Multiple Ring Buffer (Analysis)


Creates multiple buffers at specified distances around the input features. These buffers can optionally be merged and dissolved using the buffer distance values to create non-overlapping buffers.


Multiple Ring Buffer illustration



MultipleRingBuffer_analysis (Input_Features, Output_Feature_class, Distances, {Buffer_Unit}, {Field_Name}, {Dissolve_Option}, {Outside_Polygons_Only})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The input point, line, or polygon features to be buffered.

Feature Layer

The output feature class that will contain multiple buffers.

Feature Class

The list of buffer distances.


The linear unit to be used with the Distance values. If the units are not specified, or entered as 'Default', the linear unit of the input features' spatial reference is used. If the Buffer Unit is specified as 'Default' and the Output Coordinate System geoprocessing environment has been set, its linear unit will be used.


The name of the field in the output feature class that stores the buffer distance used to create each buffer feature. If no name is specified, the default field name is 'distance'. This field will be of type Double.


Determines if buffers will be dissolved to resemble rings around the input features.

  • ALLBuffers will be rings around the input features that do not overlap (think of these as rings or donuts around the input features). The smallest buffer will cover the area of its input feature plus the buffer distance, and subsequent buffers will be rings around the smallest buffer which do not cover the area of the input feature or smaller buffers. All buffers of the same distance will be dissolved into a single feature. This is the default.
  • NONEAll buffer areas will be maintained regardless of overlap. Each buffer will cover its input feature plus the area of any smaller buffers.

Valid only for polygon input features.

  • FULLBuffers will overlap or cover the input features. This is the default.
  • OUTSIDE_ONLYBuffers will be rings around the input features, and will not overlap or cover the input features (the area inside the input polygon will be erased from the buffer).

Code Sample

MultipleRingBuffer Example (Python Window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the MultipleRingBuffer tool in immediate mode.

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data/airport.gdb"
arcpy.MultipleRingBuffer_analysis("schools", "c:/output/output.gdb/multibuffer1", [10,20,30],
                         "meters", "", "ALL")
MultipleRingBuffer Example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the MultipleRingBuffer tool.

# Name:
# Description: Create multiple buffers for the input features
# Author: ESRI
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data/airport.gdb"
# Set local variables
inFeatures = "schools"
outFeatureClass = "c:/output/output.gdb/multibuffer1"
distances = [10,20,30]
bufferUnit = "meters"
# Execute MultipleRingBuffer
arcpy.MultipleRingBuffer_analysis(inFeatures, outFeatureClass, distances, bufferUnit, "", "ALL")


Related Topics

Licensing Information

ArcView: Yes
ArcEditor: Yes
ArcInfo: Yes