Using Google Maps to Keep Pace with Company Growth
An important issue for many corporate Web sites is showing the locations of offices and facilities so that customers can easily contact the appropriate office of the company.¬† This becomes particularly critical when a firm is growing rapidly and even more complex when the types of facilities¬† differ between markets.
WebSolvers client WastePro–a rapidly growing waste management and recycling company–faces many of these challenges as a result of its success.¬† The company serves nearly one million customers in dozens of markets across the Southeastern United States.¬† And as the company adds new markets and customers across the country, the challenge of managing that information on the Web site becomes onerous.¬† Up until recently, a locations map was handled through a simple image that–over time–became very complex to manage.¬† As more locations were added, legibility and functionality became an ever-increasing challenge.¬† As locations were added or changed, updating the Web site involved a whole lot of time and energy.¬† And the visual result was degrading with each change. Over time, the map began to look like this (difficult to read and interpret):
When we were presented with the challenge of making this image more user-friendly, Google Maps became an obvious choice.¬† WebSolvers developed a simple database of locations and tapped into the Google Maps API to create a really powerful yet user-friendly solution.¬† Working with the Google API, we added a custom icon for WastePro and used it on the map to designate locations.¬† The Google navigational controls (i.e. zoom, pan, etc.) were integrated because they are so familiar and comfortable to so many users on the Internet.¬† Today’s map looks like this:
WastePro can easily add new locations when a new location is added through a simple, secure interface that adds locations to the database.¬† The interface looks like this:
To see how the system works online, visit http://www.wasteprousa.com/serviceareas.shtml and click on any state on the map.