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Creating Areas in SPOTLIGHT

Create areas through SPOTLIGHT's map-centric trade area creation workflow. Users can create areas by drawing directly on the map, using distances, drivetimes, standard geographies, importing a custom list of standard geographies, or batch creating an imported list of locations.

There are five sections to this article:

  1. Accessing Area Creation
  2. Using the Draw Option to Create Areas
  3. Using the Distance Option to Create Areas
  4. Using the Drivetime Option to Create Areas
  5. Using the Geography Option to Create Areas
  6. Using the Import Option to Create Areas
 
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Accessing Area Creation

You can access the area creation interface through three pathways in SPOTLIGHT. 

1. From the Reporting page:

After selecting the reports, click Create New Areas on the Select Areas page.

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2. From the My Areas section:

Click Create Area(s) - Map from the My Areas page.

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3. From the Mapping section:

When creating a map in SPOTLIGHT (learn how here), click on the Create New Area(s) link on the trade area selection page.

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Using the Draw Option to Create Areas

The draw option allows you to draw an area based on a custom polygon, rectangle, or circle around one or multiple areas of interest.

1. Begin by clicking the Draw option.

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2. Type an address in the search bar and select a location from the list. Or, on the map, navigate to your area of interest using your mouse. Then select a drawing tool from the toolbar.

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The toolbar from left to right:

  • Select feature allows you to select a drawn area on the map and change its dimensions, move in any direction, rotate, or delete. Note, make all adjustments to your area(s) before saving. Once the area is saved, it can no longer be edited.
  • Select by rectangle allows you to select multiple drawn areas on the map by encompassing them using a rectangle. 
  • Draw a polygon is a drawing tool that allows you to create custom polygons on the map. Click on the map to input your first node. Each mouse click on the map creates a new node, and double-click on the last node to complete the area. 
  • Draw a rectangle is a drawing tool that allows you to create areas in a rectangular shape.
  • Draw a circle is a drawing tool that allows you to create areas in a circular shape.
  • Undo / Redo changes made to a drawn area. Note, that the options to undo or redo edits to an area are available only when the area is selected.
  • Sketch Settings controls the accuracy of the pointer when creating or modifying features of drawn areas. The settings allow the pointer to snap to specific geometry such as vertices or midpoints of lines.

3. Once one or more areas have been created, add a NameDescription, and Tags. Note, new areas can be made available for use in all your workspaces by checking Available in all Workspaces

Click Save Area(s).

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4. Your new area(s) will now be available under your trade areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT.  

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Using the Distance Option to Create Areas

The distance tool allows you to create an area based on a linear or drive distance from a location. 

Using Create Point(s) feature to create areas:

1. Begin by clicking the Distance option.

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2. Geocode an address by filling in all relevant details in the data fields, then click Geocode. To geocode multiple addresses, use the Clear Address feature, then repeat the process. Continue this process until all addresses are geocoded. Geocoded addresses will be shown visually on the map as red pins and enumerated in a note on the left under the Geocode button.

If an address is unknown, you can manually place a point on the map. Move the map to the location of interest using your mouse and click the site to drop a red pin. 

When a red pin is plotted on the map, the Edit Point(s) feature will appear.

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3. The Edit Point(s) feature allows you to change the Name, Description, and Tags of each point. You can delete points by clicking the trash can icon.

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Note: Create and edit all locations of interest before clicking Next. Locations cannot be created or edited once you proceed to the next step.

4. Once all points are geocoded and defined, click Next.

5. On the Area(s) page set the Unit, Type, and Sizes distance parameters to define your areas. 

  • Unit: Choose between kilometers or miles.
  • Type: Choose between linear distance or drive distance.
    • Linear Distance: Defines the radius of a circle created around the location.
    • Drive Distance: Defines the distance traveled by all roads from the location.
  • Sizes: Set the size definitions around the locations. Use a comma to separate values (e.g., 1, 3, 5) to use multiple sizes.

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6. Click Create Area(s). The processing time for areas will vary depending on the number of locations selected and the size definitions used.

7.  Set or edit the Name, Description, and Tags for each area created.

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Click Save Area(s).

8. Your new area(s) will now be available under your trade areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT. 

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Using the Drivetime Option to Create Areas

The drivetime option allows you to calculate the area reached within a specified travel time along a street network based on driving or walking. 

