Travel time maps (isochrones)?

I’m in a cohousing group and when we look at a potential site, we research how close it is to local amenities and services, and the public transport options, since we want to reduce reliance on
using private cars.
I do this by measuring distances on google maps. Others do it by walking to the nearest shop.
A year ago Urbed introduced me to the idea of isochrone maps.
These are also known as travel time maps and can be used to illustrate the 15/20 minute neighbourhood concept. They basically draw an irregular star/explosion shape on a map showing where you can get to in say 10, 20, 30 minutes from a particular place, perhaps your home or your business, by a particular means of travel e.g. walking.
These differ from drawing an as-the-crow-flies circle on a map, because they will take into count the geography of streets for walking and public transport routes (and presumably timetables).
They could potentially be another tool in the armoury of persuading people to make changes, but I have no idea of the cost and effort involved!
So I suppose my question is does anyone on this forum know anything about creating isochrones?

I’m afraid I can’t help at all, but this sounds super interesting so I’m commenting so I can keep track of any responses!

Some examples here -

Might be possible using open source QGIS with QNEAT3 plugin.


There are two Isochrones that I really like one is created by Stefan Wehrmeyer in Berlin called Mapnificent that takes the TfGM GTFS data feed and creates a map of where you can travel to in a particular time. And the other which is a thing of beauty from the 1914 showing how long it takes to get from Manchester city centre by tram Manchester Tram Company Isochron


Hey @SianiAnni
Here’s the link to the isochrones we were talking about at the traffic count North England Travel Isochrones
Hope it’s useful! :slight_smile:

Thanks @Sophie_ODM. That’s a nice little tool, and pretty easy to use.
It’s based on MSOA to MSOA rather than LSOAs so not enough granularity for my use case of easily seeing where I can get to within 15 minutes of a residential street, or which residential streets are within a 15 minute walk or bike ride of, say, a district centre.
Also raises questions about walking and cycling speeds. I expect there’s something in the notes about this, but cycling distances are at least 50% too far for my cycling speed. Fairly easy to adjust. Most interesting insight is how much further you can get in 30 minutes if you cycle rather than use public transport (if you travel at assumed speeds!)

Did you find out anything else about the 15minute neighbourhoods? On another note there was this project that uses public transport data to create isochrones. Not walking or cycling unfortunately.

Mapnificent is pretty good.
There was also a project called Mapumental which was very good and not for profit. Presumably the code still exists if someone asks nicely.
And there’s which also gives different transport modes.
As I pointed out elsewhere on the forum, they are all way more granular than your recycling map isochrones, which will be misleading as a result, especially in rural areas.

I interviewed Stefan Wehrmeyer after he made Magnificent and he said that he was inspired by Mapumental. What made Mapnificent easier to implement was that it was created from the GTFS output of transport schedules which made it easier to scale across different countries. Originally you could select the time of day which was a pretty cool feature as public transport changes throughout the day