How Mean Center works

The mean center is the average x- and y-coordinate of all the features in the study area. It's useful for tracking changes in the distribution or for comparing the distributions of different types of features.


Mathematics behind the Mean Center tool


The Mean Center tool creates a new point feature class where each feature represents a mean center (one for each case when a Case Field is specified). The X and Y mean center values, case, and mean dimension field are included as output feature attributes. The Dimension Field is any numeric field in the dataset; the Dimension value in the Output Feature Class is the mean for the values in that field. In the illustration below, the mean center is computed for disease cases in order to identify the possible origin for an epidemic.

Mean Center tool illustration

Potential applications

Additional resources

Mitchell, Andy. The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 2. ESRI Press, 2005.