We have created a free isochrone map generator to help you visualise where you can reach within your maximum travel time - TRY NOW
What is an isochrone?
An isochrone connects points relating to the same time. For example, the image above shows where's reachable within 1 hour from Berlin city centre, Germany when using public transport.
How does our isochrone map generator work?
Imagine there are two friends, Kate and Sadiq, searching for the most convenient cinema to meet. They are starting from two separate locations in London. Kate and Sadiq can use the generator to create isochrone shapes. These shapes will help them to determine the best cinema to visit, given their separate locations and preferred travel times.
The first isochrone we will map is Kate’s. Kate is coming from Highbury and Islington. She doesn’t want to travel for more than half an hour by public transport.
So, she enters her:
- location - Highbury (this could be an address or postcode)
- maximum travel time - 30 minutes
- prefered mode of transport - public transport
Then she clicks ‘GO’.
The isochrone map generator calculates every route within the travel time limit Kate has set (30 mins). It then generates a shape, also known as an isochrone.
How does the generator calculate the travel times
To create our routes we use OSM, transport timetables and speed profiles.
Walking - we calculate walk times using an average walk speed. It allows for delays on routes including traffic lights, roundabouts, and crossings.
Public transport - we calculate public transport using real routes and timetables. It allows for the time it takes to enter the station or switch platforms.
Driving - we calculate drive times by applying specific driving speeds to individual roads. It allows time for parking the car, using roundabouts and traffic lights.
Cycling - we calculate cycling times using average speeds. It allows time for crossings and favours quieter roads or cycle paths.
Driving & Train - we calculate driving and train travel times by measuring the time it takes to travel from door to door.
Adding another isochrone
Kate now wants to see which cinema is best for Sadiq. Sadiq lives in Battersea and likes to cycle. He will cycle for up to half an hour to get to the cinema.
Kate doesn’t want to lose her results. So, she clicks ‘add shape’, to add Sadiq’s travel time information to hers.
Kate can now see everywhere that she and Sadiq can meet within 30 minutes of cycling from Battersea, and 30 minutes public transport from Highbury and Islington.
Search for points of interest within the shape
Now Kate can look for her point of interest. She types ‘cinema’ into the ‘show reachable’ box
The map shows all of the cinemas within both travel times. It also lists the results by the shortest travel time down the left side of the page.
How to change the location of the isochrone
Kate receives a text saying that Sadiq is actually coming from Stratford, not Battersea. Luckily Kate doesn’t have to start the search or create the shape all over again. She simply drags Sadiq’s icon from Battersea to Stratford, and the isochrone builder instantly recalculates the results.
See which points of interest are relevant for both isochrones
Now Kate can filter further to declutter the map. She only wants to see the results that are relevant to both her and Sadiq.
So, she clicks ‘filter intersection’ and then zooms into the map
Kate can now see the cross-section of the cinemas that both her and Sadiq can reach.
Kate clicks on her preferred result - The Harvest E8 on Kingsland High Street. The isochrone map generator draws a route.
Adjust the travel time area using departure/arrival time
But looking at the film times at the Harvest E8, if Sadiq and Kate leave now they will be too early for the film. The ideal time to arrive at the cinema would be 6 pm.
So, Kate goes back to the original search window and clicks on the time.
She also changes 16:00 (4pm) to 18:00 (6pm)
She then clicks ‘Set’ and the isochrone builder recalculates where is reachable at that time of day.
Now Kate knows where they are meeting, she can figure out how to get there by clicking ‘directions to here’.
The isochrone builder will show just the single journey with directions in the list view.
Directions for Sadiq
How are isochrones used in business?
Some of our clients integrate the isochrone map generator into their site to allow customers to search for their products and services.
For example, Zoopla uses our isochrone map generator to help their users visualise potential properties.
The isochrone map generator can also be used as a business analytics tool. These clients generate maps to help them make decisions about location, such as, where to open a new store, or where to move their office to.
For example, the NHS use our isochrone map generator to analyse population and health data. This analysis helps them to improve sustainability and the quality of care they offer.
Which countries does the isochrone map generator support?
Check out our isochrone resource page for tips on how to code an isochrone and more.