Map Business Online Blog

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

Common Sales Territory Mapping Solutions from Map Business Online

Sales territory mapping is a common and valuable business application of business mapping software. I’d have to say I get more calls and emails from business people looking for territory maps than any other business mapping application. Here’s list of the most common territory mapping challenges we hear about and solve with Map Business Online.

I need to create a territory map from a zip code list
MBO has an import button on the tool bar dedicated to this task. Simply navigate to your territory spreadsheet and import the territories. You should have a column for zips and a column for territory name. You can also import lists for state, and county territories. And the crowd goes wild.

I want to optimize my territories by Census population
Create that first territory (by polygon search, import, or incremental selection of zip codes, counties, states, or Census tracts) and then, in the data view of your territory click the Add Data button (lower right) to access MBO’s included demographic data. You can add columns for population, population segments, median income, households, ethnicity, and much more. Once you’ve set up one territory with demographic data, all other territories created in that map view will have the same demographic layers included. Using the Total option in the bottom section of the territory Data Window view you can tweak your zip code segments adding to or subtracting from your territory, based on Population totals. And remember, you can export each associated territory list for use outside of MBO. You’ll have territories with demographics by zip code, county, state or Census tract. Take a bow.

I need to generate a list of all our zip code territories by territory name
In the Data Window, select the full, USA wide zip code layer in the data drop down. Use the Add Data button to generate the append data dialog. In the left drop down choose General and pick the Territory column, then move that Territory selection to the right side dialogue panel. Click format data columns. Now, you should filter your list. Click the Filter Button on the Data Window toolbar. Filter for General and Territory, then choose a modifier of “>” (greater than) and in the numeric field on the right put “0” (zero). Click Filter. You’ve just filtered your data to reflect only your zips with a territory name. Export to CSV file using the last Data Window button on the right. The same logic applies to counties, states or other district based territories. You are officially a hero in accounting now.

I want to isolate one territory and show it on the map view
In the Data Window drop down select the territory you are interested in viewing. Right beneath the drop down selector check the box labeled “Filter Data on Map.” Viola! You can save this view as a saved map for easy retrieval later.

I want to query imported customer data by territory
In the Data Window drop down, select the customer data you want to target for your query. Once selected move to the right side of the tool bar and select the Yellow Puzzle Piece Icon – “Search Data Inside of Territory.” Give the saved dataset a name. To view only that territory’s allocation of data, right beneath the drop down selector, check the box labeled “Filter Data on Map.” You rule over minions and they bow to your mapping skills.

I want to export a list of zip codes from one territory
Select the target territory in the Data Window data drop down. Each territory displays a column listing the zip codes included in that territory. Note the quantity of zips included is listed in the bottom left. Move your cursor all the way to the right of the Data Window tool bar and click the Export Dataset button. Save in your favorite location on your desktop Mac or PC. Then give a thumbs up sign to your cubical mate.

I want to share my territory map with my sales organization.
Once your map is arranged to your liking, save the map view. Next click the Two People icon on the tool bar (towards the left.) A MapShare dialogue opens up. Choose the Public Sharing tab, which can still be Password protected for security purposes. Click Share map. You can copy the selected unique Map URL and paste it into a text or email, or you can use the e-mail option to generate an email with the link included, from your default email application.

Your map viewers do not have to be subscribers. They can simply click the link or copy and paste the link into a web browser tab. Each MapShare view starts with the click or paste and ends when the Viewer shuts that tab down. You get up to 200 free map views you can share per month – see subscription options: http://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Subscription.aspx And you may be up for an academy award.

I want to manipulate my Map Legend.
If the legend is not showing, you can open it from the Map & Data Tab. Click the Edit Properties Gear and look to the bottom section for the Edit Legend button. With the Map Legend displayed, click the small Edit Circle in the upper right hand corner. Once in edit mode, you can choose which data sets you want displayed, and pretty much over write any content in a white box. Use this editable legend to make your map communicate effectively with your map audience. Use words they understand based on your business vernacular. Hint: If the audience is the C-Suite use money terms. If it’s product management, use product terms. If it’s your in-laws, play up the grandchildren and hint about a trip to Disney World.

