My friend contacted me the other day for some help. He needed to create his own map to share important business information with clients to help his clients find key project locations. He needed a map he could print or a map that he could share with others and one that he could update easily. He didn’t have any budget approval to buy software nor was there corporate willingness to incur additional costs.
The solution? Topo.ly – a free tool based on Google maps. The tip to using this tool easily is the following: create a list of locations in a spreadsheet and maintain the information in the spreadsheet. Then, when you need a personal map, upload that spreadsheet to your Topo.ly account and the tool automatically creates a map for you in just a few seconds.
To share your map with others, you have a few options:
1) take a screenshot of your map and email that screenshot to others
2) create a PDF from your map (print to PDF) and then email that PDF to others
3) invite others by email to see your map
My friend was excited with this solution – he could generate maps on an as-needed basis and he could also create a simple spreadsheet to share with his coworkers and clients for those who didn’t want a map. He was also able to overlay maps. For example, my friend could show the head office location and colour code all the satellite offices. For him, spreadsheets are easily shared, archived, and maintained in his IT environment. No extra costs! No steep learning curve! No long term commitment to technology requiring any other investment.
Outside of my friend’s needs, think of the amazing business solutions that this tool can help you with – map out a sales territory to help new sales employees quickly learn the location of their businesses clients and vendors; help family members “see” where you went on a recent trip; co-plan a vacation of your dreams with your friends who live elsewhere. The practical uses are endless. Enjoy!