to keep it interesting – a case in point.

And then occasionally, I get the ‘Call of the Weird,’ to quote Jerry Garcia, and pen an article that may be way off-topic or presents business mapping in some odd form. So, please look forward to that.

Articles may seem repetitive at times, but I try to incorporate most of the new features we’re constantly adding to the product line. For instance, we’re continually improving territory mapping, and I do what I can to keep our business mappers aware of those enhancements. Often, those news features come directly from you, the user.

Use the Search Function in the upper right quadrant of the Blog to look for subjects that interest you. Type in ‘territories’ or ‘import data.’ The results will provide all the articles addressing those subjects.

Search for Blog topics

Popular and helpful Blog articles:

The Newsletter

Once a month MapBusinessOnline, sends out an opt-in email newsletter. The Newsletter alerts users to impending changes, webinars, or other events. The articles are short and generally refer to blog posts, videos, or landing pages relevant to MapBusinessOnline processes.

The newsletter archive is here.

Please send an email to Sales@MapBusinessOnline.com if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter. We are very cautious about email contact.  We never sell our customer lists. Read more about our privacy policy here.

YouTube Videos

All MapBusinessOnline help videos reside on our MapBusinessOnline YouTube Channel.  You can use the YouTube search function to find videos on various mapping topics. You’ll find the search tool on the right side of the toolbar.  Please note the magnifying glass incom. Just like in the Blog Search, type in a subject and search.

Search for YouTube Help Video topics

Here a few good getting started videos:

Contact

Contacting MapBusinessOnline for help is easy. Chat is available across the Website. Look for the Chat option in the lower right of any webpage. Email is available through the Contact button.  Here you can also request a Web Demo.

Email and Chat each let the user communicate questions and problems with the added advantage of allowing pic files, in Jpeg format, to be easily transferred to us.

Pictures are often very helpful in expediting problem resolutions. Pic files of error messages or subtle application issues help us uncover technical and user-based solutions.

Phone support is also available – (800) 935-4025

Get smart about your mapping and use our support tools.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Create my First ZIP Code Map?

Many first-time users land on MapBusinessOnline because they looked up the search phrase “ZIP code map,” or something relatively close to that phrase. Typically, these new users have a spreadsheet or a basic list of ZIP codes and they want these ZIP codes highlighted on a map.

MapBusinessOnline can quickly achieve your ZIP code map and more. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you’re new to business mapping and you’ve got a list of ZIP codes, this is how you import them.

Read More About ZIP Code Maps

Tweak Your Spreadsheet

Give your spreadsheet a little tender loving care. Look at your list in Excel or some other database tool. Make sure you don’t have any superfluous notes on your spreadsheet – just headers and data. Put a heading on your ZIP code column. Maybe call it, “ZIP Codes.” You choose. If you don’t add header rows the application uses the first row as a header and you lose those data records.

Feel free to add other related data if you have any – a column for territory names, sales data, or the number of ATM machines per ZIP code. Whatever data is most relevant to your business.  All that extra data comes along for the ride and may be useful to you in MapBusinessOnline.

Import Your ZIP Code Data

With your spreadsheet cleaned up and any relevant data included, you’re ready to begin the import process.

  1. To directly color code ZIP codes areas choose the Create Territories button on the master toolbar – six buttons in from the left. Use this button even though you may not feel you are creating territories. Go ahead and click the Create Territories button
  2. Click next through the spreadsheet example
  3. Select the top options and browse to your data location on your desktop/laptop. Select your data and then select the sheet in your spreadsheet you want to base the map on. Click Next
  4. Review your data column selections in the geocoding drop-downs. All you need is to make sure your ZIP column is being pulled by the ZIP drop-down
  5. Click Next to Creating Territories. Make sure to select ZIP 5 code both as your Territory Name and as the Create Territories By option. Click Create Territories

Now you should see your ZIP codes color coded on the map with labels displayed for each ZIP code.  Hover over the Territory layer in Map & Data and click the Edit Gear to turn off the labels, or to re-color code by Demographic Data.

There are more things you can do with your data uploaded:

  • You can adjust the transparency bar in Map & Data on the ZIP code layer making those ZIPs a little see-through, so you can see the map data through them
  • You can pull from your imported data and append up to five flexible label fields underneath your ZIP code label
  • You can add demographic data to your ZIP code labels
  • Add other dataset fields you’ve imported to your labeling options
  • Color code your imported ZIP code data by Demographic Data category

ZIP Code Maps  are a popular basic map for projecting your business location data onto a business map for new perspectives. Another approach to ZIP code mapping is heat mapping. Read more about Heat Mapping here.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Create Two Quick Demographic Maps of the USA

Let’s build a demographic map of the USA. This process is fast and easy and should help you understand how to create your own demographic maps  using business mapping software.

