Map Tool to Create an Area based on Commute Times
December 4, 2013 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Are there any online mapping tools that given a starting address and a starting time and a maximum time spent commuting will draw a border enclosing the area you could drive to in typical traffic at that time? The idea is if I want to live within 45 minutes of work I would give it my work address, the time I normally leave work to go home at night, and the maximum time I'm willing to spend on my typical commute and it would draw a boarder the encloses the area in which I'd be looking to find a home, knowing any other neighborhood/address would be outside my maximum commute time.

There was a similar question here, but most of the links are dead now.

I also found this Trulia map, but the commute times seem way off to me for Los Angeles, so I don't think it's taking typical traffic into account.
posted by willnot to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Walkscore actually has a page where you can do this- and even overlap multiple commutes. It was very, very helpful in narrowing down where my boyfriend and I should look for an apartment to move in together in, especially as we were both on the job market at the time and facing a number of potential commutes.
posted by foodmapper at 6:25 PM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

This type of map is called a drive time analysis map. It might help to search based on those terms for the specific city that you are interested in.

Drive time analysis maps tend to be made in a GIS system. I would expect that if someone had created one based on say, the United States that it would not be particularly accurate as a whole as this type of analysis can vary widely based on the data used to calculate it.

Edit: Here's a website for Great Britain:
posted by graxe at 6:28 PM on December 4, 2013

I saw something similar on Here's an example.

Scroll down to the "Travel Time Map". You can show the reachable area in a configurable time via walking/biking/driving/transit.

Not sure, but I'm guessing this is USA-only.
posted by sarah_pdx at 7:08 PM on December 4, 2013

I did something similar using the Google Driving directions API and a script written in Ruby. Drop me a message if you're technically inclined and interested and I'll be happy to pass the code along.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:35 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

This freemaptools site does that, although it's a pretty rough estimate of speed.
posted by songs about trains at 4:58 AM on December 5, 2013

FWIW, I dropped the ruby script that hits the google driving directions API here:

Fork away and have fun!
posted by chrisamiller at 10:19 PM on December 18, 2013

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