Custom Mapping - considerations when using postcode areas or other geographical data

Adding information to postcode geography, including Census data or business activity data.

Your own data can be mapped using one of our postcode data products, all that is required is that you supply us with a database table(s) or spreadsheet(s) containing postcode value in one column, ideally a State / Territory abbreviation in a second column, and whatever variables you want mapped in third and subsequent columns. However for many applications, our pre-configured Census data enhanced postcode range may be all that is required, with almost 300 of the most commonly deployed demographic statistics from the most recent Census. For a modest additional charge compared to the standard product range, it is incredibly good value! Other published data can also be deployed, such as the most recent statistics for business activity and distribution.

Many customers wish to have their own data integrated with our Postcode Data;

Sales figures and franchise territories are typical examples, you can see some examples here. If your project requires use of our Postcode Data to generate tabular output, rather than actual maps or supply of the digital Data Product, the rate is 40% of the listed GIS Data Product price. Update Service is not available for data accessed for tabular output. Of course if you’d prefer to do this yourself, you will need the appropriate GIS Postcode Data Product and a suitable GIS Software application.

Proportional Postcode Data pricing.

This is designed to minimise data costs for users who do not require data for entire states but whose collective total is above the 200 limit of the custom range option. If you need to visualise the distribution of sales or survey records, or to confine interest to a major city or two, this pricing policy has been developed with you in mind. Custom postcode range pricing applies from 1 to 200 postcode areas for each product in the Standard and Enhanced postcode data ranges, but where the number of postcodes involved exceeds 200 and the full product extent is not required, the price for the balance of postcode areas in that product will be adjusted proportionately based on your supplied postcode list or limited area of interest.

Territory and Franchise area custom mapping, specifically.

Just as there is no such thing as a “simple, basic map”, every map or map series created for every business using a franchise or sales territory model, is unique. A common approach is for someone to ask a question along these lines: “We are interested in a franchise / territory map using postcodes, for State X, or a region from town A to town B; how much will it cost?” We can usually give a reasonable estimate how much the postcode data will cost (Organisational License of either the Standard Data Series, or Census Enhanced Data Series if you need to consider population demographics in your territories, or the recently introduced budget Postal Area Census Enhanced alternative), but cannot possibly estimate how much time will be required, as such a question does not contain enough information about the persons specific requirements for us to offer a custom mapping estimate. Please take a little time to list your “must have” objectives, including:

  • What information you want to balance territories with (geographic area, number of people regardless of age or gender, specific age / gender / ethnic group, some employment or income variable, or any of the many alternatives – default MapMakers Census Enhanced list is here).
  • How many territories you are aiming for or what the target variable for each is.
  • Whether separate branches of the same postcode or other base spatial unit must be contained in only one territory or can be allocated to several.
  • Whether a postcode or other spatial unit must remain entire or whether you are prepared to split them to meet a specific outcome (the notes and illustrations on the Postcode page may be helpful).
  • Whether territories can cross the borders of more than one State or Territory.
  • What size map(s) you require.
  • Whether you want a single summary map for your entire area of interest or individual maps for each territory as well / instead of (individual territory maps usually take between 15-30 minutes, after the main territory definition exercise is completed. If you have requested an estimate for territory mapping, sets of individual territory maps will not have been included, as we usually cannot know how many may be required at that stage, so please budget accordingly).
  • What naming system your territories should have (default is 1 through to “n”).
  • Wording for title(s), a digital image of your logo if required, any specific wording for disclaimers or other corporate requirements.

Experience tells us most territory mapping exercises have a custom mapping time based component in the upper half of the typical range, so $1500 – $3000, while territory creation for several of the major States together or all Australia is almost always going to be more than this (time required is broadly related to number of territories required; nationwide coverage requiring just a few territories per state may be accomplished quite quickly for example), not including any spatial and other data which may be required (rarely a client will supply all / some of their own). Similarly, but not necessarily related to overall area, if there is substantial data editing and analysis required, such as the splitting of spatial units based on redistribution of variable(s), it can add significantly to the time required compared to territory creation using entire spatial units.

We perform a lot of territory mapping, so we can almost certainly get you where you wish to be in this respect, but please be prepared to work with us to ensure we are able to implement to your requirements – it will be an iterative process and you will most likely need to be involved at least in a reviewing capacity. A good territory map is often pivotal to an effective sales prospectus for a franchisor; generating such maps can sometimes be complex and time consuming and therefore costly. However such costs would almost always be incorporated in the franchise price and as such would be at least fully recoverable, so please budget appropriately for your territory mapping project. There is a poster size sample Australian Territory map available free for download.

Adding geographic location to existing records using addresses.

It is commonly asked “..can you map our existing list of customers..”? The answer is usually yes. We have the capacity to process your database table or spreadsheet and add geographic coordinates to each, which then allows us to render your records in geographic space, similar to the example on our Postcode GIS Data page, or like the “pins” you have probably seen marking attractions or businesses in Google Earth. If your own data has additional columns, for example sales figures, or customer service schedules, additional value can be leveraged from the processed records, such as this example relating to a manufacturers agent prioritising visits to clients. To perform this task your table must include a valid street address for each record. While the technology we deploy for this is highly sophisticated, experience shows that a typical address table will return coordinates for about 80% of the records on a first pass. Most address data is captured “free-form”, which means it is not validated against a central database of valid addresses, consequently typos and other data entry errors tend to creep in and accumulate unnoticed. While we are happy to process your data “as is” (we can return to you a copy of failed records along with successful ones, if required), it is sometimes opportune to spend a little time standardising and cleaning up your data beforehand. We have created a “template” which lays out how an “ideal” table appears for this process. As well as a suggested structure of columns, it has detailed comments on the most common “errors” found in address lists and suggestions on how to edit such records to maximise the chance of returning accurate locations. You can purchase a copy of the Mapmakers Ideal Address Format IAF_001 for $90 + GST, it could save you heaps!

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