What are Driving Radius Maps used for?

If you’re looking to capitalize on your available data, you’ll want to incorporate mapping software into your regular business evaluations. Driving radius maps help measure the distance or time between locations from a central point. Companies and organizations can use these maps for location intelligence, especially when considering business site selection, catchment area analysis, logistics, and sales territory planning.

Using Driving Radius Maps for Office Site Selection

An employee’s commute will significantly impact productivity and overall morale within the workplace. Look for new office locations within an optimal commute time and through traffic insights from the driving radius map.

Business Road Trips

Use a radius map to determine how far an individual can travel within a given time. Likewise, include different points of interest, nearby attractions, and other team-building activities while optimizing your route.

Catchment Area Analysis

By integrating the radius map, develop a richer analysis of your differing catchment areas. With precise drive times and distances between your locations or direct competitors, you’ll learn more about your business in less time.

Optimize All Delivery Routes

Whether you’re looking to improve consumer delivery routes or trying to revamp your logistics, mapping software can improve the overall functioning. This includes finding the most efficient option from all available locations and simultaneously adapting your routes to real-time traffic conditions.

Supply Chain Optimization and Logistic Planning

Arguably one of the easiest ways of optimizing the company’s distribution channels, drive time maps can help you simplify coverage while remaining functional. Company owners can use this functionality to determine the most efficient routes from one central location while offering maximum coverage locations in the future. Choose a central location as your starting point and develop the optimal distance from each center moving forward.

Assess the Ideal Consumer Base

Look for mapping software offering an overlap radius function, which combines more than one radius simultaneously. The overlapping functionality will assess current consumer targets, including any overlap in the service areas. This functionality will also highlight underserved physical populations, showing where further development needs to occur. Finally, you’ll be able to segment and group data according to specific proximity analysis without manually reviewing and interpreting the content.

How Do Driving Radius Maps Work?

A driving radius map works with GIS software that determines the traveling time it takes (in this situation, known as “drive time maps”) or the physical distance between a set of locations. These tools will often consider essential factors like speed limits, time of day, and live traffic information to generate accurate maps.

Most mapping tools will offer the option of plotting a driving radius map by time (appearing as a polygon) and space (showing as a circle). If you create a sales territory map, you can use the drive time functionality to determine the best route to take within a specific time frame. Alternatively, users can identify all competitive businesses within a 30-mile radius of your store, tracking multiple locations.

How to Generate a Driving Radius Based on Time

Using a third-party mapping program, you’ll want to log in to the application and input the data. It’s often easier to upload the spreadsheet directly from an existing Excel spreadsheet, especially when multiple entries exist.

Create the map within the program, plotting each entry as an individual marker. If you choose mapping software compatible with Google Maps, you’ll have real-time updates when generating the drive time maps.

Open the radius tool option and choose the radius and proximity tool. Choose the type of radius you’d like to implement within the map, whether the distance radius for proximity or drive time polygon for an isochrone map. Enter the benchmark location and distance you’d like to use for the radius or polygon to extend. Most programs will allow kilometers or miles and drive time functionality (in minutes or hours) from the center point.

Things to Consider When Using Mapping Software

Driving radius maps aren’t always created equally. Always look for a program that offers real-time drive data, especially if you want to make educated decisions for your company. Ideally, the software will also enable multiple radius circles to compare multiple datasets from a single map. If you want to access your data on the go, look for cloud-based applications that can update in real-time, connecting you with your maps anywhere around the globe.  

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