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Selecting cities in drivetime

This is a discussion on Selecting cities in drivetime within the MapPoint Desktop Discussion forums, part of the Map Forums category; I am looking to identify, select and export all cities that fall within the 30 minute drivetime from a central ...

  1. #1
    Anonymous is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Selecting cities in drivetime

    I am looking to identify, select and export all cities that fall within the 30 minute drivetime from a central city. I have a couple of concerns:

    1. are the cities names/labels displayed on the map based on their centroid? I want to make sure that the majority of the population for any given city lies within the drivetime zone.

    2. Is there a way to select all cities that fall within the drivetime zone after they are identified?

    3. Is it then possible to calculate the drive time from the central city's centroid to each other city as a batch process?

    I apologize if my questions are elementary or ridiculous. I am new to this software and have been thus far frustrated by trying to figure this out.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    It is a little bit involved and will probably require some custom programming.

    Once you have a drivetime zone plotted, you can select "Export to Excel" and this will export data points in the zone (polygon) and write them to Excel.

    Then you can load them back into MapPoint as a pushpin set.
    To find the distances by batch processing, you will need some custom programming to create each route and calculate it.
    My MileCharter product will do this for you (see URL below).
    If you want "as the crow flies" distances, then you can also compute it in Excel without MapPoint.

    Getting the points on cities is more difficult. If Metropolitan Areas are good enough, then you can create a shaded area map plotting an arbitrary demographic.
    If you have a list of cities in the required area then you could load this up as a pushpin dataset.

    I think the city locations are based on the city centers. "Downtown" as it were.

    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

  3. #3
    Anonymous is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    I think I have issues I need to backtrack to. Mappoint's default dataset doesn't consider cities as "geographies" (geographic boundaries like sate, county, census tract, etc.), right? I think this may be the reason I am running into this problem.


    When I draw the drivetime zone and try to export to Excel I get a messege saying "No data was found"

    Am I missing a step?

    It seems like if I can figure this out then I can plot demographic data on the map for cities and there should be a way to export it all into one neat spreadsheet. Am I on the right track?

    Thanks for the previous response.

  4. #4
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    Yeah, I don't think you're missing a step.
    I couldn't get proper cities either - but the above does work with "Metropolitan Areas".

    To get it to work properly with cities, you'll need a pushpin on each city.
    You could do that manually (something for the unpaid intern that's annoying everyone ), or you could find a list of cities (eg. on the web) and try importing that. You'll probably want city, state combinations otherwise cities like Springfield will drive you crazy.


    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

  5. #5
    Anonymous is offline Senior Member Black Belt
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    Thanks for confirming my fears. I am trying to use zipcode data instead and have been able to extract that to Excel. However, I'm not sure how MapPoint decides which border zipcodes to include and which to exclude (back to the 1 million dollar centroid question).

    By the way, I am that annoying, slightly paid intern.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    I don't know the answer - you will probably have to experiment.

    That is where the pushpin solution should give you a definite result, because a pushpin has a single location rather than a region.

    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

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