ZeeMaps allows you to highlight geographical areas, e.g., zip codes, counties, cities, states, or geometrical areas like circles, rectangles on your map. You can use such highlighted areas to mark out sales territories, or show service areas on a map. Often, your “region” will comprise of several smaller “geographical” areas. For example, a pizza delivery service might consist of an area composed of several zip codes. Or, a sales territory map might divide the country into several regions comprising of several states each.
Group Highlighted Regions
We’ve added a capability to “group” highlighted areas by color. Use the View > Group Regions menu to combine the borders of your highlighted areas. Once you do this, boundaries will be removed from all contiguous highlighted areas of the same color.
While the highlighted areas are grouped, you cannot add or make changes to existing areas. To do that, un-group the areas, make the changes, and then group the areas again.
Grouping and un-grouping of regions requires an active Enterprise plan subscription.
For example, here’s a map that has several US Zip Codes highlighted grouped together. Following it is a the same map without the grouped highlighted regions.
Interactive Map with several highlighted zip codes grouped together by color
Interactive Map with highlighted zip codes and other areas
ZeeMaps now allows you to highlight US Zip Code areas on a map by uploading a spreadsheet with address and color information. Previously we supported highlighting regions only few at a time. As an example, in this blog post, we’ll show you how to highlight all the Las Vegas zip codes on a map.
Las Vegas Zip Codes Spreadsheet
We collected all the the las vegas zip codes and put them in a spreadsheet. A small sample of the spreadsheet is shown below:
City, State, Zip Code, Color
Las Vegas, NV, 89101, red
Las Vegas, NV, 89111, blue
Las Vegas, NV, 89102, green
Las Vegas, NV, 89103, red
Las Vegas, NV, 89106, blue
Las Vegas, NV, 89107, green
Las Vegas, NV, 89109, red
Las Vegas, NV, 89128, blue
The complete spreadsheet of the Las Vegas zip codes can be downloaded from: Las Vegas Zip Codes.
We’ve added the “color” column to our table to indicate which color we’d like to use to highlight a specific zip code. You can modify the color later once the map has been created. ZeeMaps supports 31 different colors that can be used for spreadsheet uploads. For a complete list of supported colors, see the menu item Map -> Legend on your map.
Upload Las Vegas Zip Codes Spreadsheet to a Map
Create a map and then use the menu item Additions -> Add (Upload) Multiple Markers. This will result in a dialog that asks for the spreadsheet file:
In this dialog, as shown in the figure above, you can select the option to upload the data as pins or as highlighted areas for the zip codes. Since we want to create a map with zip codes highlighted, we’ll chose the option of “US Zip Code Regions”.
The spreadsheet can be in Excel file format or a CSV file. You can also copy-and-paste data from a table, or attach a spreadsheet maintained on a Google Drive. The advantage of using a spreadsheet on a Google Drive is that you can have the map be automatically updated based on changes to the spreadsheet.
Once you submit the data, a dialog will ask for confirmation of the column mappings to the field values. Make sure your columns are assigned to the appropriate fields, otherwise the data may not be mapped correctly.
Las Vegas Zip Codes Map
After you confirm the column mappings, the highlighting of zip code areas will start. It may take a few minutes for large files. You’ll get an email report when the upload is finished. Refresh your map and it should show you the highlighted areas. Our interactive map of Las Vegas zip codes is embedded below.
Click on a highlighted zip code to see more information determined from the additional columns of your spreadsheet. In the information bubble, you can click on the title or name to get an edit dialog to make changes to that specific entry, including the ability to change the color.
When highlighting regions through spreadsheet uploads, the normal region limits apply: 5 for Basic (free) plan, 10 for Professional, 25 for Professional Publisher. In addition, the Enterprise plan is restricted to 5,000 highlighted regions through spreadsheet uploads. If you need more, please contact us for special provisioning.
ZeeMaps can used as a trip planner to plan your routes visiting multiple points marked on your map. Routes, an ordered list of destinations, can be created on any map, even maps not your own. Some highlights of trip planning with ZeeMaps routes are:
The ZeeMaps trip planner can optionally optimize your route for distance or time.
