An isochrone is a shape that connects points relating to the same time. For example, the image above shows where's reachable within 1 hour from Birmingham city centre, UK when using public transport.
Maps can be difficult to understand. Isochrones can be a good way of displaying large amounts of information. However, the isochrone map design needs to be clear, informative and eye-catching. Let’s take a look at some isochrone map designs that get it right.
The mapmaker, Francis Galton, created a series of isochrones maps starting from London and travelling around the world. Each colour corresponds to a range of days. These are shown in a key at the bottom of the page.
The use of a key:
- Stops the map from becoming cluttered
- Is easy to view and understand
- Simplifies large amounts of information
The use of colour means:
- The user is not overwhelmed by detail.
- The contrast makes the information clear.
- The colour is highlighted by the black background.
- Large amounts of data easy to understand
The TravelTime is an API that allows users to create isochrones maps by travel time using different modes of transport. The TravelTime search box uses a full sentence and asks the user to fill in the blanks.
- Guides the user through the search process
- Allows the user to navigate the map
- Helps the user understand the results
Following the initial isochrone display, the user is given further filter options, including adding a new shape.
The second search bar is displayed in a different colour.
By presenting the results in stages, the user can visualise relevant results on the isochrone map without becoming overwhelmed.
A smooth boundary is:
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Easier to understand
- Allows large amounts of information to be displayed clearly
An exact isochrone perimeter can also be useful.
Exact boundaries allow users to:
- Make sure their results are accurate
- Display highly detailed results
- Conduct a deeper analysis of travel times
FilterPropertywide, the property site, can display a cross-section of isochrones for two users.
- Makes it easy for the user to see which results are relevant
- Greys out irrelevant information
- Prevents the screen from becoming overcrowded
To find out more about isochrones and to start creating travel time maps, visit the TravelTime.