I'm working with three main layers in ArcGIS- geocoded dental office points, bus stops, and a road network. I would like create something similar to a three ring buffer that accounts for three distances from each bus stop, except using the road network instead of euclidean distance, similar to the attached graphic, which will allow me to see which geocoded offices fall within each of the three buffers. I have attempted the New Service areas tool within Network Analyst, but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick. Perhaps I'm using the tool incorrectly, or I'm using the wrong tool altogether.

Variable distance buffer
(source: digital-geography.com)

  • Can you expand a little more "it doesn't seem to be doing the trick"?
    – fatih_dur
    Sep 24, 2016 at 13:28
  • @fatih_dur after some trial and error I figured it out- it was the creation of service areas in network analyst Oct 2, 2016 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


After trial and error, I figured it out using the "Create service areas" option in Network Analyst. Of course, the data needed to be set up first:

  1. Add your layers (roads, geocoded points at minimum) and ensure all are on the same coordinate system;
  2. Add a column to your roads attribute table and use the calculate geometry function to determine the length of each road segment;
  3. Use Arc Catalog to find the road layer in use and create/build a new network on it;
  4. Add your facilities (geocoded points);
  5. Edit options in the Service Area layer as needed, including your impedance (meaning, your cut off points for distance or minutes driven).
  6. "Solve" the analysis.

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