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Will MapPoint meet my needs

This is a discussion on Will MapPoint meet my needs within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; Hi everyone, I am new to this forum, so apologies in advance if I have posted this question to the ...

  1. #1
    ChickenLegs is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Will MapPoint meet my needs

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this forum, so apologies in advance if I have posted this question to the wrong place.

    I am about to order MapPoint Europe 2006, but have a couple of questions I need answers to, to ensure it will meet my organisation's needs.

    1. I want to be able to create a map of the UK and be able to drill down (based on my own data and statistics) to different levels i.e. regional, county, town and possibly even street. When i do this, I want to be able to see summary statistics or information which comes from my data.

    2. I want to be able to colour code parts of the map based on my own criteria, so for example where a particular set of customers prefers 1 product it will be green and so on...

    3. I would like to be able to calculate driving distances and estimated time from a single location to a specified list of others on the map and again colour code to show i.e. all distances within 1 hour drive of my location, or at least be able to export this to a sprteadsheet/ text file or something

    4 Be able to allow up to 5 users to use the program simultaneously, and posibly be able to send reports/map diagrams to none users i.e via email or published to a website

    Can mappoint do these things?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I want to ensure it will meet my needs. I was originally looking at BusinessObjects (for the data drilling/analysis bit, but thing MapPoint might offer more.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance

  2. #2
    Eric Frost's Avatar
    Eric Frost is offline Administrator Black Belt
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    Re: Will MapPoint meet my needs

    I think you can do all these things, but it might not be a seamless as you would hope, there would be some workarounds and custom programming involved.

    I'd recommend to download and start playing with the evaluation - Download details: Microsoft MapPoint 2006 North American Maps

    I don't see how to get the Europe maps eval :-/ but even just playing with the NA version should give you a good idea of the capabilities.

    Eric

  3. #3
    ChickenLegs is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Will MapPoint meet my needs

    Hi Eric,

    thanks for responding, you have helped enormously. I don't mind putting in the extra work if it needs extra programming etc. although not a programmer, but have dabbled with vba, so will no doubt be back on this sight asking for help if get stuck

    I have downloaded the evaluation as you suggested, and plan to play with it tomorrow.

    Many thanks once again

  4. #4
    davidb is offline Senior Member Blue Belt
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    Re: Will MapPoint meet my needs

    Hi there

    Iíve been using MapPoint Europe for a few years now and these are some observations relating to your questions.

    MapPoint is pretty good for the drilling down and summary statistics, although it is at its most effective working with postcode geography Ė areas, districts and sectors. When summarising big geographical data-bases I use Excel and Access alongside MapPoint which works well. If you plot out a customer address list on a national basis, MP allows you to summarise date to any postcode geography or county. There is a bug in MP2006 which means that postcode names - eg kt, kt17 or kt17 4 Ė should always be read in as lower case or else youíll get a significant proportion wrongly located. You can set up your own territories (eg radiuses around towns with postcode sectors as the building blocks) and for street level data one ad hoc way would be to zoom in, use the polygon draw tool and then export the data in that polygon to excel.

    Colour coding of areas, along with other ways of portraying data, are also pretty good in MapPoint and enhanced still further by a bit of vba programming in excel (Iím not a programmer but Iíve managed to develop some nice methods eg different sized circles where the area of the circle represents the data count as opposed to the limited sized circles option in the package.)

    Drivetimes fine. Drivetime iscochrones based on time can be routinely generated using the package from any point. Also I found no particular difficulty in putting together some vba excel code to generate drivetimes and distances from a particular point to an array of different points (in my case postcode sector centroids). The most frustrating thing in MP2006 is how you set driving speeds, which is much less helpful than MP2004.

    I think multiple users are fine with the appropriate hardware, but be aware of the licensing issues. I believe you need separate licenses for each pc, unless theyíre just used for viewing maps. Certainly the maps are fine for e-mailing, and creating web pages. I also often copy them into Powerpoint for presentation.


    Hope this helps.
    David
    UK mapping and map analysis services at www.broomanalysis.plus.com

  5. #5
    ChickenLegs is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Will MapPoint meet my needs

    Hi,

    many thanks for your response - it helps a great deal!

    It sounds like it will meet all my needs. As long as I know it is do-able, will hopefully be able to work out how to do it (you mentioned vba, whjich I am a little familiar with, so I will possibly be going down the same route). Does mp contain postcode details or do I have to provide this myself? Glad you mentioned about the lower case problem as guess it's not something obvious, and can be overlooked if you don't know a particular area so well.

    One last question, can you overlay data? for example bring in statistics from a number of different sources?

  6. #6
    davidb is offline Senior Member Blue Belt
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    Re: Will MapPoint meet my needs

    Not sure what you mean by postcode details. If your customers are located in your database by postcode then you can read these into MP and it will plot the locations of all the valid postcodes. If you have a further data value eg. sales per customer then you can routinely get MP to sum or average the data at a sector, district, area or county level which allows you to map it and output the summarised data to excel. So basically provided your customers are geographically referenced MP will do the rest. MP can also plot postal addresses with or without postcode and then as above summarise at postcode geography. You always need to check the diagnostics on address plotting to be clear what element of the address has actually been plotted!

    In terms of overlaying data you can import data provided it is appropriately geographically referenced. For example if you had a postcode sector database of demographics it would be easy to read that in and use it (MP does have a demographic data-base built in, again with bugs). On the other hand if the data related to wards or your own defined areas itís less easy to make that work well, because MP doesnít handle new boundary data very well. If your data relates to individual locations then again it works fine eg. colour coding customers on the basis of amount spent. In my work I use Output Area data from the census which are very small census tracts covering the UK. I have the centroid for each one and generally use colour coded dot maps that work well.
    David
    UK mapping and map analysis services at www.broomanalysis.plus.com

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