The first step, Click the New Map button and select the USA map template.

I’m going to walk through a variety of Demographic subjects with a basic map set-up. By set-up, I mean the visual layers turned on to make the map quickly understood and easy on the eyes. Those set-up options are:

  • We’ll stick with a contiguous USA-wide view by County map layer. The County layer is checked on in Map and Data
  • We’ll have the State layer checked on with labels and fill turned off. I have darkened the state boundary. Read more about editing map look and feel
  • I’m completely turning off the background map data so the user can focus on demographic analysis. Remember that – you don’t always require a background map

MapBusinessOnline Demographic Subjects

MapBusinessOnline sources demographic data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey program (ACS).  The Census Bureau begins releasing the data from a decennial count six months to two years after the count takes place.  Updates are released a few times a year after that until the next official decennial count takes place.

MapBusinessOnline incorporates those Census Bureau ACS releases into our software offering as soon as possible, depending on our planned development cycle. If you’ve paid attention to the Census news over the past two years, you can see how politics gets in the way of on-time Census data updates.

Customers sometimes inquire about differences between MapBusinessOnline Census data results and other third-party demographic sources they’ve used. Census data comparisons are often inaccurate. It can be difficult to achieve accurate apples-to-apples comparisons. Here are some critical criteria to consider:

  • What is the data source? MapBusinessOnline uses the American Community Survey’s most recent release. That is not the only source available.
  • What year and release data are you comparing? The MapBusinessOnline Census data is listed by year. The two most recent years are projections. The third most recent year (currently 2018) is the most recent ACS release
  • What area on the map are you querying? Different mapping applications may vary in how they compile Census data by spatial query. For instance, ZIP5-Codes may not precisely match Census ZTCA ZIP code areas
  • Your assumption on data trends from year-to-year or around category population shifts may be inaccurate. Local issues we’re not aware of impact demographic estimates. So an unexplained uptick in one city’s population may be explainable

Remember, Census releases and demographic services are always providing an estimate of demographic reality. Do not expect exactitude when it comes to demographic data analysis. It’s not like Census people can get everybody’s attention and scream, “People! People! Will everyone please sit down so we can count you?”

Demographic Data Categories in MapBusinessOnline

Now let’s create a demographic map.

With a full USA map, select the Color-coding by Boundaries button on the Master Toolbar. Select the Counties map layer and click next. For this blog, we’re sticking with Counties. You have many map layer choices – ZIP codes, City Limits, and more.

At the Setup Color Coding dialogue page, in the top dropdown select Demographic Data. In the following dropdown scroll down to the 2018 Census release section, find and select Employment Status (2018): Unemployed.

Leave the number of color groups, or ranges, displayed in the dialogue at 5.  You could color-code and symbolize up to 100 groups. Who wants that?

  • Let the MapBusinessOnline Numeric Range default control the color group’s numeric values.
  • Beneath the color box section, select the Green Color Scheme by dropping down to that option
  • In the top group, the lowest numeric range, click into the color-box and make the color a pale yellow, and set the lowest quantity numeric value to 1 instead of 0
  • The other boxes should all be a shade of gradually darkening green. If they are not, simply Dropdown on the color scheme options and select graduated green as your choice, and then reset that lowest color range to pale yellow
  • In the final step, select a gray color for the Not in any Group color group – make sure to check Fill.  Now click Done

In this first slide, I’ve circled in Red the key elements listed above.

Demographic Mapping Set-up in MapBusinessOnline

Demographic Map using ‘2018 Employment Data’ in MapBusinessOnline

View the demographic map for a minute. Notice how the Yellow areas nicely reflect the least unemployed counties. In this map, that lowest ’employed’ rate could be the most important color group, depending on your map’s purpose. So, it’s nice to make the layer your want to emphasize more obvious. Here we made that color group stand out with a pale yellow.

Notice also how the gray gently displays counties with no data. The gray counties are sparsely populated areas that Zombies have taken over. Zombies are always color-shaded gray in business mapping.

Find the Map Legend. Drag the legend box to the area above New York state, which offers a perfect out-of-the-way legend placement nestled between Michigan and Maine. Click the Legend Edit Gear in the upper right corner and uncheck the State layer.  It’s not necessary and clutters your legend. Always place your map legend where it doesn’t impede map viewing yet remains a prominent information source.

