What are Driving Radius Maps used for

The driving radius map measures the distance or time of locations from a central point. Many businesses and organizations use these maps for location intelligence, mainly for business site selection, catchment area analysis, sales territory planning, and logistics.

How Do Driving Radius Maps Work?

The driving radius map uses GIS software to estimate the time it takes (either in time or distance) to get to a specific destination. Maps that evaluate the time it takes are known as “drive time maps,” while the distance is a driving radius. To generate accurate maps, the radius map tools will consider important factors like live traffic data, time of day, and speed limits.

Most users can plot the driving radius by either option, with time as a polygon shape and space as a circle. For instance, using the polygon tool, users can create a drive time map for a sales territory.

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What are These Maps Used For?

The radius map holds plenty of different uses for businesses and organizations. Most often, a company might use the radius map for the following reasons:

Local Government and Public Works

Many local governments will use radius maps to determine ideal public services and structures’ locations. These structures might include public transport, schools, hospitals, and publicly run buildings.

Catchment Area Analysis

Users can develop a richer analysis using the catchment areas, often by layering it with drive times and distances between locations or competitors.

Logistics and Supply Chain Optimization

An organization must ensure all distribution centers have the maximum coverage and simplified access. Find the most efficient route from a central starting location, adapting in real-time within a chosen radius.

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Sales Territory Management

With sales territory management, representatives can call on more accounts, try to target new opportunities, manage and balance different territories, and more, using the proper drive time distances for each representative.

Business Road Trip Planning

When planning a trip, calculate how far you can travel within a given time. You can also plan nearby attractions and points of interest and determine the best route.

Office Site Selection

An employee’s commute can play a significant factor in productivity and morale. Ensure the anticipated location works optimally with commute times. When choosing your new office location, a driving radius map can integrate traffic, location, and demographics.

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How to Generate a Driving Radius Map with Travel Time

If you’re using mapping software, you’ll want to sign into the dashboard. Many programs will offer free trials, which is ideal for businesses and organizations new to mapping and unsure of the best option for their company.

Load your data from an existing spreadsheet or Google Sheet. Alternatively, users can copy and paste the information into the software directly. For businesses with a few addresses, users can enter the data directly.

Create a map using the data you’ve uploaded. The location data will plot on a beautifully interactive map, giving you a real-time look at your information. If you’re using mapping software powered through Google maps, the application is likely cloud-based, which allows users can log in from anywhere.

Locate the map options and open the radius tool. From there, users can use the proximity tool to determine the type of radius required. Two radius maps are available: a proximity radius circle or the drive time polygon. Choose the best option based on your specific needs.

Enter the centralized location and distance required. The site will be the central point on your map, with the radius branching out from this area. Determine how far you’d like the radius or polygon to extend (km or miles) or in driving time (minutes or hours) from the center point.


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