Using Mapping Tools for Surveys and Market Research Reports

Data visualization is a popular technique used in market research reporting. Everybody loves a map don't they? We certainly do here at our market research firm. So much so we try to work at least one (and usually multiple maps) into our client reports.

Mapping used in market research comes in many shapes and sizes. There are a variety of different plot points and maps a market research firm can create with data like ZIP Codes, counties, or even Census Tracts. We'll review some of the basic maps we use most often in our market research reports.

Heat map image of survey respondents from New York State.

Below is an example of 4 different types of maps used in our market research reports. By just collecting some type of geographical data (ZIP) or paradata (IP Address) in your survey, you have the ability to create several breakdowns of maps in your report.

Dot Density Map

A dot density map includes a dot for each individual respondent. This may be based on finite location variables like ZIPs, addresses, or Census Tracts. Clusters of dots together represent a higher representation of respondents from the particular geographic area. In this map of New York State you see heavy clusters of respondents in areas such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, Albany, and New York City.

An example of a dot density map using survey respondent data.

Layered Color Map

The map below details response per county. Each county is highlighted with a data point and the darker the color, the higher the percentage. The lighter the color, the lower the percentage. A simple application or question here might have been: "Are you aware of our brand?" The percentages indicate the number of residents in each county who are aware of your organization's brand.

An example of a layered county map of Upstate New York.

Heat Map

The example of the heat map was shown in the introduction. Very simply, the darker the red, the higher the frequency or percentage. As evidenced in the map below, the highest concentration of respondents is in Onondaga County, NY. There are also some heat pockets in Rochester and Utica. Yellow represents medium frequency or percentage. The blue represents areas of the map with the fewest respondents. Those without colored points have zero respondents or zero data points.

Heat map of New York State.

Interactive Map

Unlike the other 3 static maps which were shown included in our reports. This map below may be the most universally liked. It is hosted online through a link and is completely interactive. The user may zoom in or zoom out and hover over specific ZIP Codes to understand the data that lies within. As you scroll over ZIP Codes, pop-up boxes appear with the data. A lot can be done with these maps and it is an interesting and interactive way to share data. Understandably so, clients of our market research firm love these!

Interactive map of New York State.

Contact Our Market Research Firm

Drive Research is a market research firm located in the U.S. We work with a number of clients in a variety of industries to execute market research projects. Our team assists with setting up objectives, defining a methodology, executing fieldwork, analysis, and reporting.

Questions about an upcoming project? Contact us at or call us at 315-303-2040. Message our team on our website here.

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