About the plugin
Today we launch a new QGIS plugin that enables users to create travel time polygons, also known as isochrones, using many modes of transport. For example, a pizza restaurant owner can use the plugin to discover pizza delivery areas, such as where’s reachable within a 30-minute drive from their restaurant. It can also filter points of interest within a set travel time and calculate journey times to thousands of destinations.
Modes of transport include driving, cycling, walking and public transit. It’s possible to combine transport modes such as driving to a train station and using public transport the rest of the way or cycling to a train station and taking a train. The maximum travel time polygon is currently 4 hours.
The travel time polygons use various data sources to determine how far you can reach. We have a dedicated data team aggregating real-life public transport timetables for 37 countries, with the team adding new country coverage every month. Walking, driving and cycling speeds have been built using a combination of open data sources and their own proprietary algorithms to imitate how real people travel. For driving it recognises people need to walk to their vehicle, follow the speed limit and park the car.
How to use the QGIS TravelTime platform plugin
We have built several tutorials to help you get started with the new plugin. Click the links below to jump to the best tutorial for you. We've split it down into the basic tutorials and ones for our more advanced plugin users. You will need an API key, QGIS and the latest version of the plugin to begin so make sure to click below.
- QGIS TravelTime platform plugin Github home page
- QGIS Installation and setup
- Quick overview of the plugin
- Making your first request with the TravelTime plugin
- QGIS TravelTime platform plugin reference manual
- The simplified TravelTime plugin algorithms
- The advanced TravelTime plugin algorithms
- Making and running a processing model
- Running algorithms in batch
As well as the basic feature of creating travel time polygons, the plugin also includes other features:
- Filtering which points of interest fall within a travel time area
- Calculating the times from an origin to up to 2,000 destinations in a single request
- A to B routing details
- Geocoding and reverse geocoding
- Free background map tiles (on request)
The API required for the plugin is free for anyone wishing to use the tool for non-commercial purposes. The free API key offers 5,000 free requests per month, with a limit of 10 free requests per minute. Businesses wishing to use it for commercial purposes can use this key for the initial testing only and then can request a paid API license. Take a look at business license pricing here. Using this model, TravelTime hopes to continue to provide a high-quality free tool for the community whilst still providing a valuable resource to businesses.
Feedback and support
The data supporting the TravelTime platform is being continuously improved. The company asks that if you spot something that could be improved or you have any questions please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. The community’s feedback is greatly appreciated and ensures that users can have the best possible plugin experience. Please not the API does not allow for crossing borders in Europe and some parts of the US. This is a known issue the team is working on.