Map Business Online Blog

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

Premium Map Layers in Map Business Online

Map Business Online offers full-time subscribers a premium set of additional map layers. These additional layers are geographic map data options that were repeatedly requested  by the MBO user base.  To access these layers click the Blue Globe button, currently placed on the toolbar seven buttons in from the left. Select a layer and click Add to Map.

City Limits

My favorite premium layer is City Limits.  There is another city layer called Cities. We added Cities for people who require additional city names to display prominently on the map. Cities are points.  City Limits are the boundaried jurisdictions  associated with each city or town. With both city datasets you’ll expose more of them as your zoom in.

The City Limits data layer lets you edit the layer, as you would a zip code or state layer.  Simply hover over the layer in Map & Data and click the edit gear to edit line and color features or to change the labeling fonts, colors, and text.

City Limit geographies can be used as a base layer for sales territory mapping or creating areas of interest. This means you could establish territories by city limits as opposed to zip codes or counties. This can come in handy for businessmap users.  I also like turning on the city limits layer when trying to assess metropolitan areas form a nationwide zoom level.

And if you just want more city points, more than we offer with the Cities layer (they have specific display rules by zoom level), you can always import your own home-grown dataset of cities.  Be sure to include a state column in your imported city data because you never know how many Meridiths there are in the country.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas
MSA Map View
Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSA’s are Census Bureau defined metro areas. They can be used to define marketing areas of interest around an urban district largely to support market analysis.  You could build territories using these geographies as well.  Color coded, MSA’s create a striking map of the USA and can help get a viewer’s attention.  If you look online you can find conversion charts for creating similar marketing areas out of zip codes – like converting a list of zip codes into DMA’s. You would than simply import spreadsheet to convert zip codes to DMA’s.

Census Tracts

Census Tracts are also available in the MBO additional map layer offering. Accessed the same way, Census tracts can be used to create territories, and come in handing when defining busy areas of interest in heavily populated areas like downtown Manhattan or Chicago. In urban areas Census Tracts tend to be more granular than zip codes which makes them a nice alternative to zip code maps for describing business processes.  For rural areas Census tracts tend to mirror zip codes.

School Districts

For businesses doing a lot of work for schools we’ve also included school Districts. These could be helpful for transportation companies or service organizations catering to school districts. Once again, you can establish territories based on school districts. School districts are a nice back ground for a multi-stop route planner system supporting bus transportation.

Zip 3 code

Regular zip codes are made up of five digits. I grew up in 01966.  The three digit zip code associated with 01966 is 019.  Three digit zips cover a wider area then their subset five digit zip codes. Three digit zips can be a quick and dirty way to establish zip code territories that combine zips in an organized fashion. Direct mail folks like to monitor mail deliveries by 3 digit zip codes because USPS tends to deliver  to homes in 3 digit zip areas on the same day. I’m sure the Post Office has operational methods that are organized around three digit zips but that information is classified – which means I don’t really know for sure.

Cites and Highways

The city point layer and the highway line layer are included in premium layers largely to support additional referencing over territory maps. With these layers, if you color code in your states, counties or zip codes layers, instead of making those layers transparent to show orienting background map data, you can simply drop the highway layer on top of your area of interest map. It’s an option that can keep your map looking cleaner and more focused.

Request More Layers

The premium layer button is a reminder that we pay attention to user requests. Please hit the contact us button with layer requests, if you run across any.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into

Contact: Geoffrey Ives (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider as your MapPoint Replacement.

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A Sales Territory Management Manual for Map Business Online

Many Map Business Online business mapping users apply the tool for sales territory management. A few of those users have requested a manual describing the actual map processes as applied to territory management. This blog post provides that Manual.


One of’s most powerful tools is sales territory management software. Our software developers have been developing solutions for sales territory management since 1996. With Map Business Online (MBO) they’ve really released a tool that is intuitive, easy, and full-featured. MBO territory management is the most affordable and complete solution available as a web-based/Cloud service. Territory mapping begins with territory creations.

Key Definitions
Administrative districts – Map Business Online comes with preformatted map layers which include administrative districts 5 digit zip code, 3 digit zip code, county, city limits, states, and more layers. Those listed here are the most commonly used as a basis for territory areas.

Tool bar – MBO’s 22 map tools are accessed across the top of the application and noted in this article by position 1 through 22 from left to right.

Map & Data – This tab is located on the left side of the map. Map & Data displays map layers and imported data layers. Here you can edit layers – change colors, line widths, turn labels on and off, fonts, data formats, manage territory overlap, access satellite imagery, and change zip code sources.

Data Window – Located at position 20 from the left on the Tool Bar the Data Window displays and controls dataset views within MBO. It displays upon importing data and upon territory creation. Here you can change territory colors, names, delete territories, filter data, create route stops, and export spreadsheets.