Routes are associated with your account for each map, so you’ll need to sign-in to create a route.
The trip planner allows you to print your routes, with a map showing the overall route and each stop labelled and listed on the print page.
Routes are available when you access the map from your Smart Phone, so you can easily get directions to your next stop from where you are.
Using the ZeeMaps Trip Planner
To create a new route on a map, use the menu item Additions -> Route. This will show you a dialog containing the route. For example, here’s a route on our Used Computer Stores map for a few stores in San Jose and Santa Clara, California.
Start clicking on pins on the map to add to the route. In the route dialog, you can select the route to be either automatically optimized for Distance or for Time. If not, you can leave it to be manual. If the route is in manual mode, you can drag-and-drop the destinations in the route to re-order your route. With a route dialog, you can do the following:
List All: list all the routes that you have defined on this map
Print: get a map print-out of your route, with each stop marked on the map and listed
Reset: clear your current changes
Show: show the routes between the destinations
Save As: Save your route for future reference
Close: dismiss the route dialog
Routes in Smart Phone
After you’ve defined your routes on a map, visit the map from your Smart Phone. To see the routes, click on the menu item and click on the Routes option. This will bring up a list of your routes, so you can click on the one that you want. Once you are on the route, you can click on any destination to get directions to that destination.
Heat map, a density visualization technique, shows areas of high and low concentration on a map. While, a point map with 10’s of thousands of locations can become cluttered, a heat map visualization of the same data can quickly show areas of dense population.
For example, if you plot the locations of all your customers as a heat map, you can quickly see where there are pockets of low or high number of customers.
ZeeMaps provides support for a these maps in both the interactive and print versions. Currently, we look at the frequency, or number of points at a given location, to determine the density. Over time we’ll extend this to allow for the density value to be determined through one of the the marker fields. Notice, you can combine this feature with the Zip Code Finder tool in ZeeMaps. Finally, a great way to quickly determine the zip codes with high density of points on a map!
Here’s an example of a heat map of locations of all the Used Computer Stores in the US. First, with the map, one can quickly see that Boston and New York are the most dense areas. While, other major cities like San Francisco, Dallas, etc., have some notable presence as well.
Now, click on the icon at the top right of the map. Notice, the display will change to the regular clustered point map.
We can also get an image of the same map, using the menu item Print or Share -> PDF/PNG Image. In the resulting dialog, we check the option for “Heat Map” for the pin style.
Setting a Heat Map in ZeeMaps
Turn on the this feature for your map. First, go to the settings page (menu Map -> Settings). Second, click on the Map Display tab. Third, check the box for “Enable Heat Map” and hit Save Changes. Last, go back to the map to view the change. Finally, there will be a small icon at the top right of the map (see interactive map above). You can click on that icon to toggle the display from a heat to a regular point map.
Often, it is useful to show continuously updated geo maps. For example, geo maps updated by a large number of field operators. In the field, operators can indicate status change for job sites by changing the color of markers on the geo map. Similarly, crowdsourced geo maps would show updates from the field as new locations are added. For such geo maps, it is often desirable to display the geo map on a large screen, visible to several users and employees to monitor progress. This can also be useful in conferences, e.g., where each attendee marks their location of origin or interest. In classrooms, you can use such geo maps for students to mark their locations.
Manually refreshing the geo map screen every so often becomes tedious quickly. It is much better if the geo map can refresh itself every few minutes.
ZeeMaps allows you to set up your geo map for auto-refresh. Once set up for auto-refresh, you can leave the geo map visible on a browser window and it will automatically refresh itself every five minutes.
Enabling Auto-Refresh for Geo Maps in ZeeMaps
To enable auto-refresh of your geo maps, use the Map -> Settings menu to go the settings page. Click on the Map Display tab in the settings page. Check the box for “Auto-Refresh map markers every 5 minutes”. Hit Save Changes.
To recap, ZeeMaps provides many ways of making changes to geo map markers concurrently by many users. Users can add more locations to a geo map. They change the status of a geo map marker by changing its color. Manually refreshing the geo map on a continuous basis is tedious. ZeeMaps’ capability auto-refreshed every few minutes makes it much easier to setup overview geo maps for a groups of users.