Sunday, December 28, 2008

Advanced Grouping to Show Differentiation

What are we talking about here?
So basic grouping was, well, a bit basic wasn’t it? When I ran through it with my wife for the first time she was rather impatient and starting asking me why she couldn’t change the pin colors/styles. I explained that she could and that I would walk her through it in the advanced grouping tutorial.

Advanced grouping enables a lot more than simply grouping based on distinct values in a column. With advanced grouping, MapAList supports the use of operators and comparison values to create grouping rules. It then allows you to choose the pin image associated with each group. Let me show you what I mean…

What does it look like from a spreadsheet perspective?

In the sample spreadsheet below (which should look familiar), you can see a column called Response  which is used to differentiate each address as coming to the wedding (Yes), not coming (No), or no response (Empty).  So let’s see what we get when we map this sheet…

What does it look like from a map perspective?

What you can see is that MapAList plotted red pins for addresses that had responded No, Green Pins for addresses that responded Yes, and yellow pins for addresses that did not have a response (empty).  Coincidence on the colors?  I think not.  MapAList’s advanced grouping feature allows the user to choose the pin color/type associated with each group.  I’ll explain how in just a minute.

Okay – so walk me through it step by step…

The process is very much like making a basic map that shows all addresses – the key difference is in Step 4 – Configure Map below:

Step 4 – Configure Map

  • Specify the Setting Type as Advanced – this will give you the opportunity to specify your grouping criteria.
Click on the image to take a closer look
  • Now you can specify your criteria using the simple user interface.  Here’s what I did:
    1. Specified that I want to evaluate the Response column in my worksheet.
    2. Specified that I want MapAList to look for addresses in my worksheet where the value in the Response column is = “equal to” the Comparison Value of No.
    3. Specified in the Criteria Description field that my map key should call these addresses out as Not Attending.
    4. Clicked on the … box and selected the red pin image to use for addresses that are Not Attending.
    5. Clicked on the Plus button to add conditions for my other 2 situations – addresses that are attending and addresses that have no response yet (empty).
Click on the image to take a closer look
  • Click on the Preview Map button to display your map.  The pin images you selected for each condition will display.
  • Click on the Next button.

Step 5 – Save Map

  • Modify Additional Settings as you see fit.
  • Click on the Save & View Map button.
  • Click on the Close This, and Create New Map button.

Give it a try and let us know what you think...

--The Map Commissioner (E-mail)

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