View Full Version : Finding a Replacement for ESRI BusinessMap

Eric Frost
01-05-2011, 10:23 AM
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.

NAS Recruitment Communications - Employment Branding, HR Consulting, Recruitment Advertising (http://www.nasrecruitment.com/)

01-12-2011, 01:48 PM
I have this same problem, and MapPoint seems to be the only viable solution.

ESRI's MapIt being an interesting future consideration.

I am a GIS person, so I will be considering constructing a system from ArcServer, but i just got the project to come up with a BusinessMap replacement.

I don't like how you can't turn on and off and order layers in MapPoint 2009 (the version oi have). Not sure if this has been repaired in future versions.

Eric Frost
01-12-2011, 01:51 PM
MapPoint 2010 did add a Map Settings pane which was one of the most significant enhancement to the product ever.


I think you would do well to scrap MapPoint 2009 for now and do your evaluation with MapPoint 2010. There's a free 60-day fully functional trial version.



Eric Frost
01-12-2011, 01:52 PM
Welcome to the site, by the way :-)


01-14-2011, 08:14 AM
So, I have been looking for a replacement for BusinessMap since ESRI terminated the program. I can't find a program that does the same things that BusinessMap did. This is really frustrating, because BusinessMap does some great things. In my consideration of MapPoint 2009 I have run across the following list of things that MapPoint doesn't do that BusinessMap does. . . I will add to this post as i run across more things.

1. In MapPoint, unlike BusinessMap, I can't have 50 layers on the left that are programmed into the map and then able to be turned on and off, with a checkbox. This is really important if i want to use a map in a presentation and quickly show many layers of data points, and be able to isolate each of these layers from eachother quickly. Or turn off a distracting layer and then turn it right bqack on.

2. If I want to draw territories in Canada, Mexico and the US, ovbiously using different geographic polygons (geographies), I can't do this in MapPoint. I can draw territories on 5 digit zips in the US, FSA's in Canada and States in Mexico, but these can't all be on the same map in MapPoint. UGH!! Also there doesn't seem to be a way to further divide territories, such as sub-regions in BusinessMap.

3. I can't see the database in MapPoint; i have to export it to look at it. In BusinessMap i could draw a shape on the map and it would highlight the records in whatever layer i had highlighted on the left.

I haven't tried MapPoint 2010, but if these issues are fixed there, please let me know.

01-14-2011, 08:19 AM
these reasons point me to ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcServer and MapIt.

Eric Frost
01-14-2011, 08:40 AM
Do you know the prices?


01-14-2011, 09:05 AM
The ESRI products are very expensive when you look at them standing alone, but they don't compare as apples to apples. They are enterprise wide. So if i have 200 users x $200 (MapPoint) is $40,000.

ESRI cost less than that for the whole company.
ArcView = $1500
ArcGIS Extensions: Spatial Analyst, Publisher, Network Analyst. $2500
ArcReader = Free (people can read my maps for free)
Arc Sever (Basic) = $10,000
MapIt = $4500
Plus about $5500 year in maintenance fees. . . Which give me all new data and updates,

This is about $18500 plus $5000 year, for a system with techsupport, all updates and really extensible funcionality. ..

If i am off by $10000 i am still under $40000 by a long shot.

So i am looking at all options. . . MapPoint is way less acpable than BusinessMap was and I can't do without much of that functionality.

I haven't looked too deep into Bing Maps what options do they provide?

Eric Frost
01-17-2011, 04:09 PM
Bing Maps is similar to Google Maps.


01-17-2011, 04:39 PM
Here is a great article here, that gives some insight into why ESRI dropped BusinessMap.

Interview: Bill McNeil, Former Manager of ESRI's BusinessMAP Group - Directions Magazine (http://www.directionsmag.com/articles/interview-bill-mcneil-former-manager-of-esris-businessmap-group/122442)

. . . in case anyone was interested.

Eric Frost
01-17-2011, 04:48 PM
Ah great!

I wasn't even sure ESRI had retired BusinessMap at the time of the interview until the very last sentence :-)

Texmobile.com - Home (http://www.texmobile.com/) <-- what do you think of it?

01-17-2011, 04:58 PM
The guy who developed BusinessMap is now on his own and he is making a new web based service at Texmobile.com - Home (http://www.texmobile.com/).

Anyone hear of this service?

Eric Frost
01-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Not until you pointed out that article.

Some details for the GeoWebMap product are listed here Texmobile.com - Introducing GeoWebMap (http://www.texmobile.com/geowebmap.html)
but no instructions on how to buy it, maybe it's still in development/vaporware?

The copyright at the bottom of the page still says 2009. I'm not sure it is still going anywhere.


01-17-2011, 05:18 PM
I saw that, if they want to sell their product they should at least update the page. .. ugh

Eric Frost
01-17-2011, 09:51 PM
Do you know if it's a real product?

Maybe my head's not properly in the clouds :turned:, but I did get a sense some of what he was saying in the interview is ahead of it's time.

Although computer platform usage is definitely changing (people spending more time on tablet/mobile devices for simple things) where there is actual knowledge/content creation/analysis type stuff going on i.e. GIS work, it's definitely still PC's and workstations.

Honestly, I just recently got my hands on a copy of BusinessMap 5.0 and was delightfully impressed.

I still suspect they just couldn't get their marketing or product mix right and develop the customer base.

On one side, if ESRI marketed BusinessMap 5.0 heavily to their complete customer base, they would definitely risk cannibalizing ArcGIS / Business Analyst sales.

On the other side; they probably didn't have the resources or guts to be in the mass market channels (Best Buy, Walmart).

Just my 2 cents!


01-18-2011, 08:38 AM
Texmobile was one of the alternatives I looked into for replacing BusinessMap; even reached out to Bill McNeil about 10 months ago. Unfortunately the software was not able to fit our needs, but who nows what the future holds.

BusinessMap was pretty awesome, it will be missed.

Eric Frost
01-18-2011, 11:12 PM

While MP is most extensible via the API, the map rendering is still limited compared to such things as Bing Maps.

We'll see what the future holds.


05-08-2014, 10:43 AM
Here is a great article that compares BusinessMap with similar/alternative software products.

Online: Mapping Solutions Under $500 (http://www.caliper.com/PDFs/Online-Mapping%20Solutions.pdf)

Eric Frost
05-09-2014, 10:22 AM
This is an old thread and you are linking to a very old article.