Custom Territory Mapping with Mapline

Mapline offers a lot of fantastic features to help you analyze your Excel location data. One of these features is territories. With Mapline, you have the option to use a multitude of existing territories as well as creating custom shapes on your map. Want to understand the advantages of each of these methods? We’ve got you covered.

Available Existing Territories – How to Use Territory Mapping Software

Mapline offers territories for dozens of countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everything in between. You’re able to select your chosen country or continent and narrow down from that level. Examples of existing territories include: Australian local government areas, postal codes, states and territories and suburbs; China provinces; UK counties, countries, postcode areas, postcode districts and regions; and US zip codes, Census tract maps, congressional districts, area codes and school districts. Find a full list of Mapline’s available territories here.

As you can see, territories vary widely. Using our existing territories is best when you want to analyze your company’s location data in relation to your customers’ own lives and reality. For example, if you want to understand demographic factors associated with customers, you might plot customer addresses and overlay a territory as broad as states or as granular as US Census tracts to view distinct groups of populations and analyze their behavior.

Draw on a Map for Custom Map Making

If, however, you wish to analyze data based on your company’s own indicators, you can use our custom territory mapping to draw a circle on a map (or square or other shape – including irregular shapes) to represent your internal boundaries or delineated sales territories. You’re also able to click on your shape to then see a list of all the addresses located within the shape.

This feature is especially helpful for analyzing sales territories to determine reps’ workload and distribution of both clients and sales personnel.

And there you have it – when to use existing territories and when it’s best to draw on a map to create your own custom shapes. It’s that simple! Want to know what else you can do with Mapline? Browse our features.

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Using the Excel Add-In

Downloading the Excel Add-in

Mapline has an add-in for Excel that makes it even easier to create powerful maps. The only requirement to download it is to be a paying user. To starting using the add-in, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Excel Add-in page to download the add-in.
  2. Follow the steps in the light-box that appears.

Once you’ve downloaded the add-in, you’re ready to start building and updating maps and data sets in Excel. You have three different options available through the add-in: Upload, Replace, and Download.

Upload a data set directly from Excel

Mapline has made it so easy to upload data that you don’t even need to copy and paste your data to create a data set! You can do it all from Excel by following these steps:

  1. Open a spreadsheet in Excel.
  2. Select the data you want to upload and include the headers.
  3. Click the “Mapline” option in your Excel ribbon.
  4. Select the “Upload” option.
  5. Follow the steps in the light-box that appears.

Replace your data set from Excel

If your data set is constantly getting updated, then you can replace your old data from Excel with the newest version to always have up-to-date data on your maps. The replace option will delete the old version of your data set, and you won’t be able to retrieve it from Mapline. So be sure that you have a copy on your computer if you don’t want to lose the data. To replace your data set:

  1. Open a spreadsheet in Excel.
  2. Select the data you want to upload and include the headers.
  3. Click the “Mapline” option in your Excel ribbon.
  4. Select the “Replace” option. (Reminder: This will delete the old version of your data set, and you won’t be able to retrieve it.)
  5. Follow the steps in the light-box that appears.

Download your data set from Mapline directly to Excel

If you make changes to your data set within Mapline, then you can download that data set using the add-in. This will allow you to always have the current version of your spreadsheets on your computer. To download a spreadsheet using the Excel add-in:

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Click the “Mapline” option in your Excel ribbon.
  3. Select the “Download” option.
  4. Follow the steps in the light-box that appears.

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XML Data Feed

The XML Data Feed will allow you to automate the process of uploading your data onto Mapline. This feature is available to users on the Enterprise plan. All you will need to do is follow these four simple steps:

  1. The first thing that you will do is request a Feed API Key from Mapline. Just fill out the Contact Us Form and let us know you’re looking for a Feed API Key. You will need to give this to your IT team so that they can use it in Step 2.
  2. Now you need to format your data into XML, but don’t worry because this is simple for your IT team. The XML Documentation is all that your IT team will need. Be sure to let your IT team know what data you would like to be sent to Mapline.
  3. Lastly, you will need to decide with your IT team how you’re going to transfer the data to Mapline:
    • Send the data to Mapline via SFTP.
    • Mapline retrieves the data via SFTP.
    • Post your data on a public URL and provide Mapline with the URL to retrieve the data.
  4. Then you will need to reach out to Mapline. All Mapline needs to know is which of the following ways you have decided to use to send your data and how frequently you will transfer it. Then, Mapline will work with your IT team to make sure that the XML is working properly.

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Using Radial Heat Mapping

With Mapline’s radial heat mapping, you’ll find many settings you can configure to view a customized radius circle on a map. This page will explain each of these settings to you.

