Calculating a route from A to B is easy. But what about when you don’t know your destination? This interactive map allows you to see where you can reach within a travel time limit. You can also change the mode of transport and time of day. The map below shows where can be reached within 15 minutes drive from the centre of Brussels, Belgium.
Let’s take a look at a worked example using TravelTime Maps. Imagine you are searching for a new home. You work in an office in London, Waterloo. You know you want to travel for no more than an hour to work every morning. You know you’d like to travel by public transport. What you don’t know is where you can reach within that travel time. So, your first question is, how far can I travel in 1 hour by public transport?
How far can I travel?
To calculate how far you can travel, you first enter:
- Location - Waterloo (this could be an address or postcode)
- Maximum travel time - 60 minutes
- Preferred mode of transport - public transport
Then click ‘GO’.
TravelTime Maps calculates every route within 1 hour of London, Waterloo. It then generates a travel time shape. Each point of the perimeter of the shape is equal to the maximum travel time (60 minutes).
As you can see from the map above, the travel time shape is irregular. For example, you could reach Reading within 60 minutes, but not the surrounding area. This is because there is a train that takes you from Reading to London Waterloo.
How are travel times calculated?
To create our routes we use data from OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is the free wiki world map that anyone can contribute to. This helps us calculate how fast a person could walk, cycle or drive on each road. We also include transport timetable data.
The initial search was conducted at 10.17am. Adjust the travel time area using departure/arrival time
However, time of day and direction of travel can have a big effect on a commute. TravelTime Maps allows you to set a specific time of travel and whether you would like to ‘arrive’ or ‘depart’ at that time.
To make this change you click on ‘Now’.
Change ‘depart’ to ‘arrive’.
Then set a new arrival time. The first image below shows where's reachable assuming you want to reach London Waterloo at 8.30 am. The second image shows a comparison to the first search, which was departing London Waterloo at 10.17 am
You can depart Chelmsford and arrive into Waterloo before 8.30am within 60 minutes. However you cannot depart Waterloo at 10.17am and arrive into Chelmsford within 60 minutes.
Adding another travel time shape
You can also add another shape to your map. For example, when looking for a property, you might want to add your partner’s office address. To do this you would click: ‘add shape’.
You would then enter details for the second search.
The map below shows where can be reached within 60 minutes by public transport, arriving at Croydon at 8.30 am.
You can drag and drop the pin to different areas to change the shape. The map below shows where can be reached within 60 minutes by public transport, arriving at Ilford at 8.30 am.
Search for points of interest within the shape
You can then search for points of interest within the shape. To do this you would enter the point of interest into the ‘show reachable’ search bar.
The example below shows all the cinemas that can be reached within the two travel time shapes.
See which points of interest are relevant for both travel time shapes
To see which cinemas are relevant to both travel time shapes, you click, ‘filter intersection’.
The map below shows all the cinemas that are located within both travel time shapes.
Clicking on one of the cinema pins will bring up the details of the venue.
You can then see a route to the venue by clicking, ‘Direction to here’.