Google Maps is an awesome tool and I love it to bits but sometimes it’s good, but not quite good enough. An example of when Google Maps (and, to be fair, I’d include other mapping solutions in here as well, it’s just that personally I use the Goog’s product) falls down is when I have various appointments to keep and want to navigate between them all. Sure it’s not up there with cancer or world hunger, but cutting and pasting between calendar entries is kind of a pain (and, yes, I totally realize just how much of a first world problem this is!)

Anyway, the tech industry is predicated on spending 99% of its time fixing first world problems and MapAnything’s new UI aims to solve this particular one. MAX, presumably named in recognition of the fact that is will be able to navigate the eponymously named mad character from the Thunderdome, is a new interface designed to help field-based workers (or those who have to spend time in the field) plan their day directly from their calendar, rather than from the navigation system they might use.

In terms of who they are, MapAnything was founded back in the dark ages (2009, to be precise) to help with all things geo-productivity. It boasts of over 1,400 customers globally, who range in size from small businesses to large enterprises. MapAnything has been given a tick of approval by a couple of big boys – both Salesforce and ServiceNow regard them as a partner (since they are, after all, additive to those two companies’ own products.)

MapAnything, like any good tech company worth its while, has invented a few buzzwords for what it does. It’s not about navigation, rather it is “the leader in Location of Things” (sigh). Anyway, the new UI has been designed in consultation with the myriad of customers that MapAnything already has

In addition to a UX overhaul, customers are now able t build and architect routes using a new scheduling tool that pulls data directly from calendars in real-time. Until now, there hasn’t been any geo/mapping solution for Salesforce with such an integrated view of users’ already scheduled events and the events they’d like to fit into their day. With the new Schedule view:

  • A Sales rep can see their existing Salesforce Calendar events on the map and then use travel time to fill their day with other clients in the area
  • A Sales Manager can view their entire teams schedule view to coach them on where to best spend their time
  • Field Service Organizations can more effectively dispatch from a combined Map and Gantt view

It’s a simple, but a deceptively complex task that will genuinely save time for users. And allowing service staff and salespeople to save time and focus more on sales and billable hours is an attractive proposition. So attractive that MapAnything has raised well over $30 million to build its business – there’s money in A to B, it seems. MapAnything’s CEO, John Stewart is naturally ebullient about the new UI

Our new MapAnything X interface design is a result of data-driven insights from our customers’ and the feedback of actual sales and service reps that know what they need to succeed. The update is a direct response to what our customers said would most improve their own work, and we’re happy to provide them with the tools to achieve ‘MAX’ productivity.”

But of course, he’d say that.


I actually like what MapAnything is doing – it’s a fundamentally useful tool for a huge variety of different people. Key to the company’s success will be differentiating their product and ensuring that the software vendors themselves don’t decide to build out this functionality. Time will tell.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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