Create a Buffer/Drive time analysis layer


Some workflows may require specific privileges. For more information about user types, roles, and privileges, see the Accounts topic.

You can create a Buffer/Drive time analysis layer. Review Buffer/Drive time analysis for more information about this analysis layer type that calculates the time or distance between locations based on parameters such as travel mode, situational traffic, and other variables.

The Create Buffer/Drive time area tab

To create a Buffer/Drive time analysis layer, complete the following steps:

  1. From the map tools, click AnalysisAnalysis.

    The analysis tools appear.

  2. From the Input layer (or features) drop-down menu, choose where to frame the analysis.

    You can use your current location or choose a layer in the map and use the Selection tools in the pane to select a location or multiple locations manually. Your current location is based on your system settings.


    Guest users can add a maximum of 5 Buffer/Drive time locations from which to frame the analysis. If you are signed in to your ArcGIS account, you can add a maximum of 10 locations.


    If you styled the map using clustering, you cannot select clustered locations on the map. Change the map style and try again.

  3. From the Analysis type drop-down menu, choose an analysis type.

    Guest users can use the Ring buffer and Driving time options. If you are signed in to an ArcGIS account, you can use all the travel mode and time options.

    • To use a distance-based analysis, choose  Ring buffer, Driving distance, Trucking distance, Walking distance, or Rural driving distance. Set the measurement unit using the drop-down menu and change the distance using the text box or arrow buttons.
    • To use a time-based analysis, choose Driving time, Trucking time, Walking time, or Rural driving time. Set the measurement unit using the drop-down menu and change the amount of time using the text box or arrow buttons.
  4. If you selected Driving time, Trucking time, or  Rural driving time, make a selection from the Use traffic drop-down menu to include one of the following:
    • Do not use traffic—The default setting. Does not use any traffic conditions.
    • Use live traffic—Calculate travel time based on 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 menu or add a value manually. Use the 12-hour or 24-hour time clock. The default value  of 12:00 a.m. is used for invalid time values.

      The driving speed and length of time is calculated from a combination of historical and live traffic data.


      This feature is not available to guest users.

  5. Choose a Travel direction option from the drop-down menu.

    You can calculate time and distance toward or away from the selected input features.

    This option is available for all analysis types except the Ring buffer option.


    This feature is not available to guest users.

  6. If you selected a travel distance or time, from the Buffer style drop-down menu, choose Overlap or Dissolve.


    Each feature's resulting geometry is represented as a unique feature.


    Overlapping geometries are merged into a single feature.


    This feature is not available to guest users.

  7. Click Run analysis.

    When you run the analysis, the results are saved as a new layer on the map and the result layer appears in the Layers list.


    A map can only contain one Buffer/Drive time analysis layer at a time. If a Buffer/Drive time analysis layer already exists, you must delete it before you can create a new one.

  8. To delete the Buffer/Drive time analysis layer, do one of the following:
    • In the Drive Time pane, click Remove analysis.
    • From the map tools, click Layers Layers to open the Layers list and click More options > Remove Remove next to the Buffer/Drive time analysis layer.

Buffer/Drive time measurement units

The following Buffer/Drive time measurement units are used:

MeasurementUnitGuest user maximumArcGIS account maximum




  • Ring buffer—6,437,376
  • Driving—96,560.6
  • Walking—43,452.3



  • Ring buffer—6,437.376
  • Driving—96.56
  • Walking—43.45



  • Ring buffer—21,120,000
  • Driving—316,800
  • Walking—142,560



  • Ring buffer—4,000
  • Driving—60
  • Walking—27





You can use decimals in the Time text box, such as 18.2 minutes.