• Dave Boyer

Hexagon Binning - ArcGIS/Unfolded Studio Comparison

Ohio Natural Gas Production Data Example (1985 - 2019)

To learn the different techniques to apply hexagon binning, I put together an example using a data set from Ohio.


On the left is the final output from ArcGIS Pro, and on the right is the final output from Unfolded Studio. A trend observed on both maps shows increasing gas production in southeastern Ohio over time.

The colors are different primarily due to the ability to set the color scale in each software. ArcGIS allows you to define predetermined intervals, whereas Studio dynamically generates the colors based on the data at each interval. In this example, the ArcGIS map shows a constant scale over the years while Studio calculates the colors based on a dynamic quantile. Depending on the use case, one may be advantageous to the other.


While performing the analyses, I discovered some pros and cons of each software.

Unfolded Studio -


The biggest advantage to using Studio is the speed of the analysis. You upload your data, choose your parameters, filter, and you are finished. For a quick and easy geospatial visual of the data, it is perfect.


However, there are several limitations. At this time, you are unable to set a set color interval. This setting is an issue if you are highlighting quantitative changes spatially over time. The output does not create hexagon shapefiles with attributes that can be analyzed with other data. It is only a visualization of the binned data.

ArcGIS Pro -

Unlike Studio, the final calculated data binned in each hexagon is a feature that can be used for additional processes. This ability enhances the dataset and allows it to be used across software platforms.

As noted above, symbols can be assigned predetermined intervals applied across time to highlight changes.

On the downside, the process in ArcGIS is labor-intensive. Several geoprocessing tools are using to create the hexagons, summarize within the shapes, and merge the data. It is straightforward, and ESRI provides many example workflows, but compared to Studio, it takes more time and effort.

Let me know if you have any questions about ArcGIS/Studio or if you could use help on any geospatial projects.


Data Information:

  • Well information and production data from the ODNR

  • Hexagons created in both examples have a 2mile radius

  • Data within each hexagon represents the sum of production within the feature

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