If you view the map and drink in the data, you will see the darker greens reflecting more unemployment in 2018. You should be able to see the county boundaries. You can adjust the boundary layer in Map and Data to be more noticeable. You might make it a lighter color to stand out against the predominantly dark green color. That’s a personal preference mapping decision.

Where Are All the Old Hispanics?

Funny you should ask. Let’s find out. Using the same map and set-up you ended up with, Dropdown and scroll up to Ethnicity (2018): Hispanic 85 years & over. You’ll see multiple age groups listed, but let’s just select the oldest group of Hispanics.

This time you’ll note that MapBusinessOnline’s suggested range and coloring is whacky. We need to decide what to do for ranges and colors. The bottom-most color group displays the highest numeric value of Hispanics in one county – 45,395. Use that number as a target maximum by county for your color scheme.

Five Color Scheme Spread

  • 1 to 1,000 – Blue
  • 1,001 to 5,000 – Pastel Blue-green
  • 5,001 to 10,000 – Pastel Green
  • 10,001 to 25,000 – Pastel Yellow
  • 25,000 to 45,395 – Bright Red

My selected numeric range above is how I like to manage color groups for general mapping. It’s balanced between sparse population and dense. It covers all numeric options. Be careful not to leave out a numeric segment. I like to number subsequent numeric ranges with the following exact number – 1001 to 5000.  It feels more accurate than starting where you ended – 1000 to 5000.

Color-wise, for this map, I was not too fond of the Green graduated shading.. I choose the multi-color color scheme.  Make sure to check the check box associated with Select Color Scheme. Then adjust your color boxes to reflect what I have noted above. I have bright Red as the color for the most significant number of Older Hispanics. The rest of the colors are simply supportive, and pastel shades make them easy on the eyes.

Process your demographic map color-shading by clicking done.

Review the Hispanic 85 Years and Over map. Although not surprising, I thought it was interesting to see the two red areas – one in Southern California and the other in Miami-Dade county Florida.

I added the Hispanic 85 Years and Over category to my map’s County Custom Labels for fun. Custom Labels in MapBusinessOnline are the pop-up labels that occur when you point to a county (state or ZIP code.)  Here in Maine, in Piscataquis County, there is a quantity of 7, 85-year-old, and older people of Hispanic descent. Good to know.  Piscataquis County Association of Hispanic Americans.

This process gets you familiar with the MapBusinessOnline demographic mapping process. Now you can build your map and search for other ethnicities or economic categories on your own time.

MapBusinessOnline users apply demographic mapping to sales territory analysis, market analysis, political mapping, and strategic planning. The list goes on and on.

Once the pandemic is over, I’m headed up to Piscataquis County to find those old Hispanic citizens and verify the Census count, and apologize for the Rick Roll.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Industries Accessing the Unlimited Value of Location Data

MapBusinessOnline business mapping software lets the subscriber create map analysis, map visualizations, and territories that reflect and evaluate their operations. While MapBusinessOnline mapping tools are crucial to the software’s performance, the service’s real value is the user data overlaid on top of business maps.

A subscriber to cloud-based business mapping software, like MapBusinessOnline, should find and catalog the location data they currently have on hand that may add value to their business mapping projects. I often use the example of customer locations, which are generally easily accessed, but let’s look at other location data and analysis accessed or generated using business mapping tools.

Learn More About Location Data

Distribution Centers

Can a business mapping software support a business that depends on distribution centers to supply regional or national markets? I answer ‘yes’ to that question.

Inventory managers must maintain stock levels with proper turn-and-earn ratios to support a marketplace effectively and profitably.  Market areas are often defined by ZIP codes, counties, or City and Town boundaries.  These market areas of interest require various commercial products to be stored at adequate levels to thrive. Maintaining supply levels is the raison d’etre for a distributorship. (Tish – you spoke French.) It is why distribution centers exist.

Driving time and distance maps can be used to define coverage areas for distribution centers.  Inevitably those coverage areas will be challenged as the customer lists expand over time. Sooner or later, the need for a new distribution center will arise, and business map analysis will reveal:

  • Areas of no coverage
  • Areas with excess inventory
  • Product demand by city or distribution center

Read more about warehousing and storage mapping.

Territory maps and coverage areas will naturally define deliverability polygons – areas where standard deliveries work and places where special delivery accommodations will be necessary. At some point, when enough ‘special’ deliveries occur in a region, additional warehousing will be seriously considered. Alternatively, the better idea may be to move the existing warehouse to a new location. Business maps are used to  determine which path makes the most sense.

