What is an Isochrone? A Definition & Examples

by Louisa Bainbridge
on Jul 7, 2017

What is an isochrone?

Definition: An isochrone shows points of an equal value joined together. It's most commonly used to depict travel times, such as drawing a 30 minute travel time perimeter around a start location. The isochrone below joins up all points within a 45 minute drive from the origin. Take a look at the different criteria required to build an isochrone here

Many people when first looking for isochrone may search for a travel time radius. The problem here is that a radius is circular, however a travel time polygon rarely is. The isochrone is an alternative to the distance based 'miles radius' or 'kilomentres radius' search tool. Check out our isochrone guide page for more detail.  

what-is-an-isochrone

Use cases 

Transport planning: isochrones are a great tool for identifying locations that need additional transport infrastructure. Drawing public transport isochrones can identify local transit blackspots or pinpoint areas in need of improve road networks. The image below shows that public transport connections between Brighton and Petworth could be improved as it's not possible to get there within 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

isochrone-public-transport-brighton-uk

Property search: isochrones can be used to find a new home, Users can find the ideal home using their work location and maximum commute time and preferred transport mode. The image below is from Countrywide, but has also been used on various sites in the UK including Zoopla and Rightmove's property search bot.  

isochrone-property-newcastle

Recruitment search: recruiters can use isochrones to identify which locations they should focus on when looking to fill location-specific roles. For example when a new call centre opens employers will be able to see where to focus recruitment drive efforts. 

miles-radius-isochrones-recruitment-comparison

Sales territory planning: allocating sales territories by journey time means that sales people can reach potential clients easily. It can also be a good tool for sourcing the nearest warehouse to supply a local area. Get started by drawing isochrone shapes on a Leaflet map with this tutorial

what-is-an-isochrone

Advertising: isochrones can be used to view catchment areas for retail locations for placements of outdoor advertising or sending in app messaging as part of a proximity marketing strategy. For example a large supermarket may understand that most of their target audience are within a 15 minute drive of the shop location and create a drive time polygon and target customers in this area. 

what-is-an-isochrone

 

Click

 

Visit the map resource centre

 

Related

How to Create Isochrones with Postman and the Traveltime API

With this Time Map endpoint tutorial using postman, you can get a list of coordinates showing a perimeter of where’s reachable within a travel time limit.

Evelina Bezubec Nov 4, 2019
READ

Use this Travel Time Calculator to Discover Journey Times

Explore travel time calculator tools. Calculate travel times globally. Optimise your journey using time instead of distance.

Evelina Bezubec Aug 1, 2019
READ

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 Mar 25, 2019
READ

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 7, 2019
READ

How Far Can I Travel in 15 Minutes or 1 Hour? This Map Shows You

How far can I travel within a time limit? Make a map to show you where you can reach within a certain travel time. Change the mode of transport and time of day. Add up to three starting locations and filter the intersection between them.

Niharika Sisodia Nov 21, 2018
READ

Create Your Own Driving Commute Distance Map in the USA and Beyond

Create a commute distance map and drive time map. View potential areas to work on a commute distance map. Search by travel time instead of distance.

Niharika Sisodia Oct 25, 2018
READ