How to Create a Concentric Circle Map

A concentric circle map is a map with a series of circles of varying radii based on the same center point. Like a circle in a circle, like a wheel within a wheel… The Thomas Crown Affair understood business mapping and concentric circle maps. Well, at least the theme song did. And I preferred the Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway version. Grammarly is going to torture me for opening with this paragraph.

A business map describes your business or aspects of your business with an accurate map of the world. It could reflect a sales territory, an enterprise strategic plan, or an emergency buffer zone. Your map could be a drive time area with demographic estimates of how many people may attend the school fair next week or a block-by-block political polling campaign. In the same way, a MapQuest map might describe your vacation plans; a business map describes your organization’s business.

Create a Radius Map Here.

Concentric Circles

Concentric circle maps are map visualizations that display multiple circles of varying radii from the same center point. Most business mapping software should include a feature for creating concentric circle maps.

Map Business Online includes a “Radius Tool” for creating radius maps or maps with circles. Typically, a radius map means drawing a circle on top of a ZIP code layer for visual purposes or extracting the defined areas list of ZIP codes. This could be referred to as a Zip Code Map.

Business mapping software users often create maps with variations on a radius map or circle map. Sometimes they want many circles made at different points across the map simultaneously. Multiple radii on the map functionality are available for MapBusinessOnline Pro subscribers. These tools are in the Analysis button.

Concentric Circles Around One Point

Concentric circles or radii are different than multiple circles. Concentric circles are more than one circle around one central point. Multiple circles would be many circles around many points.

Map users like concentric circles for a bunch of reasons. Usually, these circles represent gradations of service based on distance from a central point:

  • Delivery fees can be noted as Map Text related to each circle. The price usually increases in proportion to the distance from the center point or warehouse location. For example, $5.00 for deliveries of 10 to 20 miles and $7.50 for deliveries of 21 to 30 miles. And so on.
  • Medical coverage areas with gradations of clinician coverage based on travel times. The time to travel to each circle could be generalized—for example, 15 minutes at 5 to 10 miles and 30 minutes at 11 to 25 miles.
  • Retail store projected customer travel times. An outer circle for 45 minutes, a middle circle at roughly 30 minutes, and an inner circle at 15 minutes.

These concentric map images can be shared interactively as a shared web map or as static files on a website, or included in a pamphlet. The user decides how to communicate their concentric circle map message.

How to Create a Concentric Map Circle

  1. Place a center point on the map either by keying in an address in the Address Bar or simply dropping an issue with the Draw Tool’s Location button. You could also begin your concentric circle on any point you’ve imported as part of a dataset. In any case, select your concentric circle center point, and the Mini Tool Bar appears right next to the point.
  2. On the point’s mini-toolbar select the first button listed – Circle. Insert your first circle’s radius distance
  3. The Properties box opens up, but you can always click the Properties gear on the mini toolbar to adjust color shade, line thickness, fill, or add text to the circle.
  4. To start your second and additional circles, reselect the point symbol and repeat the Circle process at a new radius distance. Repeat until you have all the circles required
  5. Adjust color, fill, and thicknesses as necessary using the Properties gear
  6. Save your work and share as required

Concentric circles are easy to construct once you’ve got the process down. Filling in the various circle layers is tricky because the wider circle fill will trump the inner circle fill. Experiment to see what fill schemes work best for your map purposes.

Many users will label the various circles in a graduated scheme, perhaps for a delivery charge:

Concentric circles, like other Map Business Online map objects, can be used to query imported data – like customer lists – or as a query/geographic filter for business listing acquisition. For business listings, click a circle object and note the Mini Toolbar that is associated with it. You will note the Yellow Pages Book icon with a pair of Binoculars. That’s the tool for assessing business listings. You can use that Business Listing tool to search businesses by industry category (think gas station, variety store, oil refinery) within your selected circle. Read more about business listings here.

Enjoy all the circles. Euclid sure did.


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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