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 and in this analysis, that area has a corresponding selection of demographic data associated with it.

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 are used to define the costs/prices to ship from an origin point to destination points located 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 useful as visual bands that define distance ranges from a central point. A map viewer may be able to easily estimate distances when looking at concentric circle maps based on standard distances between bands.

Create Concentric Circles with Multiple Categories of Demographic Data

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

Problem: A business needs to display on a map four or five concentric circles around a central point 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 a 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 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.

Now some of you might be thinking, too bad it only adds three categories. For you, we have a special treat. Simply return to the Market Analysis function Summarize Data, choose three more categories and run it again. 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.

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