Whether you're in retail or a brokerage, making maps for colleagues and clients will provide them with a great overview of an area before they dive deeper into their data. Here's how to create professional quality maps in a few clicks.

The Situation

Your client is a coffee shop franchise, and is looking to expand into the Toronto area. They ask you for a map of a few potential locations they are looking at and the competition in the surrounding area. With PiinPoint, these requests are easy to fulfill.

Use the search bar in the top-left to find the location you want to map out. Searching Toronto will show you the entire city but the search bar can take all types of queries such as provinces, intersections, and street names.

Make some Candidate points

If you have layers enabled on your account, you can quickly add sites of interest using Candidate points. Right-click the area on the map you want to mark off and select Add as Candidate. One at a time, add all the points you want to a single layer.

Plot your trade area

Using the Build a Report button, build any trade areas that you want to show on the map. Say you wanted to show a 1 km and 3 km ring around all the potential locations your client gave you. Select the trade area dropdown menu, select Rings (Custom) and click your candidate point on the map, repeating these steps for each location you want to make a trade area for. You can change the colour of the rings to suit your company's branding by clicking the colour directly under the name of the trade area. Clean up your map view by clicking Toggle Fill in the trade area's context menu to only show the outline. Show the labels of the candidate sites on the map by clicking the tag icon or using any of the Additional Mapping Tools at the top of the interface.

Add in POIs and demographics

Use the POI panel to select any business you want to plot on the map. Any categories you search will populate as coloured points. Adding in demographic information is only relevant for screenshots if you plan to use the suitability heatmap.

Map with four candidate locations and POIs.

At a glance, it looks like the potential site on Toronto's west end is a lot less saturated with coffee shops!

Capture your view of the map

Make the most out of your view of the map by closing the panels on the left, minimizing any legends you don't need, and making your browser full screen (Command + Shift + F on Mac or F11 on Windows). In most cases, the best way to capture a specific area of the map is to use the built-in screenshot function on your computer (Command + Shift + 4 on Mac or the Snipping Tool on Windows). If you want high-quality svg files separated into layers, use the print function at the top-right of the interface. The area this captures is hard-coded, so sometimes what you capture using this tool will be slightly different than what you expect.

"Minimal Map" was used as the underlying map for this article because it allows the information that you plot to be more visible. You can choose the map that suits your needs by using the Basemaps selection tool. Check out more information on Layers, POIs or summarize the map you just constructed in a Report that supplements your screenshot.

If you still have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your Customer Success Manager via Chat or email support@piinpoint.com.

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