One of the important pre-requisites while plotting a customer address would be to geo-code (get the latitude and longitude) the addresses. It is using these geo-coding that the addresses are plotted on Map. Since a customer’s address would not change often, it is a good idea to write a workflow that will geo-code the customer addresses each time a new customer is created or its address updated.
The following webservice from Google can be used for geo-coding addresses.
This can further be extended to get the Route and Directions to the customer location from a base location.
Using Live Maps it can be done using the following code
locations = new Array(‘addr1’,’addr2’);
//Make an object of RouteOptions
var options = new VERouteOptions;
// Draw the route
options.DrawRoute = true;
// So the map doesn’t change:
options.SetBestMapView = true;
// Call this function when map route is determined:
//options.RouteCallback = ShowTurns;
// Show as miles
options.DistanceUnit = VERouteDistanceUnit.Mile;
// Show the disambiguation dialog
options.ShowDisambiguation = true;
//Show the directions on the map
This will show a map with the route marked starting from the start point to the end location.
Another use of integrating maps would be to search of location within a given distance range. So you are visiting a customer in “Redmond” and would want to find out the other customers that are in and around this location so that you could schedule an appointment with them. Or it could be used for schedule service requests for a sales rep. If a salesrep was already scheduled for a call in Redmond area and there was another ticket raised for that area it could be handed to the same sales rep for servicing.
This could be done by finding the distance between the base location and other customer addresses and plotting the customers that fall within the requested distance on the map. One pushpin will be placed on the map for each customer address that is being shown in the map.
There is so much you can do with Maps 🙂 And it is pretty easy to as its shown above and requires a bit SDK skills and programming knowledge. The web is full of details as to how to use various maps functionality to achieve the same. We at Inogic were debating whether to come up with an add-on for Live Maps integration at all or just leave it for you people to figure out on your after giving you the above methodology.