Getting started in Geoconcept Territory Manager

Sectoring in 3 easy steps - Contents

 

 

Introduction

 

Territory Manager is a web service allowing you to simulate, create and optimize territories in just a few clicks. Its simplified interface and file-sharing facilities make it ideal for collaborative working, and very easy to pick-up and use for those new to the application. The interface is divided into 3 main areas of functionality: mobilised data import, automatic or manual sectoring, export of worked data.

  • The My data pane imports points, polygons and their attributes, as a function of which of the sectors need balancing.
  • The Sectorize pane proposes two main working methods. Here we distinguish between automated sectoring mode (balances sectors according to a criterion) and manual editing mode (creates a sector manually, or reassigns points to another sector…).
  • The Share pane retrieves the sectoring results and shares them via collaborative platforms (Google Drive, URL sharing...) or files (.xlsx...).

What is sectoring?

Sectoring is a means of redistributing, balancing or structuring a territory featuring data for interventions, sales, any kind of activity… as a function of constraints inherent to the business themes and targets being analysed. Any organisation that has already structured their business activities in terms of geographic territories of action will be keenly aware of the huge impact breaking down a geographic space into territories can have on company performance and the success of the business as a whole. Sectors are constructed by combining geographic, financial, structural or organisational criteria, not forgetting the human and social components of the equation.

Three sectoring methods are available in this one tool to meet the needs of different scenarios: sectoring on points, sectoring on points around sites, and sectoring on polygons.

1 – My data tab

This video demonstrates the following functionalities:

  • importing a file and associating the fields to use;
  • geocoding points and manually editing an address.

To take this one stage further:

When you choose the country in which the sectors are to be created, Geoconcept Territory Manager will automatically display the relevant background map and load the right browsing network.

Geoconcept Territory Manager handles several file formats: .XLS, .XLSX, .TXT, .DOCX. The import files can be dragged directly to the interface’s « drag-and-drop » zone, or loaded from a file explorer. They can be stored in a local drive, or directly on GoogleSheets or OneDrive.
The application is optimized for XLSX formats where the number of lines is less than, or equal to 50,000 lines.

When performing an import, a preview of any given file is provided so the user can inspect it before selecting as the Excel file to import.

Associating fields establishes links between individual data items in the external file and the data needed by Geoconcept Territory Manager. In the left-hand part of the interface are the columns of the external file, to associate to fields in Geoconcept Territory Manager.
In the right-hand part, we distinguish between fields in GTM which have been associated, and the preview of the data stored in the external file columns. The fields available for this matching operation are:

  • Unique identifier: the unique identifier for the point or polygon;
  • Name: name of the reference point or polygon object;
  • Address, Post code or City / XY: point position information;
  • Grouping key / Grouping name: enables representation on the map of a sectorization that has been created beforehand / an inventory or catalogue attributing a code or sector name to each line. The grouping key alone will enable viewing of the existing sectors;
  • Indicator to use: data to be taken into account for the purpose of balancing sectors (eg, a turnover figure, the number of fire hydrants, the number of customers to visit…). The indicator type can be changed from numeric to character, or vice versa;
  • Ignore the column: do not display this data item in the sectorization interface (eg: a ‘comments’ column). This column can, nonetheless, be retrieved in the file generated once the sectorization is complete.

Data required for the procedure to set up field associations differ depending on the sectorization type, points or polygons:

If these data are not available, you will not be able to proceed with the next step.

You will be able to use GTM to sectorize points or polygons that are not initially attached to any particular sector. If, however, the points or polygons have already been assigned, you will need to map the Grouping key field with the column containing these information to view them in the interface. Once the data have been integrated, the sectors can be viewed.

Currently, four coordinates systems are available:

  • WGS84 Long/Lat (GPS coordinates);
  • WGS84 Spherical Mercator;
  • Lambert 2 extended;
  • Lambert 93.

Geocoding is at three levels of accuracy: on the individual address, on streets, or on cities. To achieve the best results, you need to have data in the 3 columns: address (Street number, street type, street name), post code, and city name. Depending on the type of information available in these columns, geocoding will be applied at address, street, or city level.

You will be able to edit addresses later down the line to improve on correspondence.
Clicking on an address that has been wrongly geocoded (easy to identify using the sort function on the Accuracy column using a value of City or Street), the user can enter a new address that is more precise, or completely different for that matter). Geoconcept Territory Manager will suggest different addresses the user can select from. If the point is slightly offset in relation to an actual address (for example, if the point defined covers numbers 16-45 of a street) the user can interactively move the point in the map to its real position.

