Features and Specifications
GSC offers a private label store locator service that you can link in to your Web site to help customers find your store locations quickly and accurately. Here are some of its features.
Our map-based store locator is accessible to anyone using standard Web browsers. In addition to providing lists of your nearest stores, it provides maps showing those store locations. Users can see for themselves which of your nearby stores are most accessible and determine the best way to get there. It is much more useful to your customers than traditional store locators. The locator looks like it is part of your Web site, but it runs on our map servers. We do all the setup and maintenance work. All you need to do is provide us with your storeís street addresses and add a locator link to your pages that will facilitate links to our site.
No Advertising On Your Pages
Our business is devoted to you, our customer. We will not place advertising banners from other organizations on your locator pages. Nor will your customers find locations of other organizations within your maps other than your own stores. Only your sites will be displayed and listed. Users who link to our servers from your site are treated as if they are still on your site. There is zero chance that someone linking to our servers from your site will be presented with a reference to your competitors. We guarantee it.
Accurate Store Locations
In a store locator system, misplaced store locations can be frustrating to end users. When your stores are displayed on a map, you want their locations to be correct. This is just as important to us. As a business dedicated to serving our customers, our goal is to ensure the success of your store locator. The tasks associated with mapping your stores accurately are complex. So we have devised a simple, effective way to provide you feedback on the quality of your store locations and provide ongoing support to ensure their accuracy. For more information on this vital component of our service, ask for our paper on Geocoding.
Intuitive User Interface
The locator pages were painstakingly designed and implemented for clarity and ease of use. The pages themselves form the model for how an end user would interact with the map controls. All the information about how to interact with the map that a user might need is on the page. No further instructions or help pages are necessary. Your customers will be able to quickly get the information they need.
We want your locator pages to neatly mesh with your other Web pages. To this end, we will work closely with you to customize the locator pages with your colors, patterns, trademarks, icons, watermarks, wallpaper, and other design elements to provide a look and feel that is consistent with your Web pages. High quality customer service is the foundation of the our service.
Large Format Map Image
Delivering a meaningful map is at the core of the locator system. Our locator service produces a relatively large-format map frame. This allows your customers to make quicker and better decisions about your store locations. Of course, map size is customizable to fit your needs.
Context Sensitive Feature Mapping
The contents of the map will vary based on the scale of the map. For example, when an entire state is displayed, showing every neighborhood street would overwhelm the display, rendering the map meaningless. Showing major highways at this scale is sufficient. On the other hand, when a small area is displayed, such as a neighborhood, every street is displayed. At this scale users are looking for specific streets and landmarks for orientation and guidance.
Intelligent Feature Labeling
To make the maps easy to read, the locator software first labels high priority map features. Thereafter, it labels map features in descending order of priority, but limits the amount of labeling to avoid needless clutter. To view the labels for unlabeled features, the user can simply click on one of the pre-set map scale buttons to see the area at a larger scale.
Optimized User Location Processing
For many businesses, knowing a userís precise street address is not necessary in order to locate the nearest store to that user. Simply knowing the userís town or ZIP Code is enough. However, for businesses with a high penetration of store locations in their territory, a userís street address helps. Our locator service works well in both situations. We offer several standard forms. One of these prompts the user to supply a city/state name or ZIP code, with an option to also enter a street address or set of crossing streets. Another form simply requires a ZIP code only. The Web page forms that makes these user requests are intuitive. The forms are short and easily understood. No further information is required of the user. In addition, these forms may be customized for your own situation.
Stand Alone Applications
You do not need a Web site to take advantage of our locator service. It can operate as a stand alone application. We can provide you with a locator URL to include on your stationary and telephone answering system to support customers and prospects who have Internet browsers and want to find your nearest facilities.
Additional Store Information and Links
In addition to the map, a list of your nearest stores (Ďstore listí) is displayed below the map. This list is organized by store location, starting with the nearest store. Each entry in the store list contains a number that matches the store number on the map (Ďkey numberí). The locator provides several additional fields for your use, such as each storeís address and telephone number. You might want to include other pertinent information about each store, such as its hours of operation. In addition, if your stores have their own Web sites, we can include their links in this list.
Quick Zoom Store Finder
From the store list, a user can click on a storeís key number and see a map zoomed in on this storeís location.
GSC's locator service is a nationwide application. It contains virtually every street in the country. To improve usersí orientation it also contains landmarks, major water features, political boundaries and other important map features. Users who are traveling can look up your store locations anywhere in the country before they make their trip, and find out how to get there.
Useful User Statistics
Periodically, we will send you usage statistic reports that you may use to track the activity on your locator pages.
Backed Up by a Company With Experience
Our private lable locator service is a practical solution to organizations wishing to acquire or improve upon their store locator. Its user interface provides a more logical and reliable method of assisting your prospects to find your nearest stores, as well as showing them how to get there. Furthermore, it is backed up by Geographic Services Corporation, a company that has been providing high quality computer mapping services since 1993. We at GSC want to make your store locator one of the cornerstones of your Web site.
- Store: Your company or organizationís locations for serving the public.
These may actually be stores, or they may be offices, dealerships,
ATM machines, drop boxes, or any other types of locations youíd like
to make available to end users.