Maps can  describe product trials by distribution center, human resource activities by distribution center. or employee home locations by drive time area. A ZIP code demographic profile map could identify the best ZIP codes for hiring warehouse labor.

Assisted Living Facilities

While assisted living facilities are not home care agencies with mobile-medical and caretaker staff, there are still plenty of location elements impacting their operations. Many assisted living facility maps include layers for local resources. Especially as we’ve moved through the Pandemic, local resources are critical to congregate home success or failure.

Local resources for assisted living are eminently map-able:

  • Medical services – hospitals, ambulance, pharmacies, dentists, and other critical care services, must be easily reached. Imported resource datasets help visualize how close resources are. Drive times can be vital to decision processes in an emergency. A review of drive time estimates  to critical resources should be required in calculating emergency response-times
  • Food services – Restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, pet stores are essential services. Home delivery services in a COVID world are now crucial to a healthy congregate home. Where are these facilities located? Do they support wearing masks, eating outside, and other safety protocols? What are the tipping requirements? We live in a brave new world, and advice is helpful.
  • Van pick-up and delivery services – Many assisted living facilities struggle with pick-up and delivery requirements for residents. Scheduling is one thing; drive time maps can help define pick-up and drop-off points and monitor route timing. Publishing and monitoring bus locations can be critical to the health of residents who must maintain their regular medical appointments. Business mapping tools can publish maps that reflect an accurate map schedule in the face of a changing world.

In-Home Services – Pet services are a thing. Pool cleaning is a thing. Lawn maintenance is a big thing. Any service must determine how to price out its services. Inner-city dog training services may warrant a higher price point than training in rural service areas. Demographic maps in conjunction with radius or driving distance queries can help to define areas related to pricing.

MapBusinessOnline can be used to define both pricing services and delivery services based on driving time polygons or simple concentric circle maps.  Service pricing levels are sometimes assigned to radius circle doughnuts. In other cases, drive time/distance polygons, covering specific ZIP codes, are used to reflect a delivery price by area. Much depends on the population density and traffic patterns of the coverage area.

Service businesses also use MapBusinessOnline to publish coverage areas or territories.  Field service staff assignments often reflect ZIP codes within a certain proximity to a technician’s start-of-day location. Clear territory assignments lower travel expenses, clarify accountability and generate more facetime with clients.

Manufacturing & Retail

Manufacturing concerns utilize sales territory mapping to establish regional or national sales networks. The power of sales territory mapping helps direct salespeople or manufacturing sales representative firms, whose job it is to find the most appropriate sales channels to market.

Those manufacturing sales channels may demand parts for bigger ticket items. Think automotive or aerospace industries. Or those channels may be retail sales channels that manufacturers from all over the world compete to play in. Think ‘The Mall’ and the myriad of stores surrounding any significant national-chain outlets.

Retailers use business maps too. They use maps for a wide variety of location-based analysis:

  • Define store market areas (territories) by customer drive time tolerance or by local demographic characteristics. Stock and price product accordingly
  • Visualize and track store marketing outreach through newspaper advertisements and insert offers – typically, a marketing campaign tracked by ZIP code response rates
  • Retail store expansion planning maps analyze new store site selection by market demand and competitor placements
  • Retail store site selection maps expose the best locations for new stores
  • Competitor maps reveal where competitive stores exist and where they do not exist

My point is that any industry will use, generate, or require location data. Cloud-based business mapping software can generate, leverage, and expand upon those location datasets in ways that enhance business analysis.

Any business can benefit from business mapping. Innovative businesses leverage business mapping to expand and prosper in an ever more competitive world that never fails to surprise us.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Guidelines for Territory Mapping

Not everyone is born able to create territory maps. Some of us need a little guidance here and there. MapBusinessOnline is a map creation toolkit for businesses of all industry types. Our cloud-based map maker tool is easy-to-learn and even fun for businesspeople who require map visualizations to supplement their business work.

Territory Map Creation

Sales territory mapping is one of the core features of MapBusinessOnline. But like all software processes, there are best practices to follow. Below are some of the recommendations and guidelines surrounding the use of MapBusinessOnline territory mapping software.

Preparing for Territory Mapping

First-time business mapping users should take some time to think about your territory requirements. Read about preparing for sales territory mapping here.

Map Alignment Layer – Give some thought to your map alignment layer. Will your territories be based on States, Counties, ZIP5 Codes, City Limits, or Census Tracts?  Read more about map alignment layers and territory considerations here.

