Putting Your Data on the (a) Map
One of the features of CiviCRM that is very popular is the integration of mapping services without any additional plug-ins and just a little bit of configuration. Once your mapping is configured, it is possible to plot contact records onto a map individually or as part of a group.
When you look at an address for a contact in CiviCRM, you will see a map button:
If you do a search that contains contacts that have addresses, you can plot the results of the search on a map. For example, if you search for all contacts with an address in France, it might look like this:
You can map the results of any search. Mapping contacts is a great way to better understand the people you serve, your donors, corporate sponsors and more.
When you look at a map in CiviCRM, it is rendered as a map just like what you would get if you went to a Google Map. You can zoom in or out. If you want to save a map from CiviCRM, you simply need to create an image using a screen shot.
At Cividesk we configure our clients to use Google maps. CiviCRM has built-in support for Google and OpenStreetsMaps. The simplest way to get to the maps configuration is to go to Administer -> Systems Settings -> Mapping and Geocoding. From this page you can set your mapping options.
New contacts will be geocoded when they are entered into CiviCRM. Geocoding means that CiviCRM requests the latitude and longitude from your mapping provider for a given address. If you are creating many contacts at the same time or completing imports, you will need to look into how this impacts your mapping and server performance.
For additional help with mapping, contact Cividesk directly. In addition to those mapping features that are available with CiviCRM, we can connect CiviCRM data to Drupal and create maps that have more depth of information and visual appeal.