Article By Kathleen Anne Gaiser --
From my interview forward, I discussed bringing mapping into our resources to aid clients and prospects. After a time, it came to be that we purchased ESRI BusinessMap, which met our needs perfectly. Unfortunately, in March of 2010, ESRI announced they were discontinuing BusinessMap, so the long search was on to find a replacement.
I believed our needs to be very basic but was surprised to find locating a replacement to be rather difficult. Our needs were as follows:
1. We have a couple of databases that connect data to metropolitan area (set to lat/long) – we need to be able to plot these points, and then vary the icon (in color and size) to rank the data
2. Plot companies by address, preferably with the ability to vary the icon – show client verses competitor location
3. Show radius – as the crow flies and drive time would be great
4. Create polygon areas and download zip codes/cities/key points in the designated area
5. Show demographic concentrations by zip code/county/state
Best if the software allows US and Canada mapping
To me, what is most important is being able to import and map data I have put together for the purpose to meet a particular need of the client or prospect. While searching, I was surprised how difficult it was to import my own data into the software. Some of the packages did not allow it at all; they just allowed you to run reports and predetermined maps. Yes, the information derived from the reports was of interest, but they were not what I wanted or what I needed the mapping software to do.
Further, going in, I knew the prices could be rather steep, but I was disappointed to see what was available at those prices. The fact that we are interested in US and Canada doubled the expected price - scary.
While no software is perfect and finding a replacement for a comfortable fit can be difficult, MapPoint appears to be the most comparable fit for filling the hole left by BusinessMap. After running through examples of the various types of maps I had been creating for my company’s use for past presentations and reports, I have found MapPoint capable of producing similar results. True, if I could I would improve the labeling capabilities currently available, and I find the drive time tool very inaccurate (will not be using it even in a pinch); but as a whole, I strongly recommend MapPoint as a replacement for BusinessMap for my company’s needs. Oh, and did I mention the price is a lot more competitive than many of the alternatives available? If a more expensive software had met our needs, we definitely would have given it serious consideration, but a higher price tag did not fit our needs better than an economically priced product.
Kathleen Anne Gaiser | Research Analyst | NAS Insights
For more than 60 years, NAS Recruitment Communications has been creating and evolving solutions that assist organizations with their recruiting, employment branding and onboarding/retention efforts. We’re a marketplace leader with over 4,000 clients and a formal Total Quality program that reinforces our commitment to 100% client satisfaction. As part of McCann Worldgroup, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of communications services and a level of strategic expertise that is unequalled in our industry.
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