Google Maps Engine Gets Workforce Management Tool - InformationWeek

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Google Maps Engine Gets Workforce Management Tool

Google Maps Engine Pro customers now have free access to Maps Coordinate to manage workers and share location information in real time.

 Government Data + Maps: 10 Great Examples
Government Data + Maps: 10 Great Examples
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Businesses and individuals using Google Maps Engine Pro for collaborative map creation now have access to a workforce management tool at no extra charge.

Maps Engine Pro subscribers can now use Google Maps Coordinate to manage workers and share location information in real time. The addition of this dynamic data visualization and location-based communication to Maps Engine Pro leaves the subscription price unchanged: $5 per user per month, or $50 per user per year.

Those already paying for Google Maps Coordinate will be switched to a Maps Engine Pro subscription and will see a significant price reduction. When Google Maps Coordinate was launched in June 2012, it cost $15 per user per month. Following the introductory period, the price was raised to $24 per user per month. Those paying for both services should cancel their now-redundant Coordinate subscription and contact Google support to receive a pro-rated refund.

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Google Maps Coordinate was designed to help companies dispatch and manage mobile workers. The service supports three roles: dispatcher, worker, and administrator. Through an Android app, an iOS app, or a Web browser, a dispatcher can create jobs, create teams, check workers' locations and location histories, and assign jobs. Workers can view assignments, enable or disable location sharing, accept jobs or decline them, check-in for jobs, add job notes, view completed jobs, and communicate using Hangouts. Administrators can add or subtract Maps Coordinate users, update billing information, specify what job information is collected, and add Google Maps Engine layers, among other administrative tasks.

Google Maps visualization of customers generated by bike manufacturer Pure Fix Cycles.
Google Maps visualization of customers generated by bike manufacturer Pure Fix Cycles.

Google declined to provide data about the number of companies employing the service. The San Francisco 49ers discussed usage of the service last year. Dan Cory, director of security for the team, said in a blog post that the sports organization uses Google Maps Coordinate to handle pre-game logistics.

"When we're on the road and one of the players needs a ride back from the workout facility to the hotel, Maps Coordinate shows me which of my drivers is available and nearby to complete the transportation task," Cory said. "Moreover, it provides a visual communication tool, showing the real-time location of our security team on a Google Map."

With Maps Engine Pro, data from Google Maps Coordinate becomes potentially more useful. Users can customize maps to suit business needs, map business data alongside worker assets, and share and collaborate on maps with people inside and outside of their organization.

For organizations with enterprise mapping requirements, Google offers Maps Engine, which counterintuitively has more features than Maps Engine Pro -- despite having fewer words in its name.

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Jeff Jerome
Jeff Jerome,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 10:44:42 PM
Re: Curious change and so many worlds to concur Find a need and fill it.
Michelle - Yes indeed I too had no idea that this product existed either.  Certainly has some solid applications and it amazes me how Google continues to evolve and find ways to apply their various technologies.  Find a need and fill it or ?
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 5:05:47 PM
Curious change
I had no idea Google had such a product. The update seems like a good one.
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