Find nearby locations

You can use locations on your map as a starting point to find and select nearby locations on your map. For example, if you search for a particular place of interest, you can select locations on your map that are within a specified driving time or distance from that place.

You start by creating a search area layer that contains either drive-time or distance areas. Although you can create and save only one search area layer, this layer can contain multiple polygons. Then, you'll use the Drive-time Select tool Drive time to select locations on the map that fall within the defined area.

Create a search area

The Drive Time pane allows you to find other locations on the map that are within a specified distance or driving time of a selected location and save the search area as a polygon layer.

To create a search area, do the following:

  1. From the Map tools, expand the Analysis tools Analysis tools and click the Drive Time button Drive time.

    Click the Map tools button Map tools to expand the tools.

    The Drive Time pane appears.

  2. 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, use your current location, or choose Click to add a point to select a location manually.

    Specify search area parameters.

  3. If you are using a Power BI data layer as the input features, use the selection tools to choose locations around which to create the search area.

    Standard users can select up to five points and ArcGIS users can select up to 10 points.


    • If your map is styled using the Clustering theme, you won't be able to select the clustered locations on the map. Choose a different map theme and try again.
    • While the Drive Time pane is active, the map selection tools are not available. Use the selection tools in the Drive Time pane to select locations on the map.

  4. 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 Ring buffer. Set the unit of measurement using the drop-down menu and change the distance using the text box or arrow buttons. You can specify a distance of up to 100 miles.
    • To use a time-based measurement, select Driving Time. Change the amount of time using the text box or arrow buttons. You can specify a driving time of up to 30 minutes.
  5. Click Run analysis.

    A new search area appears on the map, defining the specified distance or driving time from the selected location. If you selected multiple locations, the search area layer contains polygons for each area.


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

  6. Close the Drive Time pane to reactivate the map selection tools.
  7. To delete the search layer, do one of the following:
    • In the Drive Time pane, click Remove analysis.
    • Expand the layer list and click Layer options Layer options on the search layer to expand the context menu. Choose Remove.

Select locations in a search area

After creating a search area, you may want to select locations within the search area to perform further analysis and trigger interactions with other visualizations in the report.

To select locations based on a ring buffer or drive time area, do the following:

  1. From the Map tools, expand the Selection tools Expand selection tools and make sure the search layer is selected in the Active layer drop-down menu.

    Click the Map tools button Map tools to expand the tools.

  2. Click the Drive-time select button Select using a drive-time layer.
  3. Click a polygon on the search area layer.

    The drive-time selection can contain a maximum of 250 locations.

    Locations within the search area are selected; unselected locations on the map appear smaller or become more transparent. Other visualizations are updated to reflect the selected locations.

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

Edit the search area symbology

You can customize the appearance of your search area polygons to specify fill and outline color and transparency.

To change the search area layer symbology, follow the steps for changing symbol style for the Location Only map theme.