Google has added new business data visualization capabilities to its map-making engine with the release of Google Maps Engine Pro. The new tool will enable small businesses to map their data and import client information into maps that can be edited, analyzed and shared.
The concept behind Pro is simple enough. It enables users who have lists of location-related data to upload that data and visualize it based on the criteria they set for mapping.
With it, Google is marketing its Maps as important application for all business users, not just enterprises. That explains not only the fact that it has heavily developed them in the past couple of years, but also why the new Google Maps Engine Pro is being added to Google Apps for Business.
In a blog post outlining the release, Brian McClendon, VP of maps and earth at Google, explained this is not just about visualizations of geographies, but about finding patterns in business data:
By importing data like addresses, names, office locations and sales leads from various file formats onto a map, businesses can edit, analyze and share their information in a simple format."
The post also adds that it’s as easy to use as any of its other Google apps, enabling anyone to use it and share any information to any device. It's built on top of the existing Google Maps Engine platform for creating maps based on large datasets.
Creating a map with Engine Pro
To help pull the Maps Engine and Maps Engine Pro together, Google has also added some new functionality to Maps Engine including a mobile app for Android — iOS is on the way — Connector Tools, which enables users take data from legacy systems and an introductory account for those who are unsure about the app's business value.
Maps For SMBs
But why bother? Google already has a Maps Engine that covers just about anything any enterprise might need in terms of complex mapping.
But that’s just the point. Map Engine is for enterprise and a little bit inaccessible to smaller business that may not need that complexity or price tag. In this respect, Google has offered a presentation video of a small bicycle vendor business and how it adopted it to promote sales.
Google Map Engine Pro for small businesses
Maps Engine Pro tackles both of these issues by enabling small companies to enter the low-level, small data sets in Engine Pro easily and quickly, and, in doing so, provide the level of service that small businesses require. It also comes with an interesting price tag of $5 per month, per user or $50 per year, per user, depending on use.