Territory Creation
There are four ways to create territories using Map Business Online.

1. Import Territories from pre-assigned spreadsheets. Use the Create Territories button at position 6 from the left on the tool bar. Your spreadsheet should have a column for administrative district (zip or county), state, and for territory name. Navigate to your data and import the dataset. Pay attention as you navigate the dialog boxes to assure your territory zip codes, counties, states or cities are falling into place as expected.

2. Create territories from search tools. In the Map & Data tab turn on a target layer of administrative districts you plan to base your territory scheme on – zip codes, counties. Typically a Polygon tool is selected from Position 15 from the left on the tool bar. Click the little down arrow and it’s the second option down. You’ll notice the tool is highlighted in Green when it is active. Click on the map and start your polygon. Lasso as many districts as you like. Complete the polygon back to your starting point – end it in the little circle you see there. If only one layer of data is turned on you will be directed to a Naming dialog. If there are multiple layers of data selected you will have to choose which layer to base your territory on. Name your territory. When the Data Window pops op you can choose to change the Territory Color in the color box along the Data Window tool bar. You can also Delete the territory or change the Name by click the Data Window Edit Marketing List button – two sheets with a check mark.

3. Incremental selection. Use your cursor to incrementally select a zip code, county or state. Once you have the initial administrative district selected, hold down the Shift key and you can continue to add districts to your list. When you’ve gathered your territory, click the Blue Puzzle Piece Icon on the map, near your selection. Choose Create New to name your new territory. You will note you can also edit territories using the same Blue button – the options include Add to, Remove from, Remove all except, and Update.

4. Data Window filter. At times a user may want to filter the Administrative District layer in the Data Window to create a territory. For instance, you could select the entire USA zip code layer and filter it for a range of zip codes greater than 01001 and less than 01050. The resultant Data Window list can be made into a territory by clicking the Create New Territory button on the Data Window tool bar.

Map Business Online includes a Territory Options tab in the Map & Data tab. Along the top of Map & Data, click the Gear icon. Choose the Territory Options tab. Here you can choose to make territories transparent on the map allowing the street data to come through. You can also allow territories to intersect or overlap and highlight the intersection. Once turned on, overlapping territory districts will be highlighted in red or whatever color you choose to highlight overlap.

Map Storage & Templates – Once your territory map is complete you should save the map. Simply click the Save Map icon at position 3. You should consider saving your territory map as a map template. A template can be used as the starting point for future maps. Consider your work flow and decide if you require a saved map template for future use.

Territory Labels. To turn off a territory label simply hover over it and click the X in the upper right hand corner of the label. To turn on a territory label that’s been turned off, select any territory administrative district and then click once within that district.

Territory Display & MapShare
Posting Imported Sales Results can be displayed as numeric values on territory labels. Import your data. In Map & Data hover over the administrative district your territories are based on. Click the Gear icon that pops up. On the right vertical tabs choose Labels & Callouts. Choose Format Labels and Callouts. Choose Territory Callouts. Check the Line #1 box. Choose your imported data in the Line #1 data drop down. Choose your sales data column of your imported data in the second drop down. Edit the Prefix to the label as required. Click Change Labels & Callouts on the bottom right.

There are several ways to share your territories with your constituents. One way is to simply print territory map views. Follow the print dialog box for printed maps – position 18 from the left on the tool bar. For digital sharing decide if your viewers require static maps or interactive web maps.

Static map image files are available at position 19 from the left on the tool bar. An image file can be saved as a Jpeg or as a PNG file. These saved map views can be attached to an email or embedded in a Power Point presentation.

Interactive web maps are popular with sales organizations for sharing territory maps. Once your territory map is finalized save the map using the Save Icon at position 3 on the tool bar. Next click the Share Map button at position 4 on the tool bar. Choose from among the public and team sharing or private sharing options.

Public Sharing enables a web-map URL to be generated and shared via email or text message. You can also embed the URL in a web page. Password protection is available through the password dialog. Public sharing is allowed at no charge for up to 100 MapShare views per month with each annual subscription. Additional MapShares can be purchased for a fee. One MapShare view is defined as a map session initiated by clicking on the shared URL and completed by exiting the application. A MapShare viewer may pan and zoom all around the world, conduct multiple radius or polygon queries on shared data, view the shared Data Window, print and save map views – all under one MapShare session.
Team Sharing enables shared map and or data editing privileges for other Map Business Online annual subscribers. Under Team Sharing the map administrator chooses the email login of the subscriber requiring map editing, data editing or viewing of the share maps. The map administrator assigns the specific role to each team member. A separate team dialog is available for team creation and management.

