Recently, Google launched Google Maps Engine Pro, a cloud-based software tool designed to allow businesses to put in order data such as warehouse locations, shipping routes and sales territories when a spreadsheet or a database will not suffice.

The idea is to assist companies to gain more value out of the location-based data they own. If that data can be plotted on a map, it will be easier for business owners to make decisions, Google executives said Monday during a media briefing at the company’s offices in San Francisco.  It is bringing “the consumer experience with Maps, but bringing a more powerful form of mapping to successful business owners,” said Vice President of Google Maps, Brian McClendon.

Google Maps Engine Pro For Businesses

With Maps Engine Pro, companies can import data from various file formats, such as addresses, names, office locations and sales leads etc onto a map, which can then be edited and shared to anyone working at the company.  The maps are customizable, too. For example, companies can use different coloured pins to show various points of interest or add text to parts of the map.  Businesses are not confined to keeping the data just within the company.  They can share their maps with as many people as they want, just the same as Google Docs files. But the data behind the maps is secure, according to Google. The tool is built on Google’s existing account systems, so users can choose security options such as two-factor authentication to keep others from accessing the data, the company said.

Greater than 50 percent of U.S. companies already use some Web-based mapping, according to Google, but less than 5 percent of employees can access that data. Google says it wants to change the process. “We want to move maps from a read-only experience to do-it-yourself understanding, share it, and make it a public experience,” said Vinay Goel, director of global product management for Google Maps for Business.  The product is designed to assist any company that has a small or medium-sized amount of business location data. It is built on top of Google’s Maps Engine platform, which is designed for power users and businesses working with large amounts of data and more complex maps.

Google Maps Engine Pro costs $5 per month, or $50 per year. It is launching next Monday on both desktop and Android-based devices; Available at the Google Maps for Business website and in the Google Play Store, respectively.  Unfortunately for mobile Apple users, there is no iOS version yet.

[Image via thenextweb]

SOURCE: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2056640/google-brings-maps-to-business-owners-with-maps-engine-pro.html#tk.rss_all