3 Ways to Optimize Your Business with Location-Based Services

Posted by Derek Imes, Head of Location Services

May 24, 2019


It’s all about location, location, location. If your business relies on people finding you, then a location-based service is what you need. If your employees’ jobs depend on finding places, then it's also what you need.

Location is more than just a place. It's essential data, which can be leveraged to make key business decisions. Most data has a location component. With 1 billion daily active users across the globe, Google Maps Platform makes it easier than ever to implement a location-based service for your business.

Location-based services depend on collecting geo-data from a mobile device to provide relevant information to that user. The most common uses are maps on your smartphone — or the opportunity to check in at a location. Because of this, digital maps have become an essential part of life.

These types of services are not limited to use in a single industry. In fact, location-based services are relevant and useful in all industries, which is why using one is the right decision for your business. With nine in ten U.S. smartphone owners using location services on their phone according to data from the Pew Research Center, it’s an important consideration for all businesses.

Here’s how Google Maps Platform creates value for your business and helps you build stronger customer relationships.

Provides a Superior Customer Experience

Google Maps phone blogWith data accuracy, your customers will know exactly how to find you. Also, by using a service like Google Maps Platform with a recently redesigned user interface and streamlined design, customers will have an easier time locating your business. The latest visual improvements to Google Maps Platform include an updated color scheme, and typography for enhanced clarity and readability. The new pin style clearly marks points of interest to ensure users can find your location more easily than before.

A recently added Styling Wizard feature allows developers to further customize maps. This includes adding specific colors to roads, labels and more. You can even customize the themes of your map to match your branding color scheme. New themes change the style of your map based on the time of day — and the overall look and feel to create a customized and branded experience for users.

Enhances Your Organization’s Operations

With 25 million daily updates, Google Maps Platform guarantees the most accurate data, whether it’s customers finding you, or your employees navigating to where they need to be. Covering 99% of countries and territories around the globe, Google Maps Platform makes your operations more efficient.

Real-time traffic on maps is expanding and becoming more accurate. This means if you run a fleet that depends on getting somewhere on time, you will know about any disruptions in advance and will receive an alternate route so it makes its expected arrival. Whatever you are delivering will arrive on time, making your organization more effective and your customers happy.

Improved geolocation accuracy means Google Maps Platform can effectively predict an exact location, getting your fleet closer to its desired destination. With a large global database of WiFi and cell towers, this information is readily accessible and will only grow as data points increase. The Cloud IoT has a fully managed service to acquire this level of global devices to make business decisions even easier.

Allows for Better Decision Making

navigation app on mobile phone

Rich data gives you an enhanced snapshot of what users are doing. Insurance companies that depend on managing risk use Google Maps Platform to create a map that tells them where their policyholders are located. With this information, they can overlay that data onto a map that includes flood areas, weather reports and other geo-data to foster improved business decisions. This has led to a fundamental shift in risk assessment modeling that takes less than six weeks, saving a substantial amount of time.

Major cities have also embraced Google Maps Platform to help understand how commercial decisions affect the physical environment. This information allows businesses to determine where they should spend on infrastructure upgrades. By replacing sensors in roads to track traffic, Google Maps Platform uses real-time traffic data to track commuting patterns. With this new data, cities can now make more informed decisions about planning.

Why Use Google Maps Platform?

The three main products that Google Maps Platform offers are Maps, Routes and Places. These are the essential building blocks for creating location-aware experiences. Each brings a distinct and useful set of functions.


With customized maps and Street View imagery, Maps allows users to see the world around them in real-time. Google Maps has over 25 million daily location updates that come from a variety of places, including mapping data, satellite and street-level imagery, which are just a few of their authoritative sources. This means that Maps is constantly adding and updating locations, providing you with the most comprehensive data.

You can customize your maps with lines, colors and images. Besides being able to style and customize maps, through the Maps APIs, you can also create an experience for your users that brings maps to life by combining static and dynamic maps, Street View imagery and 360° views. Businesses from banking to ticketing have used the various Maps APIs to make their organizations run more smoothly.


Routes allows users and products to keep moving. Combining extensive and real-time data, Routes lowers costs and improves efficiency. By using predictive traffic models, you can plan trips and optimize them by determining the distance and estimated travel time when using the powerful APIs supplied by Google. A grocery delivery service has used routes as a part of Google Maps Platform to keep their deliveries on time and customers happy. This led them to offer even more delivery services such as laundry.


Business friends discussing and brainstormingFinding specific locations by phone number, address or a real-time signal has never been easier with Places. With Google Maps Platform, users are able to discover, encounter and interact with more than 150 million locations, even yours. While you can add specific data to Places, it’s the power of Local Guides, people that add more than 700,000 new places every month, building a network of reliable and accurate information you can trust.

As retail and small businesses expand and open more quickly than in the past, Google Maps Platform is a necessity for keeping information updated. And with more users having a smartphone, this means location-based check ins, user-generated reviews and updates keep your information accurate. This information is saved and used by Google to provide detailed data to improve your business. Consider this: there are 28 million small businesses in the United States. Yours could be one of them.

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Derek Imes, Head of Location Services

Derek is the Head Location Services at Onix. Since 2013, he has focused on helping companies understand the business benefits of adopting location-based solutions. Derek helps customers understand the licensing options and best practices for deploying Google Maps solutions, both pre and post sale.

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