Generate Travel Areas

Note:

Generate Travel Areas was named Create Drive-Time Areas in Map Viewer Classic.

The Generate Travel Areas tool uses Esri Service Areas to calculate the area that can be reached within a specified travel time or travel distance along a street network.

The output is a hosted feature layer.

Example

Residents of the island of Newfoundland in Canada are considering switching to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. Generate Travel Areas can be used to create travel ranges around charging stations to determine which areas of the province are accessible with electric vehicles.

Travel areas surrounding charging stations

Try the Generate travel areas for charging stations tutorial for the complete workflow.

Usage notes

Generate Travel Areas includes configurations for input layers, analysis settings, and result layers.

Input layers

The Input layers group includes the following parameters:

  • Input layer identifies the points for which the travel areas will be created. The layer can contain up to 1,000 features.
  • Optional barrier layers is used to add features that act as temporary restrictions when traveling on the underlying streets. The Optional barrier layers parameter includes the following subparameters:
    • Point barrier layer—Point features that block traffic at a specific position along the street. Travel is permitted on the street but not through the barrier. You can specify up to 250 features to act as point barriers. Examples of point barriers include a fallen tree, a traffic accident, or a downed electrical line.
    • Line barrier layer—Line features that block traffic across several street segments. The line barriers prohibit travel anywhere the barriers intersect the streets and can intersect up to 500 streets. Examples of line barriers include a parade or protest.
    • Polygon barrier layer—Polygon features that block traffic across entire areas of the street network. The polygon barriers prohibit travel anywhere the polygon intersects the street and can intersect up to 2,000 streets. Examples of polygon barriers include a flood or forest fire.

Analysis settings

The Analysis settings group includes the following parameters:

  • Travel mode is the travel mode the travel areas will be based on. Travel modes are configured by your ArcGIS administrator and can be based on travel time or travel distance.

    Learn more about travel modes
  • Cutoffs is the travel distance or time limit for each input point. Multiple cutoffs can be added to create outputs based on different travel distances or times.
  • Cutoff units specifies the distance units (miles, kilometers, meters, feet, or yards) or time units (minutes, seconds, or hours) that will be used when creating travel areas. The Cutoffs value is interpreted in these units.
  • Travel direction specifies the direction of travel that will be used to generate the travel area. The network may have different one-way restrictions, turn restrictions, and travel times depending on the direction of travel that influence the shape of the output travel areas. The direction you specify depends on the type of analysis.

    The travel direction also affects how the analysis interprets time. When travel direction is Away from input locations, the time represents the departure time from the input locations. When Toward input locations is used, the time represents the arrival time at the input locations.

    The Travel direction parameter options are as follows:
    • Away from input locations—Travel areas will be created using the input points as the starting point and modeling travel in the outward direction. For example, create travel areas for a pizza delivery service away from the pizza shop.
    • Toward input locations—Travel areas will be created using the input points as the end point and modeling travel in the inward direction. For example, create travel areas for a hospital toward the hospital.
  • Departure time or Arrival time specifies the date and time that the traveler departs from or arrives at the input locations. This parameter is available for time-based travel modes such as driving time and trucking time and has an impact on the travel speed. The Departure time or Arrival time parameter options are as follows:
    • Now—Traffic conditions will be based on the current date and time. Live traffic conditions will be used when available.

      Learn more about network analysis coverage
    • Custom date and time—Traffic conditions will be based on the specified date and time. If the custom date and time is within four hours of the current time, live traffic conditions will be used. If the custom date and time is not within four hours of the current date and time, average historical traffic conditions for the day of week and time of day will be used. Use this option to perform analysis with typical traffic conditions. For example, choose 9:00 a.m. on the previous Monday to perform analysis with typical conditions for Mondays at 9:00 a.m.
    • Time unspecified—Travel speeds will be based on average historical speeds or the posted speed limit.
  • Overlap policy specifies how overlapping travel areas will appear in the output. The Overlap policy parameter options are as follows:
    • Overlap—Travel areas will be created for each input location, and these travel areas may overlap one another if the area is reachable from more than one input location. For reachable streets, street features that are within reach of more than one input location will be duplicated for each input location. This is the default.
    • Dissolve—Travel areas for all input locations will be combined into a single polygon representing the reachable area for all input locations. The reachable streets output will include all street features reachable from any input location.
    • Split—Travel areas will be created for each input location, and any area reachable from more than one input facility will be assigned to the closest input location. Travel areas do not overlap. For reachable streets, street features will be assigned to the closest input location and will not be duplicated.
  • Generate detailed polygons specifies whether each output area will be one continuous polygon (unchecked) or include holes on streets that are not reachable but are fully surrounded by reachable streets (checked).

Result layers

The Result layers group includes the following parameters:

  • Output name determines the name of the layer that is created and added to the map. The name must be unique. If a layer with the same name already exists in your organization, the tool will fail and you will be prompted to use a different name.
  • Include reachable streets specifies whether an output layer of the streets that were used to create the travel areas will be included.
  • Save in folder specifies the name of a folder in My Content where the result will be saved.

Limitations

The following limitations apply to the tool:

  • The Generate Travel Areas tool supports point features only. Multipoint features are not supported.
  • The input layer can have no more than 1,000 points.
  • Travel times cannot exceed 9 hours (540 minutes) when walking or 5 hours (300 minutes) for all other travel times.
  • Travel distances cannot exceed 27 miles (43.45 kilometers) when walking or 300 miles (482.80 kilometers) for all other travel distances.
  • When Generate detailed polygons or Include reachable streets is checked, travel times cannot exceed 5 hours (300 minutes) when walking or 15 minutes for all other travel times.
  • When Generate detailed polygons or Include reachable streets is checked, travel distances cannot exceed 15 miles (24.14 kilometers).
  • Traffic conditions are not supported in all regions.

    Learn more about network analysis coverage.
  • Travel mode availability is determined by your organization's administrator.
  • An error will occur if the tool takes more than 60 minutes to run. If this error occurs, try rerunning the analysis with fewer input features.
  • You can specify up to 250 features to act as point barriers.
  • If the number of street features intersected by all the line barriers exceeds 500, an error is returned.
  • If the number of street features intersected by all the polygon barriers exceeds 2,000, an error is returned.
  • The total number of reachable streets in the output cannot exceed 1 million. If this error occurs, try rerunning the analysis with fewer input features or uncheck Include reachable streets.

Environments

Analysis environment settings are additional parameters that affect a tool's results. You can access the tool's analysis environment settings from the Environment settings parameter group.

This tool honors the following analysis environments:

  • Output coordinate system
  • Processing extent
    Note:

    The default processing extent in Map Viewer is Full extent. This default is different from Map Viewer Classic in which Use current map extent is enabled by default.

Credits

This tool consumes credits.

Use Estimate credits to calculate the number of credits that will be required to run the tool. For more information, see Understand credits for spatial analysis.

Outputs

This tool includes the following outputs:

  • One polygon layer showing the result drive time areas.
  • One line layer showing the reachable streets within the travel areas (created if Include reachable streets is checked).

Licensing requirements

This tool requires the following licensing and configurations:

  • Creator or GIS Professional user type
  • Publisher, Facilitator, or Administrator role, or an equivalent custom role
  • Network Analysis privilege

Resources

Use the following resources to learn more: