Mapline vs. Google Maps: GIS Maps for Your Business

Google Maps is the go-to mapping software when it comes to getting driving directions, and that’s great if you’re planning a family road trip. But when you’re looking to visualize and analyze data for your business, is Google still the best service to turn to?

We take a look at the features of both Google Maps and Mapline to show Mapline’s superiority when it comes to mapping software for your industry.

Plotting Multiple Locations

Google Maps: Sure, you can plot multiple locations within Google Maps – as long as all you want to see is how to get from one to the others. For distance between several points, you need to enter in each starting address and destination address, note the distance, and then start over for as many data points as you need.

Mapline: With Mapline you get the whole picture. Upload your Excel sheet with hundreds of locations and view them simultaneously as pins on a map. Easily visualize the distance between any of the addresses while still being able to see each of your pins and take in the big picture.

Data Analysis

Google Maps: Google offers no analysis of your data. Aside from determine exact driving distance from one point to another, you’re unable to draw any conclusions from entering addresses into Google Maps.

Mapline: You can obtain a wealth of information from viewing your pins in Mapline by using our features such as sublayering, radial mapping and territories.

Sublayers

Use Mapline’s sublayers to group your pins according to customer segments, location types or other differentiators. The color coding of sublayering lets you quickly see patterns and trends in your data such as clusters or outliers.

There is no equivalent feature in Google Maps.

Radial Mapping

There are two radial mapping options within Mapline: Areas Around Pins and Overlapping Radius Areas. The first allows you to view high-density pin clusters as well as high-value pins, based on data amounts included in your Excel spreadsheet. The second radial mapping choice gives you the option to set a distance for the radius and will present a heat map around each pin, showing you where pin radii overlap.

There is no equivalent feature in Google Maps.

Territories

Mapline’s territories feature offers dozens of existing territories that you can overlay on your data. Choose from territories delineated by zip codes, area codes, DMAs and so much more to put your data in perspective and understand the story it is telling.

Google Maps does show state boundary lines, but only in relation to distance between two or more addresses.

The Bottom Line

We highly recommend you continue using Google Maps to plan your trip to your vacation house, but for everything business related, Mapline is the clear winner for GIS maps.

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Mapline Makes a Difference: The New Jersey Mock Election

We’ve been having some fun behind the scenes at Mapline this election season. We’ve teamed up with the New Jersey Center for Civic Education and the New Jersey Social Studies Supervisors Association to power maps for their mock election for students.

How the Mock Election Works

The mock election covers the presidential race, as well as New Jersey congressional seats and two “yes or no” issue questions: whether the state’s gasoline tax should be raised 23 cents per gallon to fund repairs and improvements to New Jersey’s roads and transportation infrastructure and whether term limits should be imposed for members of Congress.

Educators simply determine their Congressional District and download the appropriate ballot for their students, who are then able to cast their votes either on paper or electronically. Voting opened October 10, and all results must be submitted by October 25.

Mapping the Results

After the votes are in, our Mapline team will power maps that will plot a variety of different data for students and educators. A total of 77 maps will be available as PDF downloads representing combinations of 4 overarching variables: candidate, issue, grade level and political region. Mapline’s territory heat map overlays will color code territories in order to differentiate voting patterns.

In addition to the PDF maps, Mapline is also providing 4 aggregated maps to be embedded in the site that students and teachers can manipulate. These live, interactive maps will represent voting results across all grades by Congressional District. A map will be dedicated to each candidate and issue variable.

Students and teachers can zoom in and out on these maps and can perform searches for specific cities or addresses to narrow down the data.

Increasing Civic Awareness

Students from grades 5-12 from more than 300 school districts in New Jersey are expected to participate in the mock election, generating a wealth of data on student political opinion. It’s a fantastic educational opportunity for teachers to show students firsthand how democracy works and to lead them in analyzing voting patterns across districts.

