How Do I Generate Demographic Data for Concentric Circle Maps?

This week I discovered the below outlined, interesting Map Business Online Pro Market Analysis solution for creating concentric circles with demographic data.

Businesses sometimes need to describe business processes using concentric circle maps. Concentric circles are circles with varying radii generated from one central location point. Each concentric circle represents an area on the map; in this analysis, that area has a corresponding selection of demographic data.

Business mapping users create concentric circle maps for multiple applications:

  • Concentric circles are often used to represent delivery areas. The circle or radius search areas are often derived from driving times and distances from a central location and are organized into rings. Some concentric circles maps define the costs/prices to ship from an origin point to destination points within each ringed area.
  • Demographic data associated with concentric circles can describe the potential market that exists in each band. Often those market circles are determined by driving times and driving distances.
  • Concentric circles could be used to demographically define sections of urban areas or cities based on their distance from a city centroid point.
  • Concentric circle maps can also be helpful as visual bands that define distance ranges from a central point. A map viewer may be able to quickly estimate distances when looking at concentric circle maps based on standard spaces between bands.

Create Concentric Circles with Multiple Categories of Demographic Data

Only Map Business Online Pro can quickly achieve this slightly complex map operation through the Market Analysis option, Summarize Demographics. 

Problem: A business needs to display four or five concentric circles around a central point on a map and assign each ring area three (possibly more) demographic data category totals.

Solution: Using Map Business Online Pro, Create and import a spreadsheet. Assign the Demographic Categories. Generate the circles.

  1. Using Excel or standard spreadsheet software, set up an address spreadsheet with these columns.

Address | City | State | ZIP Code | Radius | Demographic Category

  1. For however many concentric layers you require, create a spreadsheet with the identical address for each center point, varying only the radii required for each concentric ring. List as many addresses as you require circles.
ZIP Code
100 School St
100 School St
100 School St


  1. Usually, you would import your spreadsheet using the Plot Data button. But for this exercise, go to Market Analysis and select the Summarize Demographics option at the bottom of the options listed.
    1. Use the Plot Data function at the top of the dialogue. Plot your Data.
    2. With your data plotted, go back to the dialogue and put your choices in the functions listed:
      1. Choose the three demographic categories you require
      2. At Radius selection, Choose the Radius in the Data Column option
      3. Select Draw a Circle and choose a color and thickness
      4. Click Next and Done.
  1. The Data Window will now pop up and display the datasheet view of the centric circles with demographic data information applied. Export as always using the far-right button on the Data Window toolbar.

Some of you might be thinking, too bad it only adds three categories. For you, we have a special treat. Please return to the Market Analysis function Summarize Data, choose three more categories and rerun it. Viola! Now you have six demographic categories associated with your concentric circle map!

Map Business Online Market Analysis is available in both Map Business Online Standard and Map Business Online Pro. The Pro features include driving time and distance analysis across multiple center points. But keep in mind, Standard subscriptions have access to Market Analysis tools for only straight-line distance analysis.


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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