I want to show sales results by territory.
This is actually pretty easy and a real differentiator for Map Business Online. Once your territory map is complete you can import a dataset of accounts with associated sales dollars. The points will show on the map, but you can do this with the imported layer turned off or on.

In Map & Data hover over the map layer you used as a base for your territories – most often that’s zip code but it could be state or county. Click the Gear icon that pops up. Choose Labels and Callouts (vertical text on the right side), then choose the Format Labels and Callouts button. Pick the Territory callouts Tab. Use the lower section that says: “Select data column to show its total value in territory callout.” In the drop down choose your data, and then choose your sales dollars column. You can edit the Prefix to your liking. Click the Change Labels & Callouts button in the lower left. You are now officially “too cool for school.”

Use business mapping software for market analysis, customer mapping, competitive analysis, or any number of business reasons.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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The Quest for Map Perfection

Maps have always been an imperfect representation of the real world. Today’s online mapping applications, with the advent of crowd sourced data updates and detailed aerial imagery views, are pretty great representations of our world, but still – they are not perfect. Business mapping software is still far from perfect.

Maps of any sort require map projections to accommodate the compression of real world objects onto flat and limited area surfaces. And map projections always introduce compromises in map accuracy – like making Africa appear too small when compared to Europe, a common complaint for many world map viewers.

Map data address accuracy is by its very nature less than perfect due to the fact that addresses change. New streets get added on a regular basis. Street names get changed. Old street addresses get reconfigured to accommodate new postal rules or local emergency management schemes. Bridges get closed, roads get discontinued, and two-way streets can be turned into one-ways at the whim of a town manager. All of these changes impact map accuracy. What was accurate on Tuesday could be dead wrong on Friday.

Online or desktop mapping software applications can fall far short of the business map user’s expectation of a relatively perfect map. In addition to data accuracy the user has to come to terms with usability issues. Is the business mapping software easy-to-use? Does it efficiently navigate to my area of interest? Is there enough map detail to provide answers to my map related questions? Or is there too much detail; so much detail that I can’t get answers to my questions?

A map maker must consider usability when they decide how labeling of streets, cities, zip codes and counties will occur. At what zoom level should zip code labels appear? At what zoom level should small rivers and streams show? Should I call this road U.S. Route 1 or The Portland Road or both? Mapping software developers must decide how these details will present and how much control over map presentation details the user will get.

Any map user will want to know that the applications they test address the business challenges they seek to resolve through business mapping. Can the tool do more than simply visualize customers on a map? Does it provide demographic maps, sales territory mapping or competitive analysis? A realtor may want to view property lines, a sales person may want to see zip codes, while a banker might prefer to see Census tracts.

Business Mapping Software
The challenge for business mapping software is to present a map view that engages the map user while not intimidating, that provides critical data without overwhelming, that offers additional map related tools without forcing the user to invest too much time and money in post-graduate level professional mapping studies, just to be able to navigate the darn thing. Providing a reasonably compelling and customizable map view is a primary goal for business mapping software companies. The result should be a map with enough information, but not too much information, and with minimal software steps to get there. Your business map should provide just enough user flexibility. It’s a tough balance.

Map Business Online is a business mapping solution that presents users with easy-to-use-tools offering enough map data so that when you’ve added your business data you get compelling and informative results. To date, we’ve focused on providing map administrative layers like zip codes, Census Tracts, MSA’s, and school districts. Map Business Online includes a growing library of demographic data layers including population, income, ethnicity, households, housing and more. These layers are accessible for work in your business map views – exportable for work outside MBO as well.

Subscribing to the most up-to-date world-wide street level map data has been of primary importance to Map Business Online, since the very beginning. This should be sweet relief to former MapPoint customers seeking a MapPoint replacement. To put it nicely, Microsoft MapPoint and Streets & Trips Street map data was stale. The map data had not been made current for many years. And then, of course, they simply shut down both software products. I would have expected much better from Microsoft.

