Time for yet another #MapInfoMonday post. This time I'll dive a bit into buffering.
Buffering is a useful way to do spatial analysis. It gives you a quick overview of the coverage for a given set of data using a common spatial distance calculation.
The buffers you create through the buffering process can be used visually or you can use them to do further spatial analysis by selecting other features falling inside these buffer zones.
MapInfo Pro allows you to buffer some selected features and create the buffers in the editable layer using the Buffer Objects command in the Buffer dropdown on the Spatial tab.
You can however also buffer an entire table, or selection, into a new or existing table using the Buffer Table option from the same dropdown.
In both cases, you will get to the Buffer Objects dialog where you specify the buffers to create.
A few things to note:
- The Value controls the size of the buffers. This can be a fixed value as seen above or it can be a value from a column.
- The value can also be negative. This lets you create a buffer inside a polygon where the resulting buffer object is smaller than the input polygon object.
- You can create one buffer for all objects or one buffer for each object. The first is especially useful if you need the resulting buffer to select records from other tables afterward. The second lets you transfer the attribute information from the input table to the buffer table.
In the example below, we are looking for addresses nearer than 250 meters to a highway.
A different type of buffers is isochrones where the size depends on the speed you can drive on the roads. This is specifically useful when doing retail analysis or analyzing the coverage for ambulance services. Read more about creating Drivetime zones in MapInfo Pro on the Knowledge Community.
What are you using buffers for?
If you want to know more, here's a video showing you how to create buffers using MapInfo Pro:
This article was initially posted on LinkedIn.
Peter Horsbøll Møller
Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
Precisely | Trust in Data