Jul 25, 2023 • Blog

Isochrone API Pricing Comparison

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Isochrone APIs have revolutionised location-based services by providing developers with the ability to calculate and visualise travel times from a specific point.

How many customers live within a 45-minute drive of a potential store location? If we relocate our office, what will that mean for our employees’ commute times? Which part of the city can I move to and still have a reasonable commute to work?

These are all questions that can be answered using isochrones — maps that show the areas you can reach within a travel time limit.

Isochrones animation

Whether you're building a job portal app, a ride-sharing platform, an on-demand delivery routing service, or a property portal, isochrone APIs offer crucial insights that enhance user experiences and optimise operations.

However, with the multitude of isochrone API providers available today, understanding their pricing structures and finding the most cost-effective, powerful solution can be daunting.

In this blog, we'll be exploring the pricing models of various isochrone API providers to help you make informed decisions about which solution best suits your needs.

What is an Isochrone API?

An isochrone is a line that connects points which are the same amount of time away from a central point. In other words, it shows the area which is reachable in a maximum journey time, for a given mode of transport.

An Isochrone API utilises geographic data, travel algorithms, and various transportation factors to generate isochrone polygons or data.

Alongside TravelTime, there are a number of Isochrone API providers, including HERE, Mapzen, ORS, and Mapbox.

The Isochrone API allows developers to integrate isochrone functionality into their applications, websites, or services, and can be used in many different ways.

Two common Isochrone API use cases include:

  1. Location search engines: Allowing users to search on a website or application and see a reachable area, such as on a property site or a job site
  2. Location analytics: Filtering other datasets such as a population to analyse a particular location, such as a potential retail store or office development

What are typical Isochrone API pricing models?

Isochrone API providers typically price based on two factors:

  • A usage allowance per month for free
  • The number of isochrones used beyond the free allowance, which then have variable pricing

Variable pricing models often operate with scalable tiered pricing, where the average price reduces as you calculate more isochrones. However, the general trend is that the more you use each month, the more you pay.

But there is a third way — a way that is more price efficient and predictable for Isochrone API users yet it doesn’t compromise on performance, detail, or transport options.

Usage-based pricing vs. TravelTime’s unlimited usage pricing

TravelTime is the only Isochrone API provider that does not follow the usage-based pricing model.

It is the first API that doesn’t charge on monthly usage.

Instead, our plans offer unlimited usage each month for a fixed price. This makes our Isochrone API genuinely affordable at scale.

Read why we have created a new pricing API model here.

Factors to consider when choosing an Isochrone API other than price

When choosing which Isochrone API provider is right for you, price will always be important. But it is also worth considering other factors to help you select the best option for your use case.

Public Transport

Of the providers listed above, only TravelTime, Mapzen and Targomo support public transport. The other providers are only able to offer personal transport modes such as driving or walking — and are therefore extremely limited.

Access to public transport isochrones are particularly important for looking at urban areas where people are much less likely to drive.

An isochrone using public transport data allows you to deliver the most accurate maps and vastly improve the user experience.

Isochrone detail

The level of detail can dramatically differ between Isochrone API providers. Isochrones from TravelTime include many more points than those returned by other providers, meaning a much more accurate shape.

TravelTime also produces multi-polygons, to eliminate any unreachable areas within the main shape using holes and see additional island shapes.

This ensures that you have a reliable isochrone that reflects the reality of accessible locations.

The example below shows how a driving isochrone compares between HERE and TravelTime.

A comparison images of HERE and TravelTime's isochrones and its details


Location information can reveal user’s personal habits and routines, making it crucial to safeguard against misuse and privacy violations.

By choosing an isochrone API provider that explicitly commits to protecting user data and refraining from using it for competing purposes, businesses can ensure the data collected remains confidential and exclusive to their application. You can therefore have confidence that users' location information will not be utilised to develop competing products that might undermine your market position.

TravelTime never stores any of your data after your request is made and unlike other Isochrone API providers, we will never build a competing application that utilises your user data.

User support

While OSRM, for example, is a free Isochrone API, its open-source nature means that there is no user support or customer-facing success function.

As a general rule, this kind of software is not as easy to use as proprietary technology. Most only appeal to highly skilled programmers that don’t mind posting on dozens of forums to get a straight answer to any problems they face.

TravelTime is uniquely positioned as a low-cost API-first company that prides itself on customer support, to ensure our APIs are used effectively.

So which Isochrone API provider do you choose?

When choosing between different Isochrone API providers, there can often be a big difference in price depending on the number of isochrones needed.

We recommend that you estimate what your likely usage is going to be before you make any decisions based on price. And always make sure that your API provider can also provide the specific functionality you need for your use case.

Ready to try TravelTime? 

The TravelTime isochrone feature is built for high volume users that are focused on API performance, data accuracy and privacy, while ensuring that your end-product is financially viable with an Isochrone API.

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Unlimited isochrones every month. One fixed price.
TravelTime is the only API to charge a fixed monthly fee for unlimited usage – not PAYG, not monthly or annual usage limits, and no overage.
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