We don’t build any user screens – that’s something our clients’ do (they know their users better than we do). So for example a retailer will build their own store-locator page and we’ll sit in the background instantly calculating a user’s travel time to the stores they can reach fastest, and show them the route.
You can also request the data in WKT (Well Known Text). We are adding new support for GeoHash search and Bounding Box search which should be ready in September 2015.
- TimeMap – which outputs a polygon showing the area accessible by time from a user’s location.
- TimeFilter – which assigns a time to a lat/lng point
- Routes – which is a door-to-door route planner.
Most developers who use the API really like it – the usual comments are ‘it’s really easy to use’, and ‘it just works’. Ask us for an API key and see what you think.
Currently, a search of locations is by distance “what is within 5 miles”. That’s a problem because results shown by distance take no account of how long it takes to actually get there. 30 minutes to get to one side of a radial search, might be 15 mins to get to the other side.
But when someone searches for a location, the odds are that they intend to travel there. And when travelling they care more about time than distance. That’s why TravelTime returns massively more relevant results for people who plan to travel to your locations (shop, property, date, restaurant, hotel, job etc). For example this map shows what you can do within 30 mins of London ‘right now’. It show all possible locations within 30 minutes (the highlighted area – TimeMap). On top of this it ranks all locations by travel time (TimeFilter). And then we also return the best route to each lat/long.
Google Maps / CityMapper / Bing / Sat Nav … and many more facilities …calculate A to B routes. They’re great when you know where you need to go. But what we do is the bit before that, when you say “where could we go”, or “where’s the shop / restaurant / job / hotel (etc) I can get to fastest”. We enable maps / data to be searched by travel time. We instantly match your visitors to your physical locations by travel time, so that they can find what they want and you can get more people through your doors. That’s why we’re different. And that difference is really important.
We license this technology to people who make their money from locations. Clients include:
- CountryWide – The UKs largest group of estate agent – http://traveltime.propertywide.co.uk/
- Zoopla – UK property Search – http://www.zoopla.co.uk/travel-time
- A new iOS app that allows you to search for jobs within a commutable distance https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/commute-less-jobs-by-travel/id984562124?mt=8
- Microsoft even wrote a case history about our work with Countrywide (who use Bing Maps) where TravelTime generated a 300% increase in conversions (vs distance) https://customers.microsoft.com/Pages/CustomerStory.aspx?recid=16915
- Discover an area (TimeMap)
- Decide which location to visit (TimeFilter ranks & sorts all locations by travel time)
- Directions there (Routing).
Your user doesn’t have to dip out of your site to check travel times and routes on someone’s site – so won’t be exposed to your competitor’s ads. With TravelTime you can give them all the travel info they need with a single API. And that’s really important.
So – think of us as a plugin or enhancement to these platforms, not a replacement for them.
You can have as many overlap areas as you want – 2, 10, 100… your choice.
For both walking and cycling we use an average speed – and we know that some people go faster than others (lycra vs a bike with a basket).
The images below are for a trip by public transport from Sennen Cove (Land’s End) to John O’Groats – on a map and as a list.
So you can cap walking at say 15 minutes, and return results for up to 15 mins walking with the remainder of the requested travel time on public transport.
That might be a more distant station but which is served by a faster train at the relevant moment. The TravelTime platform makes this calculation automatically.
We also factor in that the user needs to be on the platform 30 seconds before the train leaves – that’s when the doors shut.
We’re trying to generate results that are useful to humans. We know we can never be 100% right (for example the traffic lights just changed to red; or 100 people decide to cross the pedestrian crossing in front of you) and that’s OK. We’re trying to produce results that real people can get to, routes real people can actually travel, so we make the calculations as human as we can.
And our data can be shown on a map, or given as a list of turn-by-turn instructions.
The image below is Buckingham Palace to Guildford, via Waterloo Station, and it shows the walk on footpaths through Green Park.
The reason we don’t make real-time available is that most of our clients don’t want it. If you operate a property website, it’s more useful for your users to know the area they can normally reach at a particular time of day, than that the traffic is really slow today because there’s been an accident.
But scheduled roadworks or public transport delays, are picked up in our twice weekly platform update.
Here’s an example. Perhaps you run a recruitment site and want to tell registered job seekers about new vacancies as they get posted to your site? We’ll match the location of new & suitable vacancies being posted to your site, to your database of jobseekers. We’ll let you know when there’s a geographic fit – i.e. it’s the right opportunity and it’s within the travel time / transport mode that your job seeker specified. We’ll return that information to you and how you then use it is up to you. Send them a text, an email, an alert on your site, a message by pigeon post … whatever works for you and them.
Since launching commercially in late 2013, we’ve had zero downtime.
As we deploy in more territories so we’ll keep an eye on latency and use local hosting where needed.
Our speeds depend on the search being conducted, but as an example of a complex (i.e. slow) search, we can take;
- A user’s request for 60 mins driving from the middle of London, and produce a TimeMap
- Match 4,000 locations (e.g. houses) to that TimeMap and rank & sort them all by their individual travel times (TimeFilter)
- Return this to our client’s site or app within 600 milliseconds.
- And when the user wants to know the route to any of those 4,000 locations, we’ve already calculated it as a part of TimeFilter and can return it in milliseconds.
It’s important to note, our platform does all the heavy lifting – there’s no calculation being performed on the user’s device (so there’s no SDK). It’s just a JSON call to our RESTful API.
- There’s no cost while you develop your solution and we’ll help you (without charge).
- The cost comes when you want to go live, and the amount varies. We’ve found most clients prefer a fixed monthly fee and unlimited API calls – they say it makes budgeting easier than trying to cope with a variable amount each month (as their usage fluctuates).
So we general agree country specific, 2 year contracts, for a fixed fee (where that fee has some regard to projected usage and any other specific client criteria).
- But if you have a different idea, we’re up for the conversation. Ultimately what we want are happy clients deriving value from TravelTime.
- ‘The TravelTime Functionality shall be available to the Licensee for 98% of the time calculated on a calendar month basis, exclusive of any scheduled maintenance, such scheduled maintenance to be between the hours of midnight to 6.00 a.m. UK time, and iGeolise shall notify the Licensee in advance of such maintenance least 24 hours in advance, by email or by phone call.’
- While you’re developing. The API is straight forward and most developers say it’s one of the easiest they’ve ever used. Our fastest implantation to date has been 2 days. And we’re here to help – by email, on the phone, face to face, and we’re always happy to have client developer days.
- Once you’re live. We’re still here … email, phone, face to face. Here’s the thing – we want our clients to get the most value they possibly can from TravelTime, so we’ll do what it takes to help. Whether it’s coming up with ideas, or sitting alongside your developers while build. Tell us what you want and if we can do it, we will.
Many more countries have been successfully trialled and will go live over the coming months. And the next stage will be to link countries together and add air travel.
You decide what your users will think is ‘best’, and that’s what we’ll deliver. Or maybe, give them the choice?
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone us on +44 (0) 207 096 1473
- Or use the live chat box, and talk to us now
We can get you an API key right away.