I grew up on a rural farm in Maryland, and we had to live without the luxury of pizza delivery or readily-accessible fire service—only one of those mattered to me as a kid. While fast-food response times might not be critical insight for your community, it might be helpful to know the effective reach of services like fire stations or hospitals. Let's see what communities are underserved in this week's #InAGIF!
Service Areas are the boundaries that outline the population served by a facility within a given time window
The tool used here is Generate Service Areas; it takes an input of facility locations (fire stations or pizza shops), and generates an area that can be reached from that point within a specified time. In this case, I've set the travel limit to 5 minutes without traffic. Once run, the tool pings Esri's authoritative dataset, scans the latest road data files, and finds the fastest routes away from the facility. You can even account for traffic on a particular day, based on historical data! The result is a polygon that can be used for further analysis.
With this data, we can now answer questions like:
- How many homes are outside of the 10-minute police response area?
- Who in our community cannot reach our clinics in under 30 minutes?
- Are some fire stations understaffed given the population size in their service area?
Or getting more advanced:
- What special services are needed by a facility, given the surrounding demographics (like language) in the service area? And how are those demographics expected to shift over the next five years?
In this example, one fire station serves triple the population as another nearby, dictating staffing requirements.
Understanding your service area can lead to faster response times, improved service, and (maybe) fresher pizza.
Try it out today!
About In a GIF:
Every Friday, I take a few seconds of my day to demonstrate a cool feature of the ArcGIS platform, and share it with you all! The goal is to show how easy it is to create incredible products using tools available in the Esri environment.
We've all seen "look how easy this tool is to use" demos before, using curated data and copy-pasta code. So, to truly demonstrate going from zero-to-hero, In a GIF follows three simple rules:
In a GIF Rules:
1) The .gif must be less than 45 seconds.
2) No cutting time from the .gif.
3) No pre-prepared code allowed.