- Customer: A company that pays GSC to provide a private label locator
for their stores.
Capacities (per customer database):
- Number of customer locations supported: no limit - typically from several hundred to over 100,000.
- Number of daily requests supported: no limit
- Number of data fields supported per store: 1 to 32
- Larger capacities are possible by special arrangement
Options For Specifying End User Locations:
- Using An Address Form:
- The form can let the user enter any combination of State, City,
and/or ZIP Code
- Optional Street Address and Street Intersection Support
- Optional Telephone Area Code Support
- Intelligent handling of incomplete information
- Clicking in An Overview Map
- Your store locations are marked using small colored symbols on the overview map
- The overview map can cover any geographic area appropriate for your stores.
- Clicking in the map intelligently zooms in on the click point and shows
stores in that area
- Picking From a List
- The most common type is a list of state names
- This option is appropriate if you have a limited number of sites,
in a limited number of states/locations.
- True geographic proximity searching
- Intelligent Search Scope
- If the user specifies just a state, the locator searches for stores
in and around the userís state.
- Similar logic is applied to cities and zip codes.
- Wide Area Searching:
- Optional limit on the maximum distance to search
- Displays sensible overview maps when the nearest stores are far away
- Is able to find distant stores if needed, even if they are thousands of miles away
Optional Data-driven Searching:
- The underlying engine supports full SQL Select capability on all store data fields
- This power is typically masked from the end user, and is used to
support simple choices on a form, such as:
- Find nearest stores that have certain types of products
- Find nearest stores that are open at a specific time on specific day
- Find only those nearby agents licensed to practice in a specific state
- Find nearby doctors with a certain specialty and that accept a specific
Locator Result Options:
- Search results can be shown as:
- Overview maps showing the userís location along with the nearest
- Textual lists of those stores, normally with options to view associated maps.
- Overview maps show:
- User location (unless starting point is an entire state)
- Nearest stores, using symbols numbered by relative distance from the user
- Symbol numbers act as a key to the accompanying store list
- Store lists are normally sorted by distance from the user
- State-wide result lists are sorted alphabetically by town
- Store lists can provide for each store:
- Store name, address, phone numbers, hours, etc.
- Custom icons, based on the value of data fields
- Links to store-specific WWW sites
- Clickable email addresses
- Optional driving directions
- Optional straight-line approximate distance from the user
- Geographic Coverage:
- Detailed street maps for the entire United States and its territories
- Country-level maps for the entire world with detailed street
maps in selected countries
- Sources: GSC uses its own proprietary street map databases, supplemented with a variety of public and private data.
- Map Features:
- Country borders and oceans
- State borders and major waterways
- Major highways and roads
- Urban/rural area boundaries
- Parks and points of interest
- Detailed streets
- Detailed waterways
- Customer stores
- Maps show different features and levels of detail, depending on map scale
- Map Scales
- Maximum detail: zoomed in to show full detail within a 1/4-mile-wide area
- Maximum scope: zoomed out to show an overview of a 4,000-mile-wide area
- Intermediate scales can range from 1/4 to 4000 miles of width
in 1/4 mile increments
- Map Pixel size
- Map size(s) are customized to fit your standard page designs
- Standard minimum map size is 50 x 50 pixels
- Standard maximum map size is 800 x 800 pixels
- Larger sizes can be supported by special arrangement
- Map navigation interactivity:
- Intelligent map click processing identifies and zooms in on clicked
- Clicking in the map can also cause the map to: recenter, zoom in, or zoom out
- Standard map controls allow the user to pick from a set of named zoom levels
- Optional controls can be provided for panning, and incremental zooming
- Store display: Intelligent symbol stacking and numbering of clustered stores and malls eliminates store symbol overlap problems on the map
Standard Customization Options:
- Overall page layouts are customized to match your site's design:
- Page background color or wallpaper
- Standard banners and navigation bars
- Text faces, sizes, and color choices
- All wording can be customized to meet your needs
- Choice of initial result type (over view map & list, or list only)
- Store information can be presented in lists or tables with any
HTML compatible formatting
- Symbols used to show stores
- Coloration of features
- Map Size
- Map navigation controls
- Store data may be delivered to GSC in these formats
- ASCII text file with any standard delimiter character
- Excel (xls)
- Store data may be delivered via:
- ftp from your site
- PC-compatible floppy disk
- Up to 32 fields per store, each up to 255 characters in length
- Page design elements (gif files, background and text settings, etc.)
delivered via http in sample pages from your web site
- Proprietary, multi-pass store geocoding system using:
- State of the art geocoding software
- Operation by geocoding experts with over 20 years of geocoding experience
- Hands-on system with individual attention given to hard-to-locate addresses
- Extensive quality assurance
- Typically achieve 97% or better accuracy, depending on address quality
- Free location correction of any misplaced stores
- Monthly reports
- Custom reports by request
- Reports include:
- Overall number of user locations processed and maps delivered in the period
- Daily number of user locations processed and maps delivered, for each day in period
- Summary list of all user locations by state, ordered by frequency
- Top cities/ZIP addresses processed, ordered by frequency
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Geographic Services Corporation. All rights reserved.