Query all sales accounts by Territory
At times a user will desire to identify a list of accounts pertaining to a specific territory. To do this first import a total list of sales accounts. Open the Data Window. In the upper left hand corner of the Data Window select your imported account list as the target for territory querying. Next choose the Yellow Puzzle Piece icon towards the right of the Data Window tool bar. Choose which territory you would like to query by. Name the query results as a Marketing List. Use the Export button on the extreme right of the Data Window tool bar to export the list.

Creating a list of territory assignments
After you’ve created your territories you can create a list of territories and export that list for use in other applications or for archiving. First, remember the administrative layer you built your territories from – let’s assume for this exercise it is zip codes.

Next, in the Data Window select the Zip Code Layer – the one that lists the whole country’s postal codes. Click the Add Data button in the lower right, or hover over a column header and click the Gear icon. This brings up the Add Data dialog. In the All Column option on the left, choose General to display Territory and Territories in your options – select Territory. Using the Blue Arrow move Territory from the Left panel to the Right panel. Click Set Data Columns.

Now you need to Filter you data. Choose the Filter Funnel Icon on the Data Window tool bar. In the Filter Dialog, on the left, in the top drop down choose General. Then in the lower drop down choose Territory. Now focus on the right, on the top you’re going to choose a modifier. In the modifier drop down, pick the ‘Greater Than’ symbol – “”. In the far right empty box put a zero. Now click Filter in the lower right.

4. Export this list by clicking the Far Right button on the Data Window tool bar. To save it as an Excel sheet name the file: .xls.

Using the Draw Tools
MBO Tool Bar icon position 16 from the left is a set of Draw Tools. These tools allow the user to create circles, polygons, lines and text boxes on the map in a free form fashion. Each polygon, circle or line can be adjusted for thickness, color, and placement. There is also a MapPoint drop button for placing new location records manually on the map.

Bisecting zip codes, counties or state. In general, we recommend divisions of larger administrative districts be handled with smaller administrative districts. Split a state in half by creating two county groupings – as an example. But sometimes sales managers simply want to show a split across an administrative district. Draw lines or polygons can be used for this purpose. Draw lines can also be used to highlight key highways, railroads, rivers, or other geographic objects for the purposes of territory planning.

Circle and polygon objects can be used to query data. Simply click the Binocular icon to start a data query.

For assistance in general MBO operations refer to our extensive Help Section on the application and the web-site. You’ll found a library of common mapping application instructions and access to a library of how-to videos we have posted on

More Advanced Operations
There are a few more advanced territory management features that require instructions with application video or image examples. Be sure to ask for assistance if you do not see a solution listed above.

Click the Contact Button on the Map Business Online application or the Contact Us button at You can also call us at 800-425-9035.

MapPoint users – please consider as your MapPoint Replacement.

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Sales Territory Mapping for Elvis


I’m a MapPoint refugee and I decided to try this Map Business Online as a MapPoint alternative. I need your business mapping software to create and manage sales territories for my company. So I spent the day building territories with your tool. We have a couple of hundred territories overall. Some of our sales territories are already assigned and I track them by spreadsheet. Others need to be reworked or newly formed. The company is changing and growing fast. I can hardly keep up with the territory growth! A good problem I guess. I was never happy with the way MapPoint’s sales territory mapping worked.

Our sales territories are assigned by zip code. I see that web-based Map Business Online lets you build territories by zip code, zip 3, county, state, city limit, MSA or Census tract. Pretty cool.

One problem I have is that the boss allows our territories to overlap. He says it’s a legacy issue. If it was up to me I’d institute a no overlap policy, even if it means Kenny will quit. Kenny’s our top sales performer, and that’s only because he’s got all the sweet accounts. And he married well, if you catch my drift. However, because we allow overlap I have to accommodate overlap in my territory tool. I believe Map Business Online does this through the territory options control. Once again, pretty cool.

The first thing I do is go into MapBusinessOnline and set up the territory options. I allow overlap and show overlap in Red on the map. Then I click the transparent check box so I can see through my territories to the map data below. Nice recent map data too! MapPoint’s map data was like Woodstock era data. Woodstock is where Kenny met the boss’ daughter whose name at the time was Still Flower. I call her Shrill Power.

Moving on, I import a list of those pre-assigned territories we have already assigned and that don’t change. It’s an Excel spreadsheet with one column for zip code, another for state, and one for territory name. I process the territories into MBO using an Import Territories button. The territories came in fast and easy. Within three minutes I was looking at over one hundred territories placed and named accurately on my map. Slick. I noticed right off the bat that my spreadsheet had assigned a borderline zip code to the wrong territory. I selected the zip code, hit the little Blue button that pops up, and moved it to the other territory faster than you can say, “Kenny’s a suck up.”

