Case Study

How Knight Frank uses the TravelTime API to Improve Location Analysis

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Knight Frank recently started using TravelTime in two ways:

  1. Adding it into existing geospatial analytics tools with our new ArcGIS plugin 
  2. As an API to power their Knight Frank's Office Space travel time search tool, enabling users to search for office space by commute time rather than distance.

How Knight Frank uses the TravelTime ArcGIS plugin

When the Geospatial team at Knight Frank help customers decide on a property to invest in, there are various factors to analyse. For Knight Frank to deliver the best possible advice to customers, it is essential that they can carry out accurate and true-to-life location analysis. As put by Dan Cronin, Geospatial Enterprise Associate at Knight Frank:

"Property is famously all about location, and accessibility defines the relationships that make a location. We have used the network analysis tools in Esri's ArcGIS Online which has a great toolset, but it lacks the underlying public transport data which is critical for us to provide meaningful advice across the board."

By using the TravelTime plugin for ArcGIS it’s now possible for Dan and the Geospatial team at Knight Frank to analyse location data based on public transport times, as well as all other standard modes like driving, cycling, walking or even combining modes together such as driving and train.

The example below shows how to build a travel time data visualisation, often referred to within the geospatial sector as an isochrone shape. By calculating a travel time catchment area for many points of interest it’s easy to identify which office would be best suited to each client. It may need to fall within 30 minutes commute time for all employees as well as other key stakeholders.

public transport travel time analysis
"The thing that originally led us to TravelTime is the richness of features around public transport, particularly isochrone creation", said Dan.

Using TravelTime, Knight Frank have a more effective way of shortlisting potential properties, by filtering them based on real-life access to the local area via different transport modes. "Fundamentally, TravelTime gives us a human-centred understanding of proximity, which is essential for meaningfully understanding a place and its interrelationships with other places", said Dan. 

With our easy-to-use plugin, Knight Frank can do this directly in the ArcGIS Pro desktop application without the need to write any code. They just pick a tool, enter some parameters, and the plugin will run the analysis. It's that simple.

"Like many organisations with a mature geospatial capability, we have the tools to create our own routing models, but we quickly realised that maintaining any meaningful in-house capability required far too much effort to be viable in our small team. TravelTime has solved this problem", said Dan. "They provide the best match between analytical capabilities and people's real travel habits". 

"On the geekier side of things, access to official integrations with our favourite analytical tools eliminates any technical obstacles to adopting new features. From a purely business perspective, the transparent and flexible licensing model gives us the freedom to experiment and share access to TravelTime capabilities across the organisation."

Knight Frank travel time analysis

How Knight Frank uses TravelTime on their Office Space search tool

Knight Frank has also embedded TravelTime Search into its public Office Space Search tool. With this, a web visitor can search for an office space based on the maximum travel time from a selected location using any transport type. If required, the user can even set multiple locations to find a spot that is within multiple commute time areas. The website calculates and returns results in milliseconds. 

Knight Frank office space search powered by TravelTime Search

For instance, it can display all office spaces within 15 minutes of Baker Street, London, via public transport. The tool uses real-time traffic and timetable data and is maintained by our dedicated TravelTime transport team to ensure complete accuracy.

Instead of the traditional straight-line radius circle which is used to illustrate distance, the user sees an isochrone indicating locations accessible within the chosen time bracket. This shape gives a more practical illustration of the user's access to the location.

Knight Frank website search by travel time

Why use TravelTime?

TravelTime helps Knight Frank give the most useful and accurate intelligence to its customers. Also, by refining the search tool functionality, Knight Frank now have one of the most effective office search tools available.

As summarised by Dan, "The commercial benefits of making the right decision on location are enormous, and we will always seek out tools that deliver the most detailed results. We have seen our feedback translated into real improvements in the TravelTime product, which is exactly the kind of relationship that we like to have with any technology supplier."

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