Territory Creation by Polygon vs. Data Import – If you are brand new to business mapping, consider using the Polygon Search Tool to create your territory map. This basic tried and true method gathers ZIP Codes or Counties by lassoing them with a polygon draw tool. You’ll pick up on this process quickly. Collecting territories with a polygon tool gives the user a basic understanding of how to create a map.  For more on territory map creation, read this article.

Lassoing territories is easy. Ensure your map alignment layer of choice is turned on (ZIP code, County, State, etc.) Then click the polygon tool and run that line through the ZIP codes. Every ZIP code your drawn line touches will be included in your territory. Once the line returns to the starting point, the alignment map layer list is presented for selection. Save your territory with a name. Move on to the next territory.

Color-code Territories by Demographic Makeup

Alternatively, users can select individual map layer units, like ZIP codes, with their mouse cursor. Select the first layer unit, hold down the shift key and select as many more as you like. Save as noted above.

Importing Territories from a Spreadsheet – Another method for creating territories is through spreadsheet import.  A ZIP code-based territory spreadsheet should include a Column for name, ZIP code, and columns for what other additional datasets your business may require.

A county-based territory spreadsheet must include a column for state. County names across the United States are not unique. For example, Montgomery County occurs in three states. MapBusinessOnline won’t know what to do with just Montgomery County. It needs a state, or its day is ruined.

The create Territories button is on the Master Tool Bar under the Adding to Map section. That’s the button to use to import territories. Keep in mind you can repeat the process of importing territories into the same map, but if you do your imported layers will show as multiple layers in Map and Data and the Data Window. Beware of accidental or deliberate territory overlap. See the Overlap section below.

Gathering all the territories you can in one territory spreadsheet is more efficient. Adding territories to your territory map can also be achieved by lassoing or incremental unit selection.

One Map Alignment Layer per Territory

A business map user can only apply one map alignment layer per territory. For example, a single territory can be made up of ZIP codes or Counties, but not ZIP and Counties. If, for instance, a user desires to add a territory that is a state section to a State-based territory map, then the territory with the segment of a state must be based on Counties or ZIP codes.

Editing Territories

Editing Territories in MapBusinessOnline is easy. Select any map layer unit, and click the Edit Territory Puzzle Piece icon in the mini-toolbar. Next, choose from the  operations menu.  You’ll see these operation options:

Create new

Add to

Move to

Update

Intersect with

Remove from territory

Remove from all territories except

Once the operation is selected, the user chooses which territory to edit. Read more about editing maps in MapBusinessOnline.

Overlapping Territories

Accommodating territory overlap is a feature in MapBusinessOnline territory mapping tools. In Map and Data, select the Edit Map Layer Properties button for the Territory map layer.

In the Territory Options Tab, select the intersection options listed. Next, click on Edit Territory Options at the bottom of the Territory Options section. Along the right side, make sure you are in the Intersections Tab. Once there, you’ll have some other choices for displaying where overlap exists on your map.  Click the Highlight Territory Overlap checkbox and choose a color to define your territory overlap. Usually, MapBusinessOnline users pick a bright obnoxious color to make overlap obvious.

Map Object Territory Creation

Sometimes business map users are asked to create territories based, not on map alignment layers, but between Highways, Rivers, and Mountains. Map object alignment means the organization bases sales territories on large identifiable objects in real life.

The reason a company might decide to build territories by map object could be due to travel impediments. Highways and rivers can create hard-to-reach areas that make it more efficient for a sales-rep from another location to cover.

MapBusinessOnline accommodates these oddball territory requirements using the Draw Tools. Territory areas will be manually constructed using a Polygon tool or a Line tool. The territories will not include an analysis datasheet view. We recommend using the previously noted Map Alignment Layer method for territory creations. But if you must use the draw tools to create territories, read more here.

Additional Territory Tips

My Territory Labels Disappeared – Hold down the shift key and click the territory. The Shift Click brings the Label back after removal.  You can also Edit Map Layer Properties in Map and Data. Under Labels, click Add All Labels to the map.

Can’t Select ZIP Code or County to Create or Edit Territory – Make sure no filter exists on the territory layer. In Map and Data, edit the properties of the Territory Layer. Under General, make sure Map View Filter reads: None.  If there is a CLEAR button noted, click the clear button to remove the filter.

Incremental Territory Selection – Make sure the target map alignment layer has Fill checked on. Map Objects must have a fill to be selected for a territory.

Recommended Additional Reading

Read more about territory map creation

Append data to labels

Create territories from ZIP code ranges

How to configure drive time-based territories

Building franchise territories with MapBusinessOnline

3 key aspects of territory mapping     

Territory mapping may not be instinctual you, my friend, can learn to be a map geek.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com 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 – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

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.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment