An overview of the Proximity toolset

One of the most basic questions asked of a GIS is "what's near what?" For example:

The Proximity toolset contains tools that are used to determine the proximity of features within one or more feature classes or between two feature classes. These tools can identify features that are closest to one another or calculate the distances between or around them.

Learn more about proximity analysis in ArcGIS




Creates buffer polygons around input features to a specified distance.

Create Thiessen Polygons

Creates Thiessen polygons from point input features.

Each Thiessen polygon contains only a single point input feature. Any location within a Thiessen polygon is closer to its associated point than to any other point input feature.

Generate Near Table

Calculates distances and other proximity information between features in one or more feature class or layer. Unlike the Near tool, which modifies the input, Generate Near Table writes results to a new stand-alone table and supports finding more than one near feature.

Multiple Ring Buffer

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.


Calculates distance and additional proximity information between the input features and the closest feature in another layer or feature class.

Point Distance

Determines the distances from input point features to all points in the near features within a specified search radius.

Polygon Neighbors

Creates a table with statistics based on polygon contiguity (overlaps, coincident edges, or nodes).

Tools in the Proximity toolset

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