From managing customer locations to planning the steps of a supply chain, maps serve many business purposes. One of the key ways businesses use maps is by plotting location points. Frequently, companies will have over a hundred points they need to plan on a map. Google Maps is a popular choice for mapping projects, but unfortunately, it’s only capable of plotting ten locations at a time. Therefore, businesses need to rely on a platform, like Maptive, to handle larger amounts of location data.
Plotting points on a map start with location data such as addresses. When you have the right platform, plotting this data for your business is a simple process. However, if you’re dealing with large amounts of data, you’ll also want a platform that can help keep that data organized and easy to read. Let’s explore how to choose the right program for mapping, the basic process for plotting points on a map, and how to keep data organized and readable:
How to Choose a Mapping Platform
A company needs a mapping platform that can handle at least 100,000 locations in a single map. Ideally, it should also include the following features:
- Find directions between multiple locations: an effective mapping program should provide you with the most efficient route between locations.
- Customizable marker icons: you want to differentiate markers for different data points from each other, so it’s essential that you can choose different colors and styles.
- Geographic location plotting: if you enter a list of cities, states, or ZIP codes, the program should find the coordinates on a map.
- Points of interest: if you run a business, you may want to know how close your office, store, restaurant, warehouse, etc. is to other points of interest, so it’s important that the mapping program you choose can show you this.
- Importing of data through spreadsheets: the easiest way to get lots of data into a mapping program is by importing a spreadsheet. Copying and pasting or entering data manually can cost you lots of time, so it’s best if your platform lets you upload a spreadsheet.
How to Plot Points on a Map?
In most platforms, the process for plotting points on the map should be the same. You will start by uploading your data through an Excel spreadsheet, Google Sheet, or CRM. Your spreadsheet must include header columns that explain to the program what the data in the spreadsheet is. You will want to include address, city, ZIP code, name, phone number, etc. The more information you have in your spreadsheet, the more accurate the map will be. Therefore if you can, you should include things like latitude and longitude.
How to Organize Large Amounts of Mapping Data
If you’re plotting large amounts of data, you want to make sure that it’s readable. To accomplish this, you should consider how you set up your map. Some of the methods you might use to organize your map include:
- Clustering your pins: rather than have your markers appear individually, cluster your pins as a single market with the sum of the markers displayed. You can also display your markers as a cluster pie chart to show the information contained within.
- Creating heat maps: display density with a heat map instead of individual pins.
- Adding filters: segment your data with a location filter to only see the information you need.
Plotting points on a map for your business requires a mapping platform to map up to 100,000 location points. It also requires that you know how to organize large amounts of location data on a map to readable. Your mapping program will use data from a spreadsheet or CRM, so this spreadsheet must contain all the necessary information to make your map as accurate as possible. Once you have the right tool, the right organization system, and the right information, you can plot points on a map to help you manage your supply chain steps, track customers, plan the optimal driving route, and more.