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17.06.2016

Why Companies Can Hardly Do Without Maps Anymore

Purchasing power and demographic data is crucial in the development of almost all areas of business (Source: atlas.ubilabs.net) Our certified maps experts (ltr): David Fricke, Linda Schaumburg, Philipp Lauser and Clemens Gerth (Source: Ubilabs) Still working with paper and pencil? It's much easier to get your work done with interactive maps (Source: Ubilabs) Develop map applications for desktop and mobile to optimize the use of resources (Source: Ubilabs)

These days, map software is used in almost every company. Many applications are based on proven Google Maps technology. With our certified experts Linda Schaumburg (LS) and David Fricke (DF), we talked about how garbage collection is more efficient with the help of maps and why sales and marketing departments should work with more than just Excel spreadsheets.

What do companies use map systems and software for?

LS: Some use maps to conduct site analyses and for visualization, while others integrate the map into tracking software in order to track their vehicles on the map. Every industry brings along its own specific use cases.   

In which industries do companies use a map?

DF: Our customers come from the logistics industry and the automotive industry, as well as from retail. It would probably be easier to list the industries they don’t come from. Virtually every industry now works with map-based systems. Whether in insurance companies, hospitals, or garbage collection—the areas of application are incredibly diverse.

LS: On the one hand, interactive maps are used to improve customer service—whether to display the branches using a store locator or so that users can see when their taxi is arriving. On the other hand, companies use maps internally to optimize their vehicle fleet routes or to visualize sales figures.  

Why does garbage collection need a map?

DF: If companies like those responsible for garbage collection did not use maps, things could end up getting quite chaotic and expensive. They use maps as a basis for route optimization software and for tracking their garbage trucks. Geocoding can display disruptions such as construction sites on the map, allowing them to be circumvented.

LS: Companies generally like to use maps when it comes to logistics planning. One of our customers uses elevation profiles to more precisely calculate the exact fuel consumption of its fleet of trucks. Elevation profiles have also been used in the planning of gas lines. This shows just how versatile the use of a single function (in this case, the Google Maps Elevation API) can be.

Are there other interesting use cases?

DF: The versatile use of maps is something that fascinates us time and again. For example, a customer from the field of cancer research once acquired the Google Maps license in order to navigate through high-resolution images from electron microscopes. Instead of the classic map, he used the technology for his own purposes, creating a map of the body—it was fascinating.

Why should I use maps in sales?

LS: Equipped with the intelligence of  geotechnology, the map is much more than just a clever way to visualize data. Anyone who tries to optimize sales without a map—and only works with Excel spreadsheets, for example—has essentially already failed. Whereas tables only show you raw numbers, once they have been visualized on the map, you can recognize relationships and understand how the numbers relate to each other; there is no longer any need to search for correlations. This allows you to grasp and understand data that can be compared over the span of several years.

Using and integrating Google Maps generally requires the purchase of a license. As a Google Maps Premier Partner, Ubilabs is the contact for the DACH region and offers extensive consulting services relating to the use of Google Maps APIs. Read more about the (free) usage of Google Maps API