Map Data
Map Business Online street data is compiled by www.Esri.com , the world leader in GIS software, from the world’s finest map data providers. Rarely do we find errors within our map data, but if we do these errors are reported and repaired. Google will repair data errors as well. Just make them aware of the issues and wait a little while. Data errors in any map application are, for the most part, repaired pretty quickly.

Demographic data is a marvelous addition to business mapping. These generalized datasets compiled by regular US Census Bureau data surveys provide details about the populace by jurisdiction. Information like this can be critical to strategic business planning, expansion planning, or just retail mapping. Yet Census data has its limits. How current is the data, how detailed is the data, did the Census even ask the right questions?

Map Imperfections Can Impact Business
Imperfections in mapping can have a direct impact on business. Christopher Columbus almost turned back because his maps severely underestimated the distance from Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean to promised lands in the west. His crew was near mutiny when land was finally spotted.

Napoleon relied on accurate and recent mapping as a key component to his military strategy, which often entailed a feint assault to hold an enemy force in place while another force conducted a rapid and concealed march over rough and unknown terrain, surprising the enemy and winning the day. “Napoleon wanted quick, accurate mapping as the army advanced. Part of the staff was made responsible for the army’s map supply, terrain studies and map making. It was accompanied by a mobile printing shop and a small copper-plate press. It could produce hundreds of rough maps in a few hours.” (Source – http://www.napolun.com.)

Napoleon’s cartographer, how cool would that job be? Pretty cool until you messed up a contour map delaying the main attack-force by a day or more. Really cool unless you failed to note the swamp located between the mountain and the field of battle, resulting in the loss of half the artillery required to subdue the Prussian army. “Préparer la guillotine. C’est un doofus cartographique.”

And that’s why today’s map makers like to keep map errors to a minimum. Most of us are not planning world domination – well perhaps Microsoft and Google are – but we like to keep customers satisfied, informed, and happy with the business mapping software they’ve paid for. Because no matter what your business strategy is, you need to get there before your enemy realizes what you’re doing.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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Fifty Shades of Gray Map

Fifty Shades of Gray Map

Map Business Online excites more and more users everyday through the application of slick solutions for your “business challenges.” Create incredibly graphic perspectives of your “business data” using Map Business Online. Build “customer” mapping. Map demographics by zip code, includes gender specific look ups. Import address databases of weird manufacturers. Turn up the “heat map.” Get all territorial with special sales territory mapping tools. You can even share racey interactive map views with constituents or even strangers.

Take the other path – Say “Yes” to Map Business Online. America’s sexiest business mapping software.

And don’t tell your parents I mentioned any of this.

For more information SnapChat me or swipe right on Tinder.

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Share Maps with Free Multi-stop Optimized Routing

Map Business Online has quietly enhanced our Free Map Viewer capability and you should be aware of these changes. Each subscription to Map Business Online includes the ability to share an interactive web map with your customers, your employees, or even your in-laws (if you’re in to that sort of thing).

This enhanced capability is an extension of MBO’s business mapping software shared map capabilities. We believe map visualizations of our user’s business data are most valuable when shared with constituents – your map viewers. Whether you’re shooting for customer mapping, retail mapping, sales territory mapping, or geographic competitive analysis; if you share your location intelligence, you’ll get viewer feedback and work-flow improvements for your business.

Each MBO subscription allows up to 100 free MapShare sessions per month. Your viewers can open the shared interactive web map by clicking or pasting (there is no subscription requirement). Each free session allows the user to use the interactive web map for as long as they like, but when they close that web tab or window, that’s the end of session one. And remember, using MBO as a MapPoint alternative, means you’re using a web browser-based tool – works on any popular browser and on Mac or PC machines.

