While Google Maps remains one of the more popular options for maps, it is nothing short of frustrating for users that need a mapping of multiple areas. Unfortunately, it seems Google Maps has minimal and limited capabilities when it comes to mapping numerous locations simultaneously. The actual program only allows for ten different locations at the same time, making it limiting for anyone in business, for example, trying to manage a database of customers (often in the thousands is virtually impossible).
Thankfully, third-party software has helped alleviate some of that pain when it comes to plotting locations. With many platforms using cloud-mapping software with integration with Google Maps, you’ll find a comparable solution without having to sacrifice your data in the process. Third-party software combines custom Google Map functionality; businesses can plot unlimited points within a map while maintaining accuracy.
Using Third-Party Software for Multiple Locations
Implementing third-party software with your Google Maps isn’t difficult; it’s often a step-by-step process. Most accounts will require you to track your customer database on a spreadsheet, including their address. To create a list of your customers, open a spreadsheet and make two columns. The first column will need their address, and subsequent columns are for the other descriptors. Feel free to add additional columns with your own dataset (which makes for easy filtering and grouping after the mapping).
Log into your third-party account and locate the map functionality. You’ll want to give it a name and description for easy monitoring. Upload the content of your spreadsheet into the mapping software and submit it. From there, most programs will allow a direct upload, but users can also copy and paste the contents too.
If you’re looking for a mapping program, consider purchasing one that allows partial addresses. This allows all customer profiles to be entered into the program, even if a complete address isn’t given. Use zip codes, street names, cities, or other pieces of data to formulate your pin.
Check through the data to ensure they have been entered correctly. If the software you’re using allows for correction, update any addresses that failed to load. After your address data has been updated, it’s time to generate the map.
Creating Personalized Map Appearances
Although not all third-party programs will offer all features, now is the time to implement them if there are customized options available. Mapping software integrated with Google Maps has full incorporation, including street view and satellite image mapping. Users can view actual customer locations, highways, or the city center, right from the map. For addresses close together, consider stacking or clustering the plots.
Clustering the pins will show as a larger, single market on the map. The sum of addresses within that app will be displayed above, or within the data marker, so you’ll have a complete picture of your client base. When it comes to dense sets of pins, clusters are easier to convey with larger pins than trying to show single addresses within the same area.
Develop Custom Route Options
Efficiency is essential when it comes to transportation (whether it’s shipping, logistics, or delivery). This means your company will spend less time on the road and more time delivering products. Invest in a program that offers customizable routes for your data points. Routes are any plotted points on the map, integrated with Google Maps for optimization. Users can customize these routes automatically based on location, driving time, or another specified option. Businesses wanting to create their own route can override this feature or not use the option at all.
Exporting Your Map
If you’re hoping to keep a snapshot in time, consider exporting your content to an image or PDF file. Integrate the maps into presentations, save your map as a reference, or use printed versions for drivers or logistic teams.
Consider Heat Maps
Converting your maps into a functional heat map (also known as a density map) is simple with most third-party applications. Simply upload your content to the site and then choose to display the density with varying degrees of the same color. The darker the shade you select, the denser an area is. Alternatively, the lighter the area, the fewer customers you currently have within that geographical area.