Create a buffer or drive time layer

Buffer/Drive time analysis calculates the distance or time between selected locations based on travel mode, time, and distance parameters. The results of this analysis are saved as a layer in the map.

For example, if you are performing a business site selection to add new locations, you can use Buffer/Drive time analysis to determine the number and location of any competing or complementary businesses within a one-mile radius of your proposed sites. You can then filter those results to update other Power BI visualizations in the report.

Note:

Standard users can add a maximum of five Buffer/Drive time locations; if you are signed in to an ArcGIS account, you can add a maximum of ten locations.

Tip:

Standard users can use Ring buffer and Driving time analysis types; if you are signed in to an ArcGIS account, you can use all travel modes and times.

Analysis types

The following Buffer/Drive time analysis types are available:

Note:

Travel modes and routes obey all local and regional traffic laws such as one-way roads, avoid illegal turns, and follow speed limits.

Buffer typeDescription

Ring buffer

Uses a straight-line sphere to create a distance buffer around points.

Driving Time or Driving Distance

Models the movement of cars and other similar small automobiles, such as pickup trucks, and finds solutions that optimize method of travel time or travel distance.

Rural Driving Time or Rural Driving Distance

Models the movement of cars and other similar small automobiles, such as pickup trucks, and finds solutions that optimize method of travel time or travel distance, including travel on unpaved roads.

Trucking Time or Trucking Distance

Models basic truck travel by preferring designated truck routes and finds solutions that optimize method of travel time or travel distance.

Walking Time or Walking Distance

Follows paths and roads that allow pedestrian traffic and finds solutions that optimize method of travel time or travel distance. The default walking speed is set to 5 kilometers per hour.

Limitations

Travel modes can only be used when the selected map contains point features.

Measurement units

Tip:

Standard users can use Ring buffer and Driving time analysis types; if you are signed in to an ArcGIS account, you can use all travel modes and times.

The following measurement units are used:

MeasurementUnitStandard user maximumArcGIS account maximum

Distance

Meters

160,934

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

Kilometers

161

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

Feet

528,000

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

Miles

100

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

Time

Minutes

30

45

Tip:

You can add decimals in the Time field, such as 18.2.

Create a Buffer/Drive time layer

To analyze the travel time or distance to or from map layer features, do the following:

  1. From Map tools, click Analysis Analysis tools.

    The analysis tools appear.

  2. Click Buffer/Drive Time Buffer/Drive time.

    The Drive Time pane appears.

  3. From the Choose input features drop-down list, choose where to frame your analysis.

    You can select a layer in the map or choose Click to add a point to select a location manually.

    Specify search area parameters.

    • For manual point selection, use the Drive Time pane selection tools to choose a starting point or points around which to create your Buffer/Drive time analysis.

      Standard users can select a maximum of five points and users with an ArcGIS account can select a maximum of ten points.

      Note:

      If you styled the map with Clustering, you won't be able to select any clustered locations on the map. Change the map style and try again.

  4. From the Choose analysis type drop-down menu, choose an analysis type:
    • To use a distance-based analysis, select Ring buffer, Walking distance, Rural driving distance, Trucking distance, or Driving distance. Set the distance measurement unit using the drop-down menu and change the distance using the text field or arrow buttons.
    • To use a time-based analysis, select Walking time, Rural driving time, Trucking time, or Driving Time. Set the time measurement unit using the drop-down menu and change the amount of time using the text field or arrow buttons.
      Tip:

      Standard users can select Ring buffer or Driving time analysis types.

  5. Check the Use traffic check box if you selected Driving time, Trucking time, or Rural driving time to include one of the following:
    • 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 the 24-hour time clock. An invalid entry will default to 12:00 am.

    Use traffic is not checked by default. The driving speed and length of time is calculated from a combination of historical and live traffic data.

    Tip:

    This feature is not available to Standard users.

  6. Choose a Travel direction option.

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

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

    Tip:

    This feature is not available to Standard users.

  7. Click Run analysis.

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

    Note:

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

  8. Close the Drive Time pane to reactivate the map selection tools.
  9. To delete the Buffer/Drive time layer, do one of the following:
    • In the Drive Time pane, click Remove analysis.
    • Expand the Layers list and click Layer options Layer options on the Buffer/Drive time layer to expand the context menu. Choose Remove.

Select features on a Buffer/Drive time layer

After creating a Buffer/Drive time analysis, you can select locations in the layer to perform further analysis and trigger interactions with other visualizations in the report.

To select features on a Buffer/Drive time layer, do the following:

  1. From Map tools, expand the Selection tools Select features.
  2. Select the Buffer/Drive time layer from the Active layer drop-down menu.
  3. Choose a selection tool.
  4. Click to select one or more feature on the Buffer/Drive time layer.

    Features within the Buffer/Drive time layer are selected; unselected features on the map appear smaller or become more transparent. Other visualizations are updated to reflect the selected features.

    You can apply filters and use this data with other Power BI report visualizations.

    Tip:

    A Buffer/Drive time analysis selection can contain a maximum of 250 features to interact with other Power BI report visualizations.

  5. To clear the selection on the map, click the Clear Selection button Clear selection.

Edit the Buffer/Drive time layer symbology

You can customize the appearance of Buffer/Drive time layer to specify the fill, outline color, and transparency of a Buffer/Drive time polygon.

To change the symbology, follow the steps to style location with a single symbol only using the location-only smart map card.