Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

SpatialTEQ Inc. and Lovell Johns Partnership Offers UK Version of MapBusinessOnline.com

UK Demographic Sample

NEWBURYPORT, MA (January 31, 2014) — Map Publishers Lovell Johns and SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced a partnership designed to provide United Kingdom businesses with access to easy-to-use and affordable business mapping software. The two companies recognize a distinct need for accessible business mapping tools in the UK. SpatialTEQ’s popular business mapping software, MapBusinessOnline.com has been modified to accommodate UK geographies with its latest version MBO 4.1 released in December, 2013.

Lovell Johns, based in Whitney, Oxfordshire, UK offers a variety of map related products and services for GIS and business map users world-wide. Lovell Johns Sales and Marketing Director Liz Murray commented, “We’re targeting the general business market in the UK with this product release. We see a definite requirement for business mapping services like customer visualization, sales territory mapping, drive time analysis, and optimized routing among successful businesses of all sizes. We’re excited to approach a non-GIS business market with Map Business Online, an established business mapping software.” Lovell Johns’ version of Map Business Online can be accessed here: http://www.businessmapcentre.com/online-mapping-tool.php

SpatialTEQ Vice President of Sales Geoffrey Ives said, “This partnership builds on our success here in the U.S.A. and provides access to a major international market through a partnership with a well respected local mapping expert. We’re very excited to be working closely with Lovell Johns.”

Both companies are members of the Esri Business Partner Network. MapBusinessOnline.com is one of the fastest growing business mapping software offerings in the U.S.A. and has been providing location based marketing and sales services to large and small businesses since 2010. Lovell Johns is the premier GIS services and map maker expert in the UK. “This partnership was the perfect solution for SpatialTEQ and Map Business Online as we begin to expand our product footprint beyond North America,” said Ives.

About Lovell Johns
Lovell Johns has 25 full time staff, of which 17 are production staff. The company has a very low rate of staff turnover and has a reputation for high quality work amongst its clients in many market sectors. The company is owned by South African media group Times Media Group, giving strong financial backing and access to additional cost effective development resources within the group that can be drawn upon at times of peak demand. Lovell Johns is an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner and a member of the Esri Partner Network. They also work with other data and software platforms on an international scale, which positions them well to provide independent advice and guidance to our clients. Lovell Johns will be marketing the software through their business to business brand businessmapcentre.com.

About Map Business Online
Brought to you by the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive solutions to geographic challenges since 2010. Create, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Access optimized multi-stop routes to drive down travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.
Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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How Do I Create An Excel Spreadsheet for a Web Map?

This is for beginning users only. You recognize the value of a web map for your business, but you do not know how to use Excel.   Relax, you are not alone. As Mr. Rogers used to say, “I like you just the way you are.”

The rest of you can just leave now.  There’s nothing for you here.

To get the most out of your web map you’re going to have to use spread-sheet software like Excel. So make sure your computer has Excel or something pretty close to it. Next click the program on and we’ll create a simple spreadsheet.

Click the ball in the upper left hand corner and choose New.  I think it’s called The Office Button. On my Excel it glows Yellow when you touch it. (See attached video).  In real old versions New was under File.

When the new sheet opens you’ll see a big checkerboard grid with letters along the top, and numerals along the side that are used to identify each grid box or cell. Click in one or two and you’ll see their alpha-numeric identity in the box at the upper left.

Please your cursor in the top empty row’s left cell, the one below those numerals across the top. Use your arrow keys to move from one box to the next or just click into the next box. Type in header labels in those boxes at the top of each column (columns are associated with letters).

  • Type in “Company Name” (arrow right to the next box), “Address” (arrow right), “City” (arrow right), “State” (arrow right), and finally “Zip Code”.  Instead of company name you may want to use First Name, Last Name – this depends on your data.
  • Then consider adding additional column headers that reflect your business – Sales, Customer Type, Equipment, or Product. Use whatever makes sense for the industry you are in.
  • Now save your file by clicking that Blue Disk Icon above the spreadsheet in the upper left, or click the Ball again and choose Save.  A dialog-box pops up.  Name the file something you can remember and save it to a place on your computer that you will remember.

