Have questions about Community Analyst? Here you will quickly find answers to our most commonly asked questions. The below FAQs include answers to questions we've received from website visitors. If you can't find an answer to your question, you can submit your question to us and receive a reply by e-mail.


A note about Community Analyst vs Business Analyst Online - Community Analyst and Business Analyst Online are very similar in terms of features and data. The data and features in the two products are organized a bit differently to better serve the different audiences and intended analysis goals of the products. Business Analyst Online is intended for commercial audiences focused primarily on site selection, whereas Community Analyst is focused on policy issues and enabling understanding of communities from a "social issues" perspective.

Over time, the two products are likely to continue to diverge. However, there is no need to rush to switch your current subscription from one to the other, nor is there a need to wait to see how the products will differ over time. You can always re-evaluate your product choice at renewal time and make any desired changes then. Or, if you discover you need to switch from one product to another in the middle of your subscription, simply call 800-447-9778 for assistance.


  • Where is the Age by Income Profile?
    Information previously contained in the Age by Income Profile can now be found in the new Household Income Profile. This report also contains information that was previously contained in the Detailed Income Profile.
  • Is Community Analyst for the United States only? Can I run reports for Canada?
    Esri Community Analyst is only contains U.S data and reports can only be generated for sites within the United States.
  • Do the Consumer Spending dataset represent annual amounts spent?
    Yes. The total, average and index amounts for consumer spending variables represent annual figures.
  • What is a "donut" trade area or site type?
    Donut trade areas are created by differencing the areas between rings.  The name "donut" comes from the appearance of the trade areas.  Donut areas are useful if you want to know the marginal differences between trade areas.
  • How can I get my data into Community Analyst?
    There are currently three ways to get your data into Community Analyst:
    • You can import a spreadsheet of addresses or lat/long locations on the Explore Community tab (up to 2000 points).
    • You can import a shapefile polygon, as well as point data, on the Select Location tab.
    • You can create a webmap on ArcGIS.com and access your map for viewing within Community Analyst.

    Once your data is mapped, you can create custom PDF maps or use your point locations and polygons to generate reports.

    For agencies wanting to merger their data into features such as Color-Coded Maps, Smart Map Search and custom reports, they can contact the Community Analyst product team to discuss possibilities for inclusion of their data or to explore an on-premises solution.
  • Why does my custom PDF map look different from the map I see on the screen?
    The Create PDF tool uses a special map service to transform the map you are viewing into a print quality, 300 DPI PDF.  The layers and features may appear slightly different from the background maps in the application.  If you have suggestions for improving the custom PDF maps, use the Feedback form available from the Home tab.
  • How do I print on-screen maps in a landscape format?
    There are two ways you can print the map in landscape format.
    • Select the print tool from the Map Tool Palette. Click Print on the Print Map preview.  When the print dialog opens, change the print preferences to Landscape.
    • Select the Create PDF tool on the Map Tool Palette and select the landscape option in the Create PDF window.

    Currently this is not possible, but is a feature we are planning to add.
  • How can I display geographic borders and labels on top of Color-Coded Maps?
    Geographic boundaries and labels can be turned on/off under the My Layers drop-down menu located on the map.
  • How can I rename and edit my previously created sites?
    You can rename, edit and manage your sites by selecting Organize Sites from the Select Location menu. Organize Sites is located on the far right side of the menu.   Shortcut links are also provided in the menu that appears when you click on a site.
  • How many points can I import for display?
    Users can import up to 4000 points at one time in the Explore Community tab. If you want to place ring and drive times around all of your point locations, than 100 points can be imported at one time on the Select Location tab for that purpose.
  • How can I create reports for the entire United States?
    You can select the entire United States as a geography under Select Geographies on the Select Location tab.
  • Why can I find certain ZIP Codes when I use the Find Location feature, but not when I search for them as standard geographies?
    Some ZIP Codes are designated as non-residential by the United States Postal Service. These ZIP Codes might represent Post Office Boxes or be assigned to a specific organization. Because no demographic data are associated with non-residential ZIP Codes, they cannot be selected as a standard geography for mapping or reporting purposes.
  • When will census 2010 data be available?
    The Census 2010 data is being released by the Census Bureau according to the following schedule:
    • December 21, 2010: The US Census Bureau released the Census 2010 population totals by state for reapportionment of the House of Representatives. On April 1, 2010, the US population was 308,745,538, an increase of 9.7 percent since April 1, 2000.
    • April 1, 2011: Under Public Law (PL) 94-171, redistricting counts will be provided to the states. Redistricting data includes total population, population aged 18 years and older, population by race/Hispanic origin, and housing units by occupancy, determined to the block level. Data is being released by the Census Bureau one state at a time, having begun in February.
    • Summer 2011: Summary File 1, complete-count census tables by the Census Bureau, is expected to be released.

    There will be a short gap between the release of the data by the Census Bureau and its integration into Community Analyst due to the time needed to process, load, and test the data in the products.
  • Can I create a new variable to use in the Smart Map Search feature using the current data available?
    Currently this is not possible, but is a feature we are planning to add.
  • Can I filter my Smart Map Search or Color-Coded Map to show only the community I am interested in analyzing?
    Not yet. This has been a popular request, and is something we would like to add in the near future.
  • Is Community Analyst available on the iPad or iPhone?
    iPhone and iPad offerings are planned for the future.