We’re honored to be a part of such an endeavor, and can’t wait to see the results come in! Check out other ways Mapline can be used in the classroom and beyond.

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2015 Mapline Voyage

We came, we saw, and  yes, we so conquered 2015 with flying colors! Thanks to all of you, our valued Mapline customers and users, because you made another mapping year with us truly awesome!

2016 is just around the corner – yup, another meaningful year peeking at a distance. But for now, we thought it would be nice to reflect back on some of the best accomplishments of Mapline for the past 365 days.

2015 Mapline Voyage

Here are some of the ways you made the difference in mapping with us:

These will not be possible without your continuous feedback and allowing us to help you achieve your mapping goals. What’s in store for Mapline in 2016? We can only expect better victories ahead for all of us. And we can’t wait for all that we have in store for this year. So bring it on, 2016!

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Mapline Adds 4 Million Retail Locations to Its Maps

We are pleased to announce that Mapline will now be providing external data. The people have asked, and we have answered!

That’s right. Competitive data is now available in Mapline. There are thousands of data sets now available, the data ranging from retail stores to gas stations. Now you can build a map from excel and then add external data. Compare your data with the local data of the area!

Competitive Data—Why is it needed?

Data, data, data. Businesses and organizations thrive on the accumulation, comparison, and evaluation of data. People track and record just about everything that happens in a company, trying to improve processes and gain insights. How does one cog of the business affect another cog? How does a particular advertisement fare across various geographic regions? How does a particular product sell at the various stores? Analyzing and making decisions off of data is becoming a crucial aspect of running (and growing) business.

But sometimes, working with your own, internal data doesn’t paint the whole picture. Sometimes, external data is needed. Where are your competitors? Where are the gas stations? Fast food stations?

External data is just that; data from other sources that you yourself didn’t collect. It’s taking your data and putting it side-by-side with your competitor’s data. Or retail locations.

Having the whole picture is oftentimes crucial to figuring out what is going on in your little corner.

What would you do if you realized that your locations within 10 miles of a Walmart had 10% higher sales? What if there were 50 fast food stores in a potential site for your new restaurant? Would that deter you?

No man is an island, and no business decision should be made independent of the environment. The best decisions are oftentimes the most informed decisions. In Mapline, you can make those informed decisions.

Check out the full list of available external data sets!

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New Feature: Sublayers Work Wonders!

In line with mapping in simplicity, we are proud to release a new mapping tool that puts the “A+” in data analysis. We’re talking about Sublayers. Though the name isn’t as cool as its abilities, we tell you – they bring huge analytical power to the users! Just by a few clicks, it can answer difficult questions such as:

  • How can I identify a particular group of pins?
  • Where are my retail stores with the highest sales located?
  • How can I analyze a particular group of pins with the rest of the pins on my map?
  • How can I create a multi-layered map from my data set?

The answer? The Sublayer feature! It makes mapping simpler while trimming your analysis down in only minutes. How cool is that?

Here’s how it works. See the map below? Here, you’re shown a map with crowded pins. Does that mean anything? Not in the first glance. Yes, the map does say something about the locations and the pins represent addresses. But if you really want to know the connections between thse map pins, you need to re-group them by category. Thanks to the new feature, you now have the power to organize your map pins and make your data analysis much less trickier.

When the sublayers feature is applied using “Unique Values,” here’s what you can get. The map pins are categorized on their status – Open or Closed. Notice that the map pins by sublayer also changed so you can easily identify which is which. At the left sidebar, you can also see how many pins are in closed status and how many are in open status.

For further solutions, feel free to use the Custom Groups selection. It will open new ideas as you step in and categorize your pins in different layers. It is also a vital tool to create exceptional map visualizations for presentations. Show your audience the different tiers of dataset that affects your business.

Regroup your data and create a three layer map showing your customers addresses, distribution centers, and competitors. Since each group is represented by unique pin colors, relationship between the groups can be easily identified. Here’s a map using the Custom Groups where you can create different groups and add calculations.

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