Take a break – go get some coffee or let the dog out.

Now, go back to the spread-sheet and enter your business information or data in the cells below your labels. These would be the records or data points you want to see on the map.

  • Each of your companies will be one record associated with the address data on one row. Again, each record is assigned a row.  Do not try to enter multiple records in the same box because they are located in the same zip code or city.  Each record gets a whole row.  Here’s a row example:

Ravenswood Springwater –> 19 Norwood Avenue –>Rockport –>MA –>01966

  • Arrow over to the next columns and enter address data, city, state and zip.

“To The Map Robin!”

Once you’ve done this for all of your records, you’ve created a spreadsheet that is usable in your web map. Now go to your web map application and open a new map.  To import and display your data, there is usually an Import Data Button. In our application it is a Red MapPoint with a Plus Sign.  Hover over it and it says, “Plot Data on Map.”  Click that import data button and follow the dialog box.  Navigate to your target data file on your computer, choose it and click Go or Plot.

In our application the spreadsheet with the address headers will automatically populate the geocoding buckets with your data. (See video)  You can assign the addressing columns manually if required. Click next.

Adjust labels as require, and click Plot.  You should see points that represent your data located on the map.

Congratulations!

Www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software.

Let a map help you learn about your business.

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Why Classify Your Map Data?

Business mapping software enables the geographic visualization of your business data. Customers, competitors, prospects are easily imported and displayed against a web map. This means you can see where customers or competitors are located and compare their mappoint densities. Let’s hear it for business map visualizations!

Classification
But don’t stop there. With a little added effort you can classify your data and color code those points on the map to reflect business classification or types that are pertinent to your industry. Color coded points enhance your map’s ability to communicate key concepts.

A classification is simply a category within your business. It could be a sales account:

Small – Large – New – Legacy – House – Key – Inactive – Credit Hold – The Boss’s Account

It could be a type of product or manufacturer:

Sneaker – Loafers – Sandals – Gungaboots Nike – LL Bean – Cole Hahn – Clarks

It could be type of prospect or sales lead:

Email – Donor – Web client – Purchased list – House list – Affiliate lead

It could be a mode of truck transportation:

Backhaul – Empty – Refrigerated – LTL – Local – Deadhead

Millions of business users apply their business logic to business mapping software every day and use it to describe their business visually. Most of them use Excel spreadsheets to create classification options. Simply add a column to your location based spreadsheet with the column heading “classification” or “type” or “taxonomy” (if you want to befuddle your people and impress the new boss.)

Avoid Clutter
Then list your categories. Try to keep categories limited to ten or less for any given map. You can do more if you like but make sure you are not cluttering up your business map. Make sure your spelling of the various types is consistent – otherwise you’re creating more categories.

Choose symbols that clearly identify different categories, as opposed to trying to match exact images with what the category actually is or does. In other words, rather than focusing on displaying a full truckload category as a small truck, make sure that the color and size are reflective of its importance to your business.

Always look for ways to consolidate classifications into more meaningful categories. It is less important to display all data than it is too express all key classifications. Typically the most important classifications are the revenue drivers (hot sellers, premier items) or the large investments (capital equipment, product shipments, key accounts.)

Have Fun
And as always, when playing with maps, don’t try to solve all problems with one map. Have fun with your map tool and become efficient at building new maps that express your business concepts clearly while moving company processes forward.

Www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software.

Let a map help you learn about your business.

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Is Now the Time for you to Drive ‘Drive Time’?

Business mapping software provides multiple ways to view your business and analyze your business data geographically. One analysis perspective often found within professional mapping solutions is the drive time analysis.

Drive Time analysis quickly shows the business user a polygon shape on the map that represents how far a vehicle can drive given a specified driving time period. For example, let’s imagine a center point of 52 Marshall Street, Watertown MA. We’d like to know how far our vehicle can travel from that mappoint if we drive at standards speed limits, across the road network in any direction, for a period of 20 minutes.

The results will show a jagged polygon that outlines the distance a car might travel over a 20 minute period from that central point. Drive time analysis tools within business mapping software all take the road network into consideration in developing its area estimates. One-way and two-way streets, speed limits, road classifications, and turn restrictions are all compiled into a detailed calculation of the Drive Time area.

