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Creating Territories from Existing Data


One of the quickest ways to create a set of MapPoint territories, is to create them from existing data. This data can be in the standard MapPoint input data formats (e.g. Excel, or Access). The dataset has a column that holds a territory name, and column(s) that define the data areas to include. For example, if you were importing territories defined in terms of US Counties, you will need County and State columns in order to uniquely specify the counties. Multiple rows will define multiple areas (e.g. counties) for a territory.

Here is an example (taken from the MapPoint sample data) that defines territories for sales people (named in the Territory column):

Sample territory data defining territories in terms of US counties

Sample territory data defining territories in terms of US counties

Territories are created from this data by using the Territory Wizard. Start this by selecting Territories… on MapPoint’s Data menu:

The MapPoint Territory Wizard

The MapPoint Territory Wizard

Select Create from your own set of data and press Next to display the next panel:

Import or Link the Territory Data?

Import of Link the Territory Data?

This panel lets you decide whether to link to the territory data or to import it. Importing is a one-off operation. Linking works in a similar way as dataset linking: a link is retained allowing the data to be quickly refreshed from the original data file. Although it allows refreshes, linked territory data cannot be edited “by hand”. If you wish to manually modify a series of territories, you must import the initial territories.  Here, we will import the data.

Press Next to display a standard Windows File dialog box. Use this to select the input file. After doing this, you will be presented with the column assignments:

Assigning the input data fields

Assigning the input data fields

As with the Data Import Wizard, this panel is used to assign meanings to each column. Columns can store the territory name, location information (e.g. US State or County), or ignored. Unlike other types of dataset, “other” data fields cannot be loaded.

Press Finish to complete the wizard. In common with the Data Import Wizard, unmatched data will be presented, and this can be ignored or manually assigned.

Here is the resulting map of territories:

The resulting territory map

The resulting territory map

Note that the territories are defined in terms of counties, and can easily cross state boundaries. MapPoint has drawn the territories with bold boundaries, colored shading, and labeled them. You may change the colors if you wish to.

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