Custom Maps for Websites, Presentations and Proposals
Let’s explore GIS [Geographic Information Systems] maps, shall we? [I say we shall. They’re a pretty integral part of what we do here at the Map Nerd].
GIS maps are an essential tool for small business websites, presentations and proposals. If you’ve got a need for any sort of environmental and land use information, or demographic information about age and income level, custom GIS maps are the tool you need.
Types of GIS Maps
As a GIS data analytics expert [a “Map Nerd,” if you will], I can make all kinds of custom maps for your business. Things like…
Category Maps – The most common, and perhaps simplest, GIS map divides up an area into colored sections, using a key to explain what each of the corresponding sections.
Let’s say you want to highlight your top-selling product in a particular area, your top salesperson in a particular area, your dominant competitor in an area… or, maybe, the dominant breeds of squirrels that keep trying to pry into your roof. A category map can help you pinpoint this [hey, I don’t judge what you use the map for. I’m a part of your tool kit! Your hammer wouldn’t judge you, and neither would I].
Heat Map or Quantity Map – A quantity map, heat map, or — to use the special Map Nerd term, “choropleth” map — shows patterns and demographic trends based on location. This will again use colors specified by a key, but the shade of the color will darken as the color corresponds to a range of higher numbers.
For example, let’s say you’ve categorized those dang squirrels by breed. With a heat/quantity/choropleth map, you can see exactly where most of them live… which is perfect for figuring out your next [humane!] plan of attack.
Or, more practically, you could use a quantity map to explore home values, median incomes, number of properties for sale, number of properties sold within a certain time frame, or average price per square footage. Choosing the right range of numbers (and number of different colors) is important to make sure the data conveys accurate information that is not misleading.
I mean, none of those have anything to do with squirrels, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.
Cluster Map – A cluster map is similar to a heat map, since it compares frequencies of data points within an area. But instead of using color grades, it combines data points into a single number within an area for the simplest understanding.
For example, cluster maps can tell you how many homes are for sale within one neighborhood [or how many squirrels are in one tree. Ugh, why are they so spread out!?].
These maps are often interactive; a user might click on the number 3 to then see additional information about the homes [squirrels] available [still too close for comfort].
Squirrels aside, I’d be thrilled to generate custom maps for your company and its website. A screenshot from Google Maps may not tell customers everything you want them to know — when I make a custom map of your location, I can include and exclude particular items and boundaries.
Even better, if you’re looking to sell your business, you might also need a category map or heat map like the ones above to show your customers how effective your business is.
And if you’re not sure which map is right for you, just ask! That’s why they call me The Map Nerd – we can discuss how best to convey your data to your customers.
Presentations and Proposals
You can also use a custom map for a presentation to your supervisor, team or regional/national office. Maps let you clearly share information about growth, projections, locations and more.
After all, lists of numbers can make people fall asleep in meetings [or, you know, anywhere]. They’re hard for anyone to understand! But visual maps make it easy for people to see why you should open a new location or invest more in a particular area of your business. Don’t just say that sales have increased: show it with a map!
And if anyone has questions about the data… that’s what query tools are for! Query tools let users isolate different map layers to evaluate individual data points.
For example, if your squi… supervisor only wants to know about sales figures for 2018 in District 1, you’d be able to click on the map to exclude other years and districts. Pretty neat!