The Buffer/Drive time analysis creates a travel radius area around an input point, line, or polygon feature or uses Esri service areas to calculate how far someone can traverse a region within a specified travel time or travel distance based on their travel mode. The results of this analysis are saved as a layer in the map.
The Buffer/Drive time analysis can be used in various scenarios, such as the following:
- A local reporter is writing a story about fire department response times in her city. She wants to determine how much of the city is within a nine-minute drive time of the city's fire stations. She can use the Buffer/Drive time analysis to determine how far a fire truck can drive within the city in nine minutes and extrapolate how many stations might be required to service the city's fires most effectively.
- A development company plans to create a mixed-use development in an urban center. The development must be located within a quarter mile of shops, restaurants, or a light rail stop. The company can use the Buffer/Drive time analysis to determine appropriate locations for the new development.
Create Buffer/Drive times
To run the Buffer/Drive time analysis, do the following:
- From the map tools, click Analysis .
The analysis tools appear. Infographics card is selected by default.
- From the analysis tools, click Buffer/Drive time .
- From the Choose input features drop-down menu, choose the starting point for the buffer or drive time.
You can select a layer in the map or choose Click to add a point to select a location manually.
- From the Choose analysis type drop-down menu, choose how the area around the input features is measured.
You can measure according to fixed distance or time.
- To use a distance-based measurement, select Fixed ring, Walking distance, Rural driving distance, Trucking distance, or Driving distance. Set the unit of measurement using the drop-down menu, and change the distance using the text box or arrow buttons.
- To use a time-based measurement, select Walking time, Rural driving time, Trucking time, or Driving time. Set the unit of measurement using the drop-down menu, and change the amount of time using the text box or arrow buttons.
- Optionally, for Driving time, Trucking time, and Rural driving time, check the Use traffic check box and choose one of the following:
- Live traffic—Calculate time based on the current traffic conditions. Use the slider to offset live traffic conditions up to four hours from the current time.
- Traffic based on typical conditions—Set a day of the week and time of day on which to base traffic calculations. When adding time, choose an option from the drop-down list or add a value manually. Use the 12-hour or the 24-hour time clock. An invalid entry defaults to 12:00 am.
Use traffic is not checked by default. The driving speed is based on historical and live traffic data.
- Choose a Travel direction option. You can calculate time and distance away from the input features or toward them.
This option appears for all analysis types except Ring buffer.
- Type a name for the layer in the Result layer name text box.
- Click Run analysis.
The Buffer/Drive time analysis is run and the results are saved. The result layer appears in the layer list.
- Click the Close button to close the Analysis pane and view the map.
You can choose an input point, line, or polygon layer from the Choose analysis type drop-down menu. The drop-down menu includes all layers in the map that are compatible with the Buffer/Drive time analysis.
The following analysis types may be available:
Uses a straight-line distance to create a buffer around points.
Models the movement of cars and other similar small automobiles, such as pickup trucks, and finds solutions that optimize travel time or distance. Travel obeys one-way roads, avoids illegal turns, and follows other rules that are specific to cars.
Models basic truck travel by preferring designated truck routes and finds solutions that optimize travel time or distance. Routes must obey one-way roads, avoid illegal turns, and so on.
Follows paths and roads that allow pedestrian traffic and finds solutions that optimize travel time or distance. The default walking speed for time is set to 5 kilometers per hour.
Rural Driving Time/Distance
Models the movement of cars and other similar small automobiles, such as pickup trucks, and finds solutions that optimize travel time or distance. Travel obeys one-way roads, avoids illegal turns, and follows other rules that are specific to cars but does not discourage travel on unpaved roads.
If you choose a buffer or travel mode based on distance, you can choose meters, kilometers, feet, or miles as the measurement unit.
If you choose a travel mode based on time, you can choose seconds, minutes, or hours as the measurement unit.
Travel modes can only be used when the input dataset contains point features.