I'm writing my final year B.Sc thesis on transportation (pattern of passenger flow from a bus terminal to several destinations).

I intend to use a distributive flow line method of spatial movement analysis in ArcMap, now that I have the software and flowline tool all ready. I also have a raster map showing the defined source region and defined destination regions of passengers. I was able to add a point to signify the source point and several other points to signify the destination points.

I also have a record of number of passengers moving to all the various destinations from the defined source point.

What I don't know is how to make flow lines of different widths to link the source point to the several destination points. I want to make the width of the lines to be defined by the number of passengers moving through them (i.e the higher the number of passengers, the thicker the lines and vice-versa).

  • @PolyGeo I'm not really seeing this one as a duplicate of that one. There, they are asking specifically how to draw curved lines for cartographic purposes. I read this question as how to draw and symbolize lines period. Which the tool mentioned should be doing, or they could be manually created, including the question you reference. Width is handled through graduated symbols on the passenger count field. This is sort of a repeat of asker's other question with some progress made.
    – Chris W
    Jun 27, 2014 at 6:46
  • @ChrisW You may well be right so perhaps this question gets edited to state that it is not looking for curved flow lines, and is simply about varying the widths of line symbols using a field value (passenger count). As an aside I usually try not to look at previous questions by the asker to ensure that I read each standalone (like an incoming user or search engine would).
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 27, 2014 at 6:55
  • @PolyGeo Well, this asker still needs lines to symbolize... I only mention the previous question as a better (imho) option for duplicate, because the tool tutorial in the other answer goes step by step how to create and symbolize the lines. And other options, such as manually drawing them, were also mentioned. This is partly my fault, as I dropped the ball following up here from the other one - I felt like I had already answered it.
    – Chris W
    Jun 27, 2014 at 7:04
  • @ChrisW You're right gis.stackexchange.com/questions/92376/… looks like what this question should become a duplicate of - neither is highly focussed so I think the asker should Accept on the earlier one (you tried), and then look start afresh by revising this one if there is still an outstanding question.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 27, 2014 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


If you are familiar with QGIS, FlowMapper Plugin will fully satisfy your expectations.

Download QGIS and install FlowMapper by using embedded plugin manager. Supply input node coordinates and interaction matrix in plain text form then FlowMapper will automatically generate flow lines in shp format. Besides graduated width/symbology can be selected.


  • This would be fine as a comment but there is no mention in the question of the asker looking for a QGIS solution.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 27, 2014 at 7:13

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