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Would Mappoint be useful to me?

This is a discussion on Would Mappoint be useful to me? within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; Hello all, I need some help from mappoint users. I analyze demographic information for builder clients. When reporting my results ...

  1. #1
    Pmc is offline Junior Member White Belt
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Would Mappoint be useful to me?

    Hello all, I need some help from mappoint users. I analyze demographic information for builder clients. When reporting my results I have found the need for mapping the results. Is Mappoint useful for information from outside demographic services such as Claritas? Any help or comments would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    davidb is offline Senior Member Blue Belt
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Re: Would Mappoint be useful to me?

    Hi Pmc

    Based on my experience working in the UK then MP would definitely be of use to you. A lot of my work is plotting out demographic and market data, and overlaying client information on top (eg customer addresses, catchment areas etc). A key issue is whether or not the standard geography in MP aligns with your requirements. In the UK, postal geography is the standard geography in MP and this is also the most useful in a marketing context. So for example on penetration maps clients would expect to see their sales divided by population at a postcode sector level (there are around 9000 postcode sectors in the UK) which is a piece of cake in MP, including shaded maps with boundaries . Also data agencies (like Claritas) can readily provide demographic and market data for this geography. Iím sure the North American version of MP will also align with the standard marketing geography(ies).

    What Iíve also found is that I can link in readily to census data, even though census and postcode geographies do not align completely. For example I can take the smallest census units (output areas) and aggregate them pretty accurately to postcode sectors using a lookup table or the aggregation method in MP.

    When you want to work with a geography that isnít built into MP (eg super output areas in the UK) then typically you generally have to plot map symbols at the area centroid which can be quite effective. (Actually trying to read in and use boundary information Iíve found to be a complete pain, though other people may have had different experiences).

    There are some examples in my MapPoint Gallery (link below).

    Other advantages with MP:

    - MP has a limited amount of built-in demographic data
    - although some of the standard data mapping features in MP can be a bit naff (eg sized circles) Iíve found the ability to develop simple vba code in excel has allowed effective custom maps
    - with the press of one button you can see the map in MS Virtual Earth, viewing via aerial photography and oblique photography which can be very useful in geographical analysis for the building trade.

    UK mapping and map analysis services at www.broomanalysis.plus.com

  3. #3
    Pmc is offline Junior Member White Belt
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Would Mappoint be useful to me?

    Davidb - Thank you for the helpful reply. I have decided to give it a go.



  4. #4
    tfmiltz is offline Member Green Belt
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Would Mappoint be useful to me?


    Just to remind you

    If Claritas doesn't provide you with geocode data ? street data to Lat Lon ?

    MapPoint can do this for you.

    The community behind MapPoint on these forums I find is highly supportive to any creative task at hand, there even is a free geocoder EXE (Shark iirc) posted on one of the comments on this board, I was able to write my own geocoder in a matter of an hour ! with MapPoint.

    MapPoint is terrific for external demographic data, again, just geocode it first if need be, and you're good to go, don't forget the built in US census data, tracts/regions MapPoint supports.

    No one is doing it, but my god, the Summary File Data from US Census that's out there ? Sheesh, MS doesn't bring it in for free, although the data IS free, but that would really bring some terrific demographic data value to MP, so, don't forget that's out there too.

    I wrote an app ( for fun ) couple years ago that allowed single point and click solutions where it would go out and grab whatever you wanted from the Census FTP site, and shove it into SQL server, it's all contingent on the GeoFiles fixed field tables from Census if you care to explore that, but I'd give MapPoint a 10 out of 10 for demographics mapping tool.

    Hope you bring back more questions or problems with your Calritas adventures, what you are seeking is right up the alley for what MapPoint can do with ease, I'd like to see more on this subject, because the product just isn't connecting marketing wise it seems (yet ?) with those in business that could really benefit from it.

    Tim Miltz
    Some guy in a room at a machine.

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