Radius maps are great for proximity analysis – how far is the nearest hotel to an airport, how many customers are within 10 miles of your local offices, etc. With eSpatial, you can create eye-catching radius maps in minutes.
(Post updated January 2015)
What you need to create a radius map
A minimum of two sets of data – one dataset will provide the center point (eg., Your coffee shops), the other dataset will contain the data to be placed within the circle surrounding the center-point (e.g., Competitor coffee shops).
By default, a pin map is created from the existing datasets. Once I have switched off Color By Value (the paint-bucket icon in the Legend menu), my map looks like this:
Click Analyze data
and then select Radius Map
Now input the radius distance you want to cover in your radius map. I’ve chose a 5 mile distance here.
Finish by clicking Complete and your radius map is generated:
The circles are colored, by default, to represent levels of data – in the above case, by Sales (other options are available by clicking the dropdown). However, you can switch off this coloring anytime, by clicking the paint-bucket icon in the Legend menu, as indicated by the arrow:
Using radius maps for analysis
On looking at the the above map, I think I should expand my radius range. To to this, I click Clear Analysis in the control panel. This takes me back to my original pin map. I will now create a new radius map to 25 miles:
The above map is far more interesting – including much more data and also giving me a new insight: I may not need 3 distribution centers in this part of the country. I’m seeing this because the data in the two red circles shows an overlap of customers. This isn’t very efficient. After clearing the radius analysis a few times and trying different distances, I’ve created this 50-mile radius map.
The above map tells me something that could save my business a lot of money: I may not need 3 distribution centers. If organized correctly, two distribution centers could potentially cover what is now being covered by 3!
Saving radius maps
If I wanted, I could have saved all the radius maps I’ve explored above as bookmarked URLs. Or I could have saved just the final 50-mile map. What’s most important to realize is that every time I make a change to my original pin map – and I want to keep the changes, I need to use the Save As command:
Otherwise the original map will be overwritten. You can find out more about saving multiple map views here.