A while back I was able to create buffers around point data of different distances in miles based on a range of field values. Somehow, I've forgotten how I accomplished it and I'm hoping someone can assist. I have about 30 points and each point has a range of values from 0-50. What I'd like to do is:

0-20= 50 mile buffer
21-35= 75 mile buffer
36-50= 125 mile buffer

I could always separate them, buffer each one and then merge them, but I'd prefer a quicker solution and possibly one that I could sketch out in ModelBuilder.


2 Answers 2


You need to classify those range values into one numeric field, try these steps:

  1. Create a new numeric field called "buffer" or something
  2. Select by attribute all values/rows between 0-20 and use field calculator to calculate 50 on new field
  3. Then, select by attribute all values/rows between 21-35 and use field calculator to calculate 75 on new field
  4. Continuing selecting and calculating values until all ranges and values are accounted for
  5. Finally, use Buffer tool and use the one parameter "field value" to buffer the layer by the field created in step 1 by Mile distance

For ModelBuilder, you may chain together this work flow (Add Field, Make Feature Layer, Select By Attribute, Calculate Field, Select by Attribute, Calculate Field....then Buffer tool)


The suggestions so far have involved creating a new field which combines your different buffer sizes then buffers by that new field. This approach requires you to add a new field and populate that, may be you do not want to create a field and want to do it all in model builder on the fly?

Your workflow can very easily be done in model builder with the following model:


To boost performance and ensure no data is left hanging around I create the buffers and write them to IN_MEMORY and it is these IN_MEMORY featureclasses that are merged into a single final dataset.

  • Funny, I ended up doing this by hand and was just thinking about how to turn that into a model so that I could automate it as part of a service later. Thank you!
    – NickWiss
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 20:14

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