Basic Radial Heat Mapping Options

When you create a radius map, you can “apply the heat” in two different ways: Areas Around Pins or Overlapping Radius Areas. This is set in the “APPLY HEAT TO” drop down option.

Areas Around Pins

By applying heat to the “AREAS AROUND PINS,” you can quickly see high density pin clusters. If more pins are clustered together, then the areas surrounding these pins will be colored red, and areas that don’t have many pins surrounding them will be colored blue. Just set the “SIZE” for your radius, and this will set the distance around each pin that you would like to mask with the heatmap. This image helps show what a simple heatmap looks like when the heat is applied to “AREAS AROUND PINS.”

Density Radial Heat Mapping

Below the “Apply Heat To” setting, you’ll find an additional “HEATMAP BASED ON” option. When you set this option to “LOCATION DENSITY,” then you can quickly identify the clusters for your pins (as mentioned above). Or you can change this setting to “DATASET VALUES,” to see high value pins. For example, if you have pins representing customers and each pin has the customer’s annual sales, then you could select the “Annual Sales” column, and the heat areas would show the customers with high annual sales.

You should understand that this type of heatmap shows both magnitude and proximity. For example, if you have one location with high sales, the heat on the radius map would appear red. Or if you could have a lot of lower sales locations which are very close to each other, then the heat would also appear red. It can be a bit tricky, but the heat colors are a combined visualization of both proximity and magnitude. This is the reason that the legend won’t show you a numeric value for “red” or “green.” It is because a green area could mean “a low value pin is in the middle of this area,” or it could mean “the area is farther away from a high value pin.” So, the legend will only show “High” and “Low” meaning “High Value or High Proximity” or “Low Value or Low Proximity.”

Overlapping Radius Map Areas

By applying heat to the “OVERLAPPING RADIUS AREAS,” you can quickly see high density areas. With this setting, a radius circle on a map will be drawn around each pin. And areas with a lot of overlapping circles are colored red, and areas with fewer overlapping circles are colored blue. This image helps show what a simple heatmap looks like when the heat is applied to “OVERLAPPING RADIUS AREAS.”

Coverage Radial Heat Mapping

The heat spots show the values within a distance of the color pixel. So, unlike the Density Type heatmap, any color on the Coverage Type heatmap only has a single meaning: the value for a spot on a map. Therefore, a legend can be shown that has numeric values.

When you set the “HEATMAP BASED ON” option to “LOCATION DENSITY,” then you can quickly identify the areas on a map which are within your specified distance (“SIZE”) of your pins. If you have a map with customer pins, and you set the size to 5 miles, then areas with the highest number of customers within 5 miles will be red, and areas with only one customer within 5 miles will be blue.

If you set the “HEATMAP BASED ON” option to “DATASET VALUES,” then this will show you the areas on a map which are have the highest total (or average) value within the specified distance (“SIZE”). For example, if your “SIZE” is set to 5 miles, and you select “SUM” and “SALES,” under the “DATASET VALUES,” then the red areas with the highest total sales within 5 miles would be red, and the areas with the lowest total sales within 5 miles would be blue.

Advanced Radial Heat Mapping Software Options

The “ADVANCED OPTIONS” enable you to customize your radial heat mapping even more. These options include the ability to set the “OPACITY” of your heatmap as well as define whether you would like the outer edges of the heatmap to “FADE” to transparent or not. You can also set the “BLUR” option to blue the colors together more, and finally you can determine whether you would like the “LEGEND” to appear.

Which Radial Heatmapping Type Should I Use?

I’m glad you asked! These heatmap options tell you very different things, and here are some basic use-case scenarios:

  • Use “AREAS AROUND PINS” if you are trying to visualize any of the following:
    • Pockets with high densities of customers.
    • Large customer accounts or areas where many customers are located.
  • Use “OVERLAPPING RADIUS AREAS” if you are trying to visualize the following:
    • Overall high risk areas for disaster recovery planning.
    • Location to hold a seminar.
    • Optimal place for an office location or distribution center.
    • Report performance by geographic areas of customers or sales.

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Server Compliance Standards

Data security is taken very seriously here at Mapline. We recognize that some of your data may be sensitive and you want to be sure that it is protected. We’ve joined with state-of-the-art data centers to help protect your data.

Mapline uses dedicated private servers with the primary server hosted in the Chicago, Illinois area and the disaster backup center hosted in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Mapline does not use cloud hosting. The data centers where Mapline servers are located meet the following compliance standards:

  • SSAE-16 Certified
  • PCI Compliance
  • US Safe Harbor
  • AICPA and SOC

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