Drive Time and Driving Distance Queries in MapBusinessOnline

Ever wonder what the polygon created by driving your car in every direction possible from one central point for 30 miles would look like? Yeah, you have. Admit it.

Using your car to solve that conundrum will take a while. But fear not! Because someone has provided an answer to that vexing question about driving distance polygons, and that someone is MapBusinessOnline, America’s favorite Business Mapping Software.

Believe it or not, some people do want an answer to this driving distance polygon question. Whether you conduct customer mapping, market analysis, or resource planning, drive time and distance analysis are valuable. Read on to learn how to create your first driving time and distance map.

Get More Information About Driving Distance and Time Queries

With our latest release MapBusinessOnline Pro, we’ve adjusted our Drive Time/Distance analysis tool to include an option for applying Drive Time/Distance analysis across multiple center points. Read more about MapBusinessOnline Pro here.

Access Drive Time and Driving Distance in Map Business Online Standard
The Drive Time Driving Distance tool is accessed from several convenient places within MapBusinessOnline. This image represents the Driving Time tool icon:

You can conduct a Drive Time/Distance query whenever you notice this shape.

Access the Drive Time Driving Distance icon from the main Toolbar under Search Tools or Drawing Tools. Find the Circle with the Binoculars icon and use that dropdown arrow to its right. There’s the Drive Time/Distance icon. The Search Tool for drive time works like a radius map. You could think of it as a way to calculate a drive time radius.

You can also access this tool when you plot a point on your drive time maps. One way to plot a point is to enter an address in the address bar or Search Map box (upper left above the toolbar) and click the Binoculars after inputting an address.

Look for the small, associated toolbar near the plotted map point. Notice the Drive Time/Distance tool icon is included for the user to select. It’s easy to drop a point and build a drive time map.

Using any of the Drive Time/Distance buttons lets you establish a polygon on the map that represents the distance or time you can cover if you travel outwards from a central point in all directions along the road network. The resulting polygon is the area covered, considering the turn restrictions, speed limits, one-ways and two-ways, regular streets, and highways your virtual vehicle will have to travel over for the specified distance or time.

Like any other MapBusinessOnline map object, you can choose to fill or shade the object with various colors or leave the polygon transparent. You can also adjust the line thicknesses. That irregular outline is how you can tell a drive time polygon from a radius map. The drive time polygon is jagged to reflect the street routing options.

For Multiple Driving Time and Distance calculations across multiple points see MapBusinessOnline Pro.

All Drive Time/Distance polygons are queryable. Click the Binocular icon to search for data within the polygon boundary. Save that file with a unique name and work with that query result. Export the data, plan a route from the data, or filter the data to develop a more refined list.

Example Applications
Companies, non-profits, and governments can benefit from driving time distance queries. Here are a few query examples:

Chiropractor query – Develop a list of all patients living within a 25-mile driving distance of our satellite office. Determine if the resultant polygon overlaps with a 25-mile polygon drawn around our headquarters’ office location.
A non-profit query – If I drive 25 minutes from my home office in any direction, how many donors from the 2013 donor list could I visit?
Marketing query – Use a driving distance polygon to develop a demographic map displaying population by ethnicity and metro area around our top retail outlet. Query the polygon for zip codes and create an Area of Interest with demographics. Conduct a 30-minute drive time study to determine the estimated market potential for our upcoming product release.
Brookstone retail mapping query – Generate a list of all family yard sales within ten miles of a Brookstone store. Generate optimized routes to these locations and ensure they are not selling used Brookstone vibrating foot and back massagers. Destroy all used Brookstone massagers and heating pads found and payoff the homeowners with Brookstone coupons. Please give them a trade area analysis map showing drive times to the closest Brookstone stores.
Police department query – Generate a list of all Brookstone retail stores within a 50-mile driving distance of the three residential address locations reporting harassment at their yard sales. See if they’ve got one of those pillows with built-in speakers while you’re there. Match the Brookstone coupons to the originating coupon pad and arrest the employee in possession.

The driving distance component is an improvement upon the old MapPoint drive time tool you may be familiar with. If you are a MapPoint user, find out what replaced Microsoft MapPoint.

As you can see, drive time and distance queries come in handy. They can be applied to many disciplines across numerous industries. It’s a little like exploring the world from the comfort of your very own Brookstone vibrating massage chair.

If you have advanced requirements like conducting multiple drive time/distance queries across a dataset, consider MapBusinessOnline Pro.


Discover why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and download the Map App from the website –

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives at or Jason Henderson at

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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