The Flow Lines Tool Add-In provides an easy way to show volumes going from origins to destinations. This tool assumes you have 2 layers of locations (typically points, but you can also use areas to show flows between zones, for example). The first layer contains the origins and the second layer contains the destinations.

A typical scenario is where you have:

  • An equal number of origins and destinations
  • A spreadsheet of your origin and destination addresses, each on a single row such as:
    Example spreadsheet with origins, destinations, and flow
  • Origins with multiple destinations are listed separately in each row with the origin repeated for each destination, such as:
    Example spreadsheet with origins and flow for multiple destinations

To install:*

  1. Download the file FlowLinesTool.exe.
  2. Open the file or choose the Run command from the Start menu, and browse to the FlowLinesTool.exe file in the folder where you downloaded the file.
  3. Click OK and follow the step-by-step instructions to install the add-in to the appropriate program folder  (e.g. C:\Program Files\Maptitude\)

To use the Flow Lines Tool Add-In

  1. Open your table or spreadsheet containing the origins and destinations. If prompted, make sure to Import your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Geocode your origin locations. For example, choose Tools-Locate-Locate by Address or Tools-Locate-Locate by City, and be sure to use the origin address, city, and postal code fields. Name the new layer Origins.
  3. Again open your original table or spreadsheet. If prompted, make sure to Import your Excel spreadsheet.
  4. Geocode your destination locations, being sure to use the destination location fields and name the new layer Destinations.
  5. Now that you have two geocoded point layers, one of origins and one of destinations, make your origin layer the working layer.
  6. Choose Tools-Add-Ins-Desire/Flow Lines Tool to open the Desire Lines dialog box.
  7. Choose your origin and destination settings.
  8. Choose the Volume field from the destination layer.
  9. The optional Name field choices are simply used to show the origin and destination attributes for each flow line created.
  10. If you have the same number of origins and destinations, uncheck the One to Many Flows box (each origin has volumes going to one destination). Otherwise, check the box if you want to show volumes going from every origin to every destination (unusual).
  11. Click OK.
  12. Enter a name for the new desire line layer and click Save. Maptitude creates the flows layer and displays it on the map.

*NOTE: The Flow Lines Tool add-in works only with Maptitude 2014 or higher.

Flow lines addin spreadsheet and resulting flow map

Using the Flow Lines Tool add-in, you could create desire line flows illustrating the volume of flow between origins and destinations.