How to create drive time polygons

by Louisa Bainbridge
on Feb 16, 2016 6:01:00 PM

Drive time maps

Creating drive time polygons (an isochrone) ‘where can I reach within 30 minutes?’ uses a whole different set of processes to distance-based mapping. Drive time maps aren’t simple circles like miles radius (find out why 'travel time radius' is impossible here). This blog explains how to plot shapes by minutes not miles – no radius in sight. To create these maps we’ve used the TravelTime search API, but you can also use your own time mapping software. If you're a developer get an API key here. If not we have a desktop app that does it free, try it below. 
New Call-to-action

Select an origin

To create drive time polygons, one origin point may be enough. For more complicated map-based analysis, select more than one origin. Using multiple origin points creates a larger area of interest, e.g. map all areas within 15 minutes drive from point A or point B. It’s also possible to identify prime locations suitable for more than one point of origin e.g. map the area that’s within 30 minutes from point A as well as point B.


Select a time of day

Unlike distance-based mapping, drive time maps can significantly change shape depending on the time of day of the search. Selecting a time during peak rush hour will reduce the size due to congestion on the roads.


Arrival / departure time

Select which direction the travel times should be calculated. Arrival time maps display all locations that arrive at the origin point by the selected time. Departure time maps highlight locations that are reachable assuming they start driving from the origin at the selected time.


Select the travel time

Choose the maximum driving time in hours and minutes. Use multiple polygons to highlight the additional locations available if extra drive time is added. Take a look at all transport modes available of our isochrones

Send an API request

Choose the maximum driving time in hours and minutes. Use multiple shapes to highlight the additional locations available if extra drive time is added. Developers -  check our an article that creates a sample app here

The maps shown in this post use LeafletCheck out our isochrone guide page for more articles on how to create the perfect polygon.   


Visit the map resource centre



Isochrone analysis made easy

Isochrone analysis simplified. Learn how to use isochrone analysis in mapping. Improve customer service, logistics or plan an office relocation using isochrones analysis techniques. Save time and costs, and retain staff using the TravelTime platform.

Niharika Sisodia Apr 1, 2019 10:15:00 AM

Isochrone map design inspiration

Perfect your isochrone map design. Use these tips to make your isochrone map easy to understand. Improve user experience by creating a simple and aesthetically pleasing isochrone map.

Niharika Sisodia Feb 11, 2019 9:05:01 AM

10 must read articles about map user experience

Read 10 articles that analyse map user experience. Take UX tips from expert analysis to help you build the perfect user experience for the map page on your website or app.

Niharika Sisodia Jan 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Top 10 interactive map design & UX examples

Discover the best interactive map designs. Use map design to improve user experience for mobile and desktop users.

Niharika Sisodia Jan 7, 2019 10:09:19 AM

6 ways to display a map on a website

Discover the best way to display a map on a website. Improve the user experience and encourage viewers to become customers with a clear and simple map display.

Niharika Sisodia Dec 10, 2018 3:06:44 PM

Map circle distance or map drive time distance

Map circle distance using the TravelTime radius map tool. Compare distance to travel time. Create your own travel time map using the TravelTime Platform.

Niharika Sisodia Oct 23, 2018 11:34:54 AM