Location mapping tools can be employed in a range of business and non-profit activities. What you plot on a map depends on your end goal. But let's consider how certain types of business may currently be using this type of mapping software.
Haulage and distribution companies may create maps using a route optimization feature. This ensures prompt delivery or efficient use of fuel, when carrying out day-day-operations.
Insurance companies may use heat maps (also known as hotspot maps) to indicate levels of risk for unforeseen events - e.g. flooding or even terrorist attacks. Premiums can be appropriately revised according to level of risk visualized on a map.
Realors/Estate agents use location mapping to create pin maps of properties for sale. Clicking on the map can generate an information box that opens to reveal detailed information such as numbers of bedrooms, age of property, distance from city center, etc.
Sales and marketing companies can map demographic datasets (e.g., census information) so that the right market is targeted during a sales drive or an advertising campaign.
Small businesses can use a map as an operations center, to monitor their entire business activities including organising a sales team through equitable territory management or radius mapping, or simply keeping track of customers across a wide geographic area.
The above represent a sample – but by no means definitive – list of uses for location mapping . In reality, there are few organizations that could not gain key benefits from using this modern business tool.
What you need to get the best out of location mapping tools
A clear goal
If you are going to plot data on a map, when what is the ultimate purpose? To show gaps and opportunities in a market? To reveal distances between key elements of your business (e.g. customers vs. proximity to sales outlets)? To organize volunteers or sales teams so that they follow routes that will yield the best response in a given market? Only you can tell, so only you can decide what is the best, most motivational information to place on a map.
Most location mapping works by automatically taking data from a spreadsheet (usually Excel) and placing it on a map. It does this by geocoding the location element contained in a spreadsheet column. As long as a location column is present and readable, then all manner of associative data can be attached to a pin on a map - from local contact details to CRM links.
Basic computer skills
Gone are the days when mapping spreadsheet data was a specialist area, confined to only those with good GIS training. Location mapping is now accessible - and useable - by anyone who has a computer and basic knowledge of Excel. Gaps can be filled – or advanced mapping options employed – by reference to a network of support features such as videos, text walk-throughs, help pages, etc. Read more information about how to interact with different types of eSpatial Excel maps
Combination of mapping styles to achieve maximum visual impact
eSpatial location mapping includes all the functionality referenced in this article. It is online tool that requires no downloads to your computer. You can try eSpatial Pro (normally a paid option) free of charge for 7 days. No financial details are required - simply an email address and a password.