When the result is exported, the X and Y columns enrich the file and contain the coordinates expressed in the Long/Lat WGS84 system (GPS coordinates).

Virtual layers are available to view during the geocoding stage for the purpose of facilitating manual movement of points on the map. They are accessed by clicking on the button at the bottom right of the screen.

Several virtual layers can be displayed: transport, satellite + traffic, map + traffic, ground, satellite, Geoconcept. The eye icon – whether crossed out or not – beside the name of each virtual layer serves to choose the layers to visualise. In this example, both Geoconcept and satellite layers are displayed.

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2 – Sectorize tab

2.1 – General points / Interface

Navigating easily within the interface:

  • Changing the envelope type;
  • Enabling and disabling the infobox;
  • Generating a heat map to view point density;
  • Editing key indicators in the table.

To take this one stage further:

Envelopes enable existing or created sectors to be viewed in the Geoconcept Territory Manager interface. The visual result will vary depending on the envelope type.

  • A convex envelope is an area minimising the zone containing all the points. Points in proximity will not fall outside an angle of 180°. This allows you to view the geometric footprint of the sectors.
  • A concave envelope is an area minimising the zone containing all the points, and that takes all angles into account. This allows you to view the real footprint of sectors.
  • Contiguous envelopes are joined: the sectors extend to touch each other. These envelopes allow a better view of the way territories are shared. If many sectors are displayed with this type of envelope (one hundred sectors, for example), display times may be quite lengthy.

If no envelope is defined, points will be individually coloured as a function of the sector they belong to.

The heat map represents point density or map indicator information on the map. The more densely populated a zone is in terms of points or indicator value, the deeper is the shade of red in which the zone displays, and the bigger is its footprint. This display mode is highly effective for distinguishing between the "weights" of the different territories on a map and their geographic dispersion.

Apart from any columns defined as being ‘to ignore’ during the field set up stage, you will find all data inserted to date.

Table indicators are configured in the Indicators menu.

The totals summary modifies the summaries at the bottom of the table. You can alter the operator to display: sum, average, minimum, maximum, count, or no data item. The format allows you to change the number of decimal places displayed (0-4 decimal places).

  • The summary edits the information present for each sector in the table. The operator concerns the value available in each table cell: it could be sum, average, minimum or maximum, count, or no value at all.
  • The display may be configured in terms of balancing, to display a balancing bar (like the one displayed to indicate workload). The balancing bar and the way it fills will vary depending on the differential between the value for the sector and that of the average. The values display gives results for numeric data only (as for quantities).

Virtual layers are available to view in the map interface in order to facilitate analysis and sectorization display. They are accessed by clicking on the button at the bottom right of the screen.

Several virtual layers can be displayed: transport, satellite + traffic, map + traffic, ground, satellite, Geoconcept. The eye icon – whether crossed out or not – beside the name of each virtual layer serves to choose the layers to view. In this example, the Geoconcept and map + traffic virtual layers are available.

To consult the list of objects making up a sector, there are 2 options:

  • From the map, when the infobox is enabled on a sector, you can now click on Display to open the list of objects on the sector in the table
  • From the table, when you double-click on the name of a sector.

 

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2.2 – Automated sectoring

This video shows you how to:

  • Create balanced sectors automatically (defining the number of sectors to create, and sectoring on points, or around poles of interest).

To take this one stage further:

Automated sectoring is available for one-off sectorings, as well as for one-off sectorings around focal points.

The notion of ‘sectorization priority’ allows you to define a possible adjustment in relation to perfect balance between the different sectors. By default, each criterion is configured with an Average sectorization priority, then at the time of sectorization, the algorithm takes the statistical rule used into account (equal sectors according to X indicators) along with the geography of the sector (compact sector, without any holes). The closer the cursor is positioned to the Balance criterion, the greater the respect for the statistical rule. The closer the cursor is positioned to the Compactness criterion, the more compact the sector will be.
Similarly, when using several criteria, it is possible to give precedence to one indicator as compared to another by bringing the cursor close to Balance, and by moving the cursor of the other indicator towards Compactness.

When performing a points sectoring, the user can adjust the balance with a maximum of 4 criteria: the number of points (present by default) plus 3 criteria imported from the external file and defined as «indicators to use» during the field-mapping stage.
When performing a point sectoring around sites, the user can choose to use the number of points, or a criterion imported from the external file.

After an automated sectoring, the former names of sectors are used if 50% of their points are retained within this same sector.

