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Real Estate Site Criteria Analysis of Street Intersections

Max Bahar Stewart Berry Dan Martin

Authors: Max Bahar, Stewart Berry, and Dan Martin

Map of intersections in Denver scored by their demographic criteria

25 August 2023


In today's fast-paced world, businesses are constantly seeking ways to streamline their site selection process. One critical aspect is identifying the best intersections that align with specific demographic criteria. Maptitude, a powerful business mapping software, offers automation routines and tools that enable businesses to quickly screen every intersection in a metro area for their desired demographic characteristics in a cost-effective manner. In this article, we will use the robust features in Maptitude mapping software to walk you through the steps to find the best intersection for your new site location.

Mapping Software for Real Estate Site Criteria

Real estate professionals can greatly benefit from the ability to quickly screen intersections for specific demographic criteria using Maptitude. By efficiently analyzing demographic data at the intersection level, real estate professionals can identify prime locations for various property types, such as residential, commercial, or mixed-use developments. They can gain insights into factors like median household income, population growth, and owner-occupied housing, which are crucial in determining the potential demand and profitability of a property. Additionally, industries such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, and transportation can also leverage this capability to identify strategic locations for their businesses, optimize service coverage, and target specific customer segments. Maptitude enables a fast and cost-effective screening process allowing these industries to make data-driven decisions and maximize their chances of success in a competitive market.

For example, when it comes to selecting the perfect retail site for a sandwich shop franchise like Jon Smith Subs, strategic decisions are crucial, and mapping software can be an invaluable tool in this process. By leveraging mapping software, franchises can ensure that their site requirements are met with precision and accuracy. Their site requirements, which encompass an active trade area within a 5-minute drive time, above-average daytime and residential density, as well as a favorable median income range, reflect their commitment to optimal site selection. Additionally, the emphasis on ideal traffic counts ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 VPD (vehicles per day) demonstrates their understanding of the importance of visibility and accessibility.

Drawing inspiration from Wendy's, another established franchise, the significance of real estate site criteria such as residential population and daytime population thresholds is evident. The median income range of $40,000 to $75,000, along with substantial traffic counts exceeding 20,000, further highlights the shared emphasis on capturing a robust customer base. The preference for strong access and proximity to high-energy retailers underscores the strategic thinking required for optimal site placement. The stipulation of being at least 2 miles away from existing Wendy's locations reveals a meticulous approach to market saturation.

Maptitude map of Wendy's locations

Maptitude maps Wendy's locations and many other chains and points of interest

Both Jon Smith Subs and Wendy's recognize that the interplay of demographics, traffic patterns, and retail dynamics are pivotal, and the utilization of mapping software can empower any organization to make informed choices that drive success.

How to Score Intersections for Site Analysis

Step 1: Prepare a map

  • Make a new Maptitude map of your area of interest. If necessary use the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons on the Tools toolbar.

Step 2: Select relevant streets

  • Make the Street layer the working layer.
  • We want to exclude minor roads, unpaved roads, other vehicle roads, walking trails, and ferry routes, so choose Selection>Select by Condition and enter the condition:

(ccStyle <> 30) and (ccStyle <> 40) and (ccStyle <> 41) and (ccStyle <> 50) and (ccStyle <> 55)

  • Name the selection set Busy Roads by typing in the editable Set Name drop-down list.
  • Check the Select from visible features only box and click OK.

Step 3: Select intersections connected to the relevant streets

  • You will need to use the Intersection layer that is hidden by default in Maptitude maps so choose Map>Layers, choose the Intersection layer from the scroll list, click Show Layer, and click Close. The Intersections layer will be added to the map and will be the working layer.
  • Choose Selection>Select by Location, choose to select intersections based on features in the Street layer and in the Busy Roads selection set.
  • Choose Connected from the third drop-down list, name the selection set Busy Intersections by typing in the editable Selection Set drop-down list, and click OK.
  • We want to exclude intersections with only two connected streets, so choose Selection>Select by Condition and enter the condition:

ArrayLength(GetNodeLinks(ID)) > 2

  • Choose Busy Intersections from the Set Name drop-down list, choose Subset from the Selection Method drop-down list, and click OK.
  • It is not necessary to highlight the selected intersections, so choose Selection>Settings, highlight the Busy Intersections set in the scroll list, click Status to make it inactive, and click Close.

Step 4: Calculate demographics for the selected intersections

  • Choose Tools>Analysis>Overlay.
  • Choose to use the Busy Intersections from the Overlay drop-down list.
  • Specify a buffer size and units. For instance, a buffer size of 0.5 miles will calculate demographics within a 0.5-mile radius around each selected intersection.
  • Uncheck both the Count the Number of Features and Create a Report boxes. Optionally, you can modify the demographic fields being calculated by clicking Attributes.
  • Click OK to calculate demographics for the selected intersections. Note, this step may take a while if you are looking at a fairly large area.

Step 5: Use a formula field to calculate scores

To determine the best intersections based on specific demographic criteria, you can assign scores using a formula field. For example, we want to score intersections based on the following criteria:

  • Median household income is greater than $70,000
  • Median household income growth of at least 10%
  • Population is greater than 5,000
  • Population growth is at least 10%
  • At least 20% of housing is owner-occupied
  • Choose Dataview>Formula Fields. Enter a formula based on your criteria. In this case enter:

(If [Estimated Median HH_Income] > 70000 then 1 else 0) + (If [Estimated % Change in Median HH_Income] > 0.10 then 1 else 0) + (If Population > 5000 then 1 else 0) + (If [% Change in Population] > 0.1 then 1 else 0) + (If [Owner occupied] / Households > 0.2 then 1 else 0)

  • Name the formula field "Score" and click OK. This formula calculates a score based on the defined demographic criteria.

Step 6: Visualize the scores with a color theme

  • Make the map the active window and choose Map>Thematic Mapping>Color.
  • Choose Score from the Field drop-down list and choose List of Values from the Method drop-down list.
  • On the Styles tab, customize the style for each score category as desired and click OK. This visualization will provide a clear understanding of the intersections that meet the specified demographic criteria.

Step 7: Clean up the map

You may want to make several cosmetic changes to the map. For example:

  • You may want to the intersections to display after the street layer or other features. Choose Map>Layers, highlight the Intersection layer, and click Move Down until it is after the Street layer, and click Close.
  • You may want to clear the Busy Roads selection set on the street layer so that those streets are no longer highlighted. Expand the Street layer in the Display Manager, then expand Sets under the Street layer, and click the green check symbol next to the Busy Roads set to make it inactive.


The powerful automation routines and tools in Maptitude make it possible to quickly screen every intersection in a metro area for specific demographic criteria. By following the steps outlined in this article, businesses can efficiently process large amounts of data, saving valuable time and resources during the site selection process. You could further screen intersections to exclude those that are close to other stores or you could use the free Annual Average Daily Traffic data to evaluate intersections based on traffic count requirements. For more information on incorporating traffic data in your analysis, see How do I use AADT traffic count data with my locations.

Intersections screened by demographics and traffic counts and proximity to existing stores

Intersections within 2 miles of an existing store are excluded from scoring in this analysis that also considers nearby streets with a minimum traffic count of 20,000

In addition, the drive-time rings, demographic analysis, formula fields, and thematic mapping features in Maptitude enable businesses to make informed decisions based on their unique requirements.

Next Steps

Learn more about Maptitude to see how you and your team can benefit from mapping software!

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