Then I wanted to try building a new territory. I grabbed a polygon tool from the tool bar and drew a rough line through all the zip codes I intended to include. Upon completing the polygon all the way back to the beginning point, a Save File dialog pops up and I name the territory. And there it is – a new territory using a draw tool. I notice as I look at each of my territories, the zip code data is displayed in the Data Window. The Data Window also has a Color Box that lets me adjust colors as necessary for appropriate territory differentiation. I can also read how many zip codes I have in each territory, and export those zips as a spreadsheet. This tool is wicked awesome and saves me lots of time.

Even better, I noticed I could add Demographics by zip code to a territory and when I do, those added data layers become the default data for all territories in that map view. And that demographic data is exportable too. You guys are going to get the Nobel Prize for best freakin’ mapping software some day.

Kenny stopped by and I showed him the territory map so far. He, of course, wanted even more zip codes. I let him point to which zips he want and selected them with my mouse. If I held down the shift key, I could add each one to the list as he pointed. Then I rolled my eyes and added the list to his territory with one click. I exported Kenny’s ‘proposed’ territory additions and sent them to the Boss for approval. Then I went out to the parking lot and let the air out of Kenny’s tires. He hates that.

Later we imported all of Kenny’s key accounts that existed in other reps’ territories. We were able to query this list by territory and review those assignments. That’s really going to let the air out of his tires.

Gretchen, a rookie, wanted her new territory set up her way. “I know all the zip codes I want. They are in numerical order.” I was about to tell her the Jerk Store called and that her order was in, but then I thought, “why not try it.” So we opened up the Data Window. I selected the zip code layer – the one that includes every zip across the country. Next I filtered that layer using modifiers. Show me all zip codes >= 90000, and <= to 92547. In two seconds the Data Window presented the list to me. Along the tool bar was an option to Create or Edit a Territory. I clicked it and just like that I had Gretchen’s territory submitted for review. “Make sure Kenny doesn’t see this,” I quipped.

Well, it turns out I lied at the beginning of this email. I didn’t spend a whole day creating territories. It was more like an hour. I spent a day getting caught up on everything else I had to do, thanks to Map Business Online. Losing MapPoint has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Excepting the time when Kenny moved to Las Vegas to explore his Elvis impersonator aspirations. His side burns were fake and fell off when he over-gyrated, so he came back.

My question is, do you guys employ ex-Elvis impersonators?

MapPoint users – please consider as a MapPoint alternative.

Let a digital map help you learn about your business.

Review us at Google+, g2crowd, chekkt , or Best Vendor

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Map Business Online’s Hidden Feature Gems

Map Business Online is gaining quite a following among business mapping software users. The combination of affordable price point with an outstanding feature set seems to be a winner. Who knew?

There are a lot of hidden gem sub-features in MapBusinessOnline that users might not realize exist upon first glance. These come up here and there as I speak with customers and I thought it worthwhile to share them as a list.

Did you know that when using Map Business Online you can:
• Use the Print Screen button on your keyboard and quickly paste your map view into a PowerPoint slide?
• Build sales territories by selecting first one zip code or county and then, simply hold down the Shift key as you pick the rest? Save when done. Name it something clever.
• Use the Filter Button in the Data Window to search for a consecutive numeric range of zip codes and then create a sales territory based on that zip code range?
• Import a list of sales territories with preassigned territory names using the Create Territories button?
• Allow sales territories to overlap and highlight the overlap using the Territory Options in Map and Data?
• Use the City Limits map layer as a tool to better define town and city names?
• Edit imported data record fields within MBO? Hover over the left hand column in the Data Window and choose your editing option.
• Identify and correct incorrectly geocoded addresses? See colored dots in the left hand column of the Data Window. Hover over a Red X to fix the location of a bad record.
• Rearrange Data layers by selecting and dragging layers up and down in the Map & Data Tab?
• Rearrange route stop order by dragging stops up and down in the Route Window?
• Use multiple radius tool buttons to create zip code maps, lists of your business data, and to generate territories?
• Create a list of favorite route stops? Great for easy access to home locations or repeat hotel locations.
• Add Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico to your map image using the Save Map Image tool?
• View just one sales territory using the Filter Data on Map check box in the Data Window?
• Add data value totals to labels, callouts, and territory names by editing the associated Map Layer labels in the Map and Data Tab?
• Add calculated columns to your data by editing the associated imported data layer in the Map & Data Tab?
• Use your mouse roller to scroll or resize the map view in and out?
• Retrieve a lost Map Legend in the Map and Data Tab’s, Edit Map Properties dialog?
• Edit what states are included in your map view? In Map and Data click the top right filter button.
• View satellite imagery by choosing the satellite imagery template in Map and Data?
• Turn off the Streets layer for a less busy map?
• Request a new feature by sending us an email? We track of the number of requests and consider popular requests for the feature list.

MapPoint users – please consider as a MapPoint alternative.

Let a digital map help you learn about your business.

Review us at Google+, g2crowd, chekkt , or Best Vendor

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