Drive radius mapping software, when employed correctly, provides teams with a tool a business owner often attributes to time savings, informed decision-making, and data visualization. In many cases, the information surfaced by maps is so valuable that it provides the basis for business teams to gain an edge over their competitors.
Before looking at the benefits of these maps, the larger and more pressing question is, “what is a driving radius map?” In this blog post, we provide an answer to this question and consider some of its most common applications of it.
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Driving Radius Maps Defined
Driving radius maps enable users to measure locations’ time and distance from a central point. These interactive maps allow users to incorporate these distances with local data, giving a real-time information map. The map displays these data points as pins, making data easily digestible. As a result, businesses can use the radius map for location intelligence when selecting new business sites or conducting sales territory mapping.
A driving radius map can use GIS software and real-time data to determine the time it takes or the distance between two locations. Some of these real-time factors include local traffic, public transport timetables, speed limits, cycle paths, construction, and the time of day. Then, depending on the intent of the visualization, users will see a circle for scenarios looking at distance or space or a polygon where time or duration are concerned. Additionally, features including catchment area analysis can add richer functionality by layering existing tools with precise drive times for comparative purposes.
When Would One Use a Driving Radius Map?
One example of when a driving radius map would come in handy is if a business were looking to set a space to 50-miles from their current office. Consumers in this radius will then be seen within the confines of the circle map, using this as a baseline to optimize sales efforts.
Another common example is in the search for an optimal office location. Consider that each employee’s commute directly impacts their productivity and office morale. Therefore, a team’s office location can contribute greatly to a company’s success. Drive radius mapping software can become a useful tool in determining optimal commute times for the team.
On a day-to-day basis, a logistics company may use a driving radius map to optimize their delivery routes. With mapping software, these businesses can enable their teams with functionality to plan routes, thereby ensuring the most efficient options from all locations adapting to real-time traffic conditions. Teams can further extend the delivery use case to any company that requires logistics, shipping, or other customer appointments and may require route optimization.
Businesses may also use driving radius maps to support community development for larger-scale usage. Teams may use evaluative tools to determine where essential community services such as schools, hospitals, fire stations, and medical facilities should exist since city requirements state these offerings must be accessible within a set service time. For example, areas that are too large or too spread out may require two or more facilities to support the community.
Selecting Your Software Tool
Your team likely recognizes the many use cases solved with a driving radius map. However, all maps must start from somewhere and, more specifically, a software tool. Unfortunately, this decision can be daunting since not all software tools are different. Therefore, users must carefully assess their options to determine the best fit for their team.
Users are encouraged to seek options that offer real-time drive data and multiple radius circles to increase the number of comparison datasets from a single location. Many teams have also chosen programs accessible from anywhere, including a PC or mobile phone.
How to Create a Driving Map
After making their selection, users will need to create an account that may or not be eligible for a free trial. Users can then input their data, create their map, and enable the radius tool. Although interfaces may differ between providers, the remaining steps in the process will be similar, requiring the user to enter their location and distance.