Maps With Benefits
Interactively sharing your business map means your shared map viewers can do the following:
• Pan and zoom all over the map area – navigate to street level views or pan back to the whole-world view.
• Access a multi stop route planner by choosing destinations incrementally and applying a simple mouse click to select stops
• Create data queries using a radius or polygon tool on the map – save and export results
• Create new datasets by filtering data within the Data Window
• Save map views as image files or print map views
• Measure distances across the map
• Click on points on the map to view imported and shared record details
• Access the Data Window to view your shared business data – filter and export as necessary
• Access the help documentation

MapShare viewers of shared maps will not be allowed to edit the map. If you require shared editing capabilities consider purchasing Map Business Online Team Subscriptions.

Enhanced Route Stop Allowances
Recent changes have enabled a free multi-stop route optimizer for up to 100 stops per route. This is significant. Your free viewers can build routes using the shared Web Maps and the shared location data you’ve decided to include in your parent map. Their routing stop allowances will match your subscription – which can be as high as 100 stops per route.

This is cool in large part because you get to provide routing functionality to map viewers at a very low cost. Map viewers can generate routes and driving directions at no charge. If they like the functionality, or the functionality shows promise for more intense use, you can consider purchasing them a full subscription.

Shared Maps for Workflows
Shared interactive business web maps can be used to share data or to provide easy looks ups for your constituents. For instance, an accounting department can easily key in a zip code into the address bar and determine the sales territory that a new customer inquiry falls into.

Map viewers also have access to data filter tools within the Data Window. This means you could import and share a large location-based dataset and allow your MapShare audience to filter the data as required creating subset groups of records or single record results. The Data Window filter enables users to apply math modifiers to data columns. For example, users can filter a Name column for all records with the letters “center” in the name field. Viewers can then view those filter results on the map, and export a list of those records for use outside of MBO.

Map Business Online’s interactive web map viewers are also able to query shared data records by sales territory. This function alone provides huge value to any sales organization.

Take advantage of Map Business Online’s shared interactive web map capabilities. Empower your map audience. Put geography to work for your business.

______________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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SpatialTEQ Releases MapBusinessOnline.com – Team Subscription – Affordable Shared Map Editing

LOWELL, MA (February 5, 2015) — Map Publisher SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced the release of MapBusinessOnline.com Team Subscription – shared web-based map editing tools for sales, marketing and territory planning professionals in the U.S.A., Canada and the U.K..

Map Business Online team subscriptions are designed to enable shared sales territory mapping or planning maps with field teams capable of advanced map editing. MBO team subscriptions enable account access controls and territory geographic adjustments privileges for team members.

Share Editable Maps with Your Team
With the release of MapBusinessOnline Team Subscription, map creators are able to share interactive maps for edits by designated team subscribers. Map creators have the ability to designate data or map editing privileges of each team member and designate specific team members’ status as view only.

Each team subscription provides an account administration page to setup account access and a team management page that controls initial team set-up, team maintenance and team deletion. MBO team users will now receive additional map allowances including up to 400 saved maps per user, and up to 2400 MapShare view-only sessions per user per year. MBO users are always able to purchase additional shared maps and multi-stop routing allocations. Standard annual Map Business Online subscriptions enable map editing for annual subscribers but do not provide account administration tools.

MBO Team subscriptions are available for teams of five or more. Companies can select multi-user options and purchase by credit card at http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com. Additional payment options are also available.

All standard MBO subscriptions enable no-charge view-only map sharing, including a free trial subscription. All MapBusinessOnline free MapShare viewers have access to optimized multi-stop routing capabilities up to 100 multi-stops per route. Free viewer route-stop allowances match the parent MBO subscription route-stop allowance. MapBusinessOnline shared interactive map views are clickable web map URL links generated by MBO map creators. Saved maps edits and updates to shared map views require a map refresh by viewers and editors, to access the changes.

About Map Business Online
From the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive business mapping software, retail and customer mapping software for Macs and PCs since 2010. Design, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create and manage sales territories that drive accountability into your sales force. Replace discontinued Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline. Access optimized multi-stop routes to control 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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