Retail Store or Food Service
Drive Time analysis is a critical marketing and planning analysis tool for retail and food establishments. If your business is considering providing a delivery service to a metropolitan area, Drive Time analysis will let you construct incremental drive time assessment areas that can estimate your market potential, your service delivery expectations, and assist in logistics planning.

A retail store expansion plan would include Drive Time analysis to estimate the traffic your store might generate within a Drive Time area, and perhaps a corresponding analysis of competitor store placements to gauge how effective your planned location may be in pulling traffic.

Road Warrior Planning
A good sales rep knows sales planning can make the difference between a successful sales trip and another month with no sales commission. By adding Drive Time analysis to his set of tools, a sales person can estimate just how far he can actually drive in a given day. By organizing his sales call targets by Drive Time areas expenses will be minimized and, more importantly, his time can be more effectively allocated to critical account sales activities, and not just driving his rented 2010 PT Cruiser around Buffalo to look cool.

Drive Time analysis can be an effective tool for many industries and job titles. City planners will find quick Drive Time estimates invaluable as they research possible commercial zone changes, or study potential traffic patterns based on future growth.

Personal Drive Time Use?
Even Thanksgiving dinner planning can benefit from a good Drive Time analysis. Why invite your in-laws if it is more than a 45 minute drive time for them? “Honey, it just doesn’t make financial or logistical sense. My analysis shows we can save both time and money by simply having separate Thanksgiving dinners next November.” Most business mapping software companies are still developing Couch Time estimators.

Www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software.
Let a map help you learn about your business.

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How Can I Share My Business Web Map?

Shared business web maps are now a common and sometimes a no cost way to communicate information. Companies like MapQuest, Google and others have provided free or low cost web maps used to communicate retail locations, simple turn-by-turn directions, and cultural data mash-ups. Businesses can make use of web maps for more strategic communications too, and often at a very reasonable cost.

A business might use a web map to communicate sales territories, customer or prospect locations, or product availability. Sharing a web map with constituents can help get a point or a concept understood quickly – monthly sales progress, point of sale locations, or inactive customers are examples of concepts and data that can be shared via a web map.

Disclaimer
I apologize for breaking blog protocol and inserting a product specific pitch for Map Business Online. I do this because the web map sharing tools we offer are rather specific to business users and generate technical questions. The service is included in the regular MBO subscription and typically provides all of map sharing capabilities necessary for most businesses. I am sure there are other low cost map share options from other business mapping software but I cannot claim to be an expert on these companies’ business models and technical approaches.

Map Business Online Shared Map
Map Business Online offers the ability to share your business maps as a URL or web page at no cost. We include 100 map views per month along with each licensed or paid subscription to Map Business Online. That’s up to 1200 per year. If you have a few key people you want share your maps with this model is perfect for your business. It is not designed for mass audiences. For larger viewing options please contact us with your requirements.

Your constituent map viewers do not need to subscribe to the map product. They do not need to log in to the service. They simply click on a link and view the map. A map view is one clicked-on session of the shared map. As long as the user stays in the shared map browser window without exiting the browser window it counts as one map view. Within that map view your shared map viewer is able to:
• Pan and zoom on the map all over the world
• Click on points and read labels and add notes to records
• Turn data layers and administrative district layers on and off
• View the data you’ve chosen to share with them
• Conduct radius and polygon searches of your imported and shared data
• Export data search results for use outside of MBO
• Measure distances using the measure tool
• Save Jpeg and PNG files of map views
• Print map views
• Create a point-to-point vehicle route

Caveats
The MBO shared maps are not private – they do not require a password to access them. However, the URL generated to share the map view is not searchable in Internet search engines. The only way a map could be shared with a non-authorized user is if one of your viewers shared the map link. Administrative district layers are not exportable from shared web maps. These data layers are controlled by license agreements and require paid subscriptions for access.

Businesses succeed because they are clear in their objectives and because they measure results. Add web maps to your arsenal of tools that communicate key company messages and data to your people.

Www.MapBusinessOnline.com America’s fastest growing business mapping software.
Let a map help you learn about your business.

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