Using maps has become part of everyday life so we can find our way. The majority of us now carry a portable map with us in the form of a smartphone, making it even easier for us to reach our destination.
Maps of course aren’t a new invention; they’ve been around for thousands of years. The world’s oldest map was etched over 2,000 years ago onto clay tablets by ancient Babylonians in around 600 BC.
Google Maps is arguably the most popular map nowadays. The search engine giant revealed Google Map users contribute more than 20 million pieces of information every day to its digital atlas – which equates to over 200 contributions every second. Not only is that a vast number of users, but it’s also a lot of data being shared. We’ll explore location data later in this blog post.
Why are maps important?
Maps help us navigate the unknown. They tell a story in a graphical or pictorial way. We’re highly visual creatures; around 20% of our brain is solely for vision and approximately 65% of people are visual learners. Maps can therefore present information in an easily digestible format.
There are several types of maps, all of which tell different narratives, including:
- Weather maps that predict temperatures and weather conditions, such as storms, rain, wind, and snow
- Road maps, which help drivers get from a to b
- Geological maps that illustrate the various types of rocks beneath the earth
- Income maps which show the diverse levels of household income within an area
- Time zone maps that chart the different times in countries across the world
How can businesses use maps to their advantage?
Companies and organisations all over the globe use maps to inform their business decisions. Some of the most common maps used by businesses include:
- Thematic maps, which focus on specific patterns in a particular area. For example, the concentration of different demographic groups or locations with higher or lower customer expenditure
- Point maps that highlight the number of competitors or customers in certain locations, and therefore point out areas to target
- Route maps which show the best way to get from one location to another to optimise efficiency – to reduce delivery times for instance
An incredible 82% of data has a location element.
That number may sound large. However, from using an app to buy a bus or train ticket to connecting to the free Wi-Fi in a café, we’re all leaving digital tracks along the way as we go about our everyday lives.
In 2019, 55.55 million people in the UK owned a smartphone. That number is set to rise to 64.9 million, according to Statista. This creates a huge opportunity for companies to connect with their target audience by tapping into location data.
As more data is being generated, then naturally the software and technology required to analyse it will need to be scaled up to deal with the high volumes and varying types of virtual information consumers create and share.
The location intelligence industry is one sector primed for this surge, with the market expected to grow to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% between 2022 to 2030.
How do location intelligence maps support businesses?
Have you examined your analytics to gather insights into consumer buying habits, only to find you can’t make head nor tail of what it means?
A map can visualise interesting patterns in data that you simply don’t get from a spreadsheet or written description. That’s why a lot of businesses are now switching on to the importance of location intelligence technology.
Tools like our mapping software, Periscope®, can help you look at the bigger picture behind your data. It provides your business with a unique, corporate version of Google Maps to allow you to see your business premises and competitor locations, plus local demographic and census information, all in one place.
Periscope® has more than 200 commercial attributes, including geodemographics, income indicators, and indices of multiple deprivation, that you can apply to your data. This allows you to quickly, easily, and efficiently understand why your locations are performing the way they are, where your ideal clients are located, the most profitable sites for you to open a new outlet or store, plus much more.
Book your free Periscope® demo
Our clients use Periscope® to help with everything from refining their marketing campaigns to location planning.
To find out how our comprehensive location intelligence platform can support your business plans, book your free 10-minute demo today.