Make a commute radius map

by Louisa Bainbridge
on Jul 28, 2020

Follow this step by step guide to create a commute radius map to explore which areas you should live or work. 


The map can show:

  • Based on where you currently live, find out which areas are best to work in
  • Based on where you currently work, find out which areas are best for you to live in

You can add more than one start location to your commute time map to explore:

  • Flat sharing: plot all work locations for all flatmates to see which locations would provide the best commute
  • Family home search: plot school locations and work locations to see where's a good spot for all of the family

Screenshot 2020-07-28 at 14.45.27Image: shows where's simultaneously reachable within 45 minutes of 3 different work locations 

How to use our commute calculator

1. Open our free commute map tool - no sign up required 

2. Enter a start location, such as your office, a school, your current home location or somewhere else important 

Screenshot 2020-07-28 at 15.36.00

3. Select your maximum commute time. This free tool allows you to select a time up until 2 hours, using 5 minute increments. For example 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour 15 etc. 

Note: it's possible to make a commute map using 2+ hours travel time, but can't be done using this demo tool. To do this you'll need to use the TravelTime API or QGIS plugin or ArcGIS plugin

4-hour-driving-commute-map-arcgisExample of 4 hour driving commute time map from Chicago 

4. Select your preferred mode of transport. To understand how we calculate each transport mode area view our model here.

commute-transport-mode-select5. Select your commute departure time. 


When selecting public transport the tool calculates commute time area based on how long it takes to depart your start location and get on any timetabled transport mode. The user then must have time to reach the stop and exit the station on the other side. This sometimes means that a 30 minute area looks different at slightly different times of the day. 

Other commute time resources

1. Understanding your commute time visualisation: why the shapes can have holes, islands and more

2. Making travel time maps using plugins or an API: TravelTime map shapes

3. Commute maps in cities across the world: TravelTime Brilliant Maps Feature




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