The sectoring parameters propose to choose a balancing operation based on the shortest or the fastest route, which will affect the shape of sectors. The search for the fastest route via the road network will result in sectors that are less compact geographically, but more accessible. The search for the shortest route via the road network will result in sectors that are more compact geographically, because the fewest possible kilometres will be traversed.
The choice will depend on the type of sectors required, business constraints (are savings on time or kilometres required?) as well as the balanced geographic spread (in the Paris region, balancing on the basis of ‘shortest’ is not necessarily the optimum solution, whereas it would be in a rural area).

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2.3 – Manual mode

This video explains how to:

  • Assign an object (polygon or point) to another sector;
  • Create a sector.

To take this one stage further:

There are two ways to create a new sector manually:

  • In the Edition tab, click on Create, name the sector and define its colour;
  • Select the group of points to assign to this sector (while holding down the SHIFT key), and click on the icon;
  • Select the Create option. The points will then be assigned directly to the new sector.

When objects are not assigned to a sector, the user can find them in the table of indicators. A tab is created beside that of the sectors. Clicking on this tab, the user can view the points and their indicators, and zoom-in on them if required.

Select any objects that no longer need to be associated and then click on the button in the Edition tab. Select the Unassign option.
The points that are then unassigned will disappear from the current display, but they can still be displayed from the table of indicators.

In the table of indicators, click on the button to:

  • Edit the sector properties (change the name or the colour)
  • Distribute sector points to the nearest sectors. When this functionality is used, GTM redistributes each selected sector point to the sector that is closest as the crow flies.

The user can start from a departure point on the map and search to select all points that are «less than» X distance from this point. To do this, in the Edit menu, click on Selection and then Select by circle.

When the circle is drawn, the radius displays and you can limit the selection to the specified distance.

There are two ways to assign objects to another sector:

  • Standard: select the objects to transfer and then click on the button in the actions of the sector to be enriched.
  • Advanced: select the objects manually, and then click on Transfer in the Edit menu. Choose the indicator(s) to display in the summary table of objects to transfer to assess the load to redistribute. Validate the transfer of objects by leaving them checked, or conversely unchecked if they are not to be transferred. Select the destination sector for the objects.

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2.4 - Saving simulations and studies

This video shows you how to:

  • How to save a study,
  • How to choose a simulation among different saved scenarios,
  • How to load a saved simulation.

To take this one stage further:

A study consists of the folder containing several possible simulations. A simulation is a saved sectorization at an instant T. GTM creates one study per data set used (for example, in the video, data relating to Brittany – if the data for Normandy are loading, the simulations will be saved in a new study).

To know which work simulation is displayed, open the drop-down menu. The simulation highlighted in blue is the simulation currently on the screen.

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3 - Export

This video shows you how to easily export a sectorization you have constructed so it can be shared.

To take this one stage further:

Export formats used are .XLSX or .CSV. The files can be downloaded locally on the machine, or directly integrated in a Cloud file.

When you perform a standard export, the file generated will contain:

  • A Mapping tab with the list of sectorized objects, the indicators repatriated in Geoconcept Territory Manager, and the sector of assignment;
  • A Sectors tab with the list of sectors created and the indicators defined as Indicators to use;
  • A Map tab with a map of the sectors and a legend describing how to distinguish between them visually;
  • A tab named as a function of the number of sectors with the list of objects assigned;
  • A Not assigned tab with the list of points not attributed to any sector.

When performing a custom export, the user can choose to add to the export Excel file:

  • Global: a calculation spreadsheet that summarises all input data with X and Y columns (if geocoding has been applied), «Original ID Secteur», «Original Name Secteur», «Sector Name», «Secteur ID». The « Original ID Secteur » and « Original Name Secteur » columns take on the names of historical sectors if these were displayed in the map. The «Sector Name» and «Secteur ID» columns will take the names of the new sectors resulting from manipulations performed in GTM.
  • Export the values of columns as input: when this checkbox is checked, all the columns in the input file are available in the Global tab (named Mapping in the Excel file), even those that are not used in GTM. Note that the export will not reproduce columns having a «To ignore» value associated to them during the mapping stage, but only those assigned a value of «-».
  • Add a map: adds a Map tab that will only display sectors chosen subsequently
    • Labels: adds labels that display the names of sectors on the map
    • Points: displays sector points on the map. If this option is not checked, only the envelopes of sectors will be displayed
  • Sectors: only selected sectors will be displayed on the map. For each sector selected, a spreadsheet is created with the list of objects it contains, showing for each object: Unique identifier, Name, Sector name, sector ID, balancing indicators.

 

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