Imagine you are a store owner and would like to target customers that live within a 15-minute drive from your store with advertising for your weekly specials. You could draw a circle on a map, guessing that is about 15 minutes away, but it will not truly represent the time it will take for customers to get to your store. For example, a customer living near a major transit route can live further away from the store than a customer living in a less well-served part of the city. To meet this need, an isochrone is a polygon (an area on a map) of expected travel time. It represents the locations that will take the specified time, or less, it will take to get to a specific point (your store, in this case). Estimating an isochrone correctly, including all the variables like traffic, road, and vehicle conditions, is very hard to do by yourself!
Bing Maps Get Isochrones API
Using the Get Isochrones
API from Bing Maps makes it very easy to calculate the isochrone. For our store example, we need to calculate a 15-minute isochrone for every store we have. We only need the coordinates (longitude and latitude) from our stores and the drivetime in seconds (15 x 60 = 900 sec).
To determine which customer is living inside the 15-minute drive isochrone, we first need the coordinates for every customer's address. Then, we simply loop through all our customers and use the Find a Location by Address