Trip Planner in ZeeMaps for multi-point routes

Trip Planner Overview

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.

Trip Planner: Create a route
Trip Planner: Create a route

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.

Trip Planner: Routes in Smart Phone
Trip Planner: Routes in Smart Phone

Heat Map Visualization in ZeeMaps

Heat Map Overview

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 heat map 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.

When combined with the Zip Code Finder tool in ZeeMaps, this can be a great way to quickly determine the zip codes with high density of points on a map.

Example Heat Map

Here’s an example of a map of locations of all the Used Computer Stores in the US. With the heat 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. If you click on the icon at the top right of the map 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.

Heat Map of Used Computer Stores in the US
Heat Map of Used Computer Stores in the US

Setting a Heat Map in ZeeMaps

To turn on the heat map feature for your map, go to the settings page (menu Map -> Settings). Click on the Map Display tab. Check the box for “Enable Heat Map” and hit Save Changes. Go back to the map and it will turn the visualization into a heat map. 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 map to a regular point map.

Map Settings menu
Map Settings Menu item
Enable Heat Map in ZeeMaps
Enable Heat Map in ZeeMaps

US Map – Get Map of USA Images using ZeeMaps

You can get US Map images from ZeeMaps in different sizes and resolutions, e.g., to print out a wall-poster, or include in a PowerPoint slide.

On your interactive map in ZeeMaps, click the Print or Share -> PDF/PNG Image menu item to get the dialog to customize your image.

Print Image menu item and customization dialog
Dialog to customize your print image in ZeeMaps

The first option in the customization dialog is for selecting the “Geography” of your image. This allows you to choose from one of the following options:

  • Cover Markers – include all the pins or markers that are placed on the map
  • Map View – use whatever is visible in the map window currently
  • Select Area – select an area of the map using a rectangle
  • US Map- make a US Map (possibly with Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Alaska included)
  • World Map – map of the world

US Map of Used Computer Stores

Select the option for “US Map” to get an image of a US Map with all your customizations overlay’d on it. For example, here’s an image generated from our Used Computer Stores map, with Alaska and Hawaii excluded:

US Map of Used Computer Stores
US Map of Used Computer Stores

We can also generate a US Map image with Alaska and Hawaii included:

US Map of Used Computer Stores with Alaska and Hawaii
US Map of Used Computer Stores with Alaska and Hawaii

The images are available as a political map with state boundaries, or as a satellite map:

US Map of Used Computer Stores, Satellite Version
US Map of Used Computer Stores, Satellite Version

Finally, if you want, you can highlight certain regions on the map, e.g., below we highlight California and Texas:

Map of USA with States Highlighted
Map of USA with States Highlighted

In this post, we’ve shown a limited set of samples of US Map generated with ZeeMaps. The image customization dialog contains a whole other set of customizations, e.g., selecting the type of markers on the map, the size and resolution of the image, whether you want the markers labeled or not. We invite you to experiment with the myriad of options and contact us in case you need some assistance.

Postcode Finder for Australia, Interactive

We’ve added the ability to highlight and find postcodes in Australia. You can highlight postcodes, or find postcodes that are within a specific area on the map.

“Postcodes are used in Australia to sort and send mail to the correct address. All postcodes in Australia have four digits and are placed at the end of the address. Australian postcodes are managed by Australia Post.” from the Wikipedia article on postcodes in Australia.

Highlight Postcodes in Australia

To highlight one more Postcodes in Australia, use the Additions -> Highlight Regions -> Zip (Post) Codes -> Australia Postcodes menu item on your map.

Select Additions -> Highlight Regions -> Zip (Post) Codes -> Australia Postcodes
Menu item to highlight postcodes

In the resulting dialog, enter one or more four digit postcodes separated by commas or spaces. Specify the color for the highlighted area and the boundary and hit Submit.

Highlight Postcode in Australia Dialog
Dialog to highlight a postcode in Australia

For example, here’s a map with postcodes 0872 and 6440 highlighted.

Postcode Finder for Australia

To lookup postcodes that are in a specific area in Australia, use the Additions -> Highlight Regions to define your region. Then, use the menu View -> Lookup Zip (Post) codes menu item and click on your highlighted region. That should show you a list of all the postcodes that fall in the given region.

Postcode Finder for Australis
Postcode Finder for Australia