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 this conundrum is going to take you a while to accomplish. 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 driving distance analysis is a valuable tool. You should read on to learn about how to create your first driving time and driving distance map.
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. The tool icon is represented by this image:
Whenever you notice this shape you can conduct a Drive Time/Distance query.
Access the Drive Time Driving Distance icon from the main Toolbar under Search Tools. Find the Circle with the Binoculars icon and use that drop down 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 of plotting a point is to enter an address in the address-bar (upper left above the toolbar) and click the binoculars. Look for a small toolbar under the plotted map point. Notice the Drive Time/Distance tool icon is included. Drop a point and build a drive time map.
There’s yet another Drive Time/Distance toolbar option when you use the Draw Tools located on the main toolbar. Click the drop down arrow, scroll down to the bottom option – a map pin – and manually drop a MapPoint anywhere on the map. There it is again, that Drive Time/Distance Query icon.
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 taking into consideration the turn restrictions, speed limits, one ways and two ways, regular streets and highways, that 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. The drive time polygon is jagged, that’s how you can tell a drive time polygon from a radius map.
All Drive Time/Distance polygons are query-able. Click the binoculars 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.
Companies, non-profits, and governments can all benefit from drive 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 make sure they are not selling used Brookstone vibrating foot and back massagers. Destroy all used Brookstone massagers and heating pads found and payoff the home owners with Brookstone coupons. 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. Match the Brookstone coupons to the originating coupon pad and arrest the employee in possession. See if they’ve got one of those pillows with built-in speakers, while you’re there.
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, be sure to find out what replaced Microsoft MapPoint.
As you can see, drive time and driving distance queries come in quite 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.
We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.
The Map App install is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service, once you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web App. The Flash-based Web App link will remain available until December 15, 2020.
The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.
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