Using the Create Point(s) feature to create areas:

1. Begin by clicking the Drivetime option.

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2. Geocode an address by filling in all relevant details in the data fields, then click Geocode. To geocode multiple addresses, use the Clear Address feature, then repeat the process. Continue this process until all addresses are geocoded. Geocoded addresses will be shown visually on the map as red pins, red_indicator.png and are enumerated on the left under the Geocode button.

A point can be manually located on the map if an address is unknown. Move the map to the location of interest using your mouse and click the site to drop a red pin.

When a red pin is plotted on the map, the Edit Point(s) feature will appear.

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3. The Edit Point(s) feature allows you to change the Name, Description, and Tags of each point. You can delete points by clicking the trash can icon.

Note: Create and edit all locations of interest before clicking Next. It is impossible to create or edit locations once you proceed to the next step.

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4. Once all points are geocoded and defined, click Next.

5. On the Area(s) page set the Type and Minutes parameters to use to define your areas. 

  • Type: Choose from four options.
    • Drivetime: Area based on the time traveled during an average amount of traffic.
    • Drivetime - Heavy Traffic: Area-based on time traveled during heavy volume of traffic, such as during the morning and afternoon commuter periods.
    • Drivetime - Night: Area-based on time traveled during low traffic volume, such as during the night. 
    • Walking: Area-based on time traveled while walking at average speed.
  • Minutes: Adjust the number of time bands around the geocoded point(s). For including multiple time bands, ensure a comma is placed after each band (e.g, 5, 10, 15).

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Click Create Area(s).

Note: The processing time for areas will vary depending on the number of locations selected and the number of size definitions used.

6. Set or edit the Name, Description, and Tags for each area created. Note, new areas can be made available for use in all your workspaces by checking Available in all Workspaces.

Click Save Area(s).

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7. Your new area(s) will now be available under your trade areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT.  

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Using the Geography Option to Create Areas

Create areas based on standard levels of geography. For dashboards that require a benchmark, these areas are often standard geographies such as Canada, provinces, or census metropolitan areas.

1. Begin by clicking the Geography option.

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2. Select a level of geography from the list below, or type a place name or standard geography code in the Search window for options.

For a list of standard geography codes, review the Standard Geography Codes and Names article.

3. Click Next. 

4. If you selected a level of geography in the previous step, there are two ways to capture standard geographies on the map: Boundary Select or Click SelectBoundary Select allows you to capture multiple geographies within a rectangle drawn on the map. As long as any portion of a geography touches the drawn rectangle, it will be selected. Click Select allows you to click on individual geographies on the map.  Use the Clear Selection function to undo any selections. Selected geographies will be highlighted as blue on the map and listed in the side panel.

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Once your areas of interest have been selected, click Next.

5. Add a Name, Description, and Tags to the areas. Check the Aggregate Areas box to combine the selected geographies into a single area. 

Click Save Area.

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6. Your new area(s) will now be available under your trade areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT.  

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Using the Import Option to Create Areas

Create areas based on a custom list of standard geographies, or a list of locations that can be used to batch create areas.

Geography:

1. Begin by clicking the Import option and then Geography.

2. Drag and drop your file that contains a list of standard geographies anywhere in the "Drop files to upload" area. Or click within the white box to locate a file from your computer.

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2. After importing a file, click the red upload icon.

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3. A preview table will appear for your uploaded file. 

4. On the geographic codes page, select the Geographic Level and Geographic Code Field. Determine a name in the Area Name field for the file. Check the Aggregate Areas box to combine the selected geographies into a single area.

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Click Create Area(s). 

5. Your new area(s) will now be available under My Areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT.

Batch Locations:

1. Begin by clicking the Import option and then Batch Locations.

2. Drag and drop your location file anywhere in the "Drop files to upload" area. Or click within the white box to locate a file from your computer.

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2. After importing a file, click the red upload icon.

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3. A preview table will appear for your uploaded file. 

4. On the Properties page, assign the name, address, city, province, and postal code fields. 

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Click Next

5. Choose to create the areas as distance-based or time. Review the Using the Distance/Drivetime Option to Create Areas sections in this article to understand the parameter options available for each area type. 

6. Click Create Area(s). Your new area(s) will now be available under My Areas and can be used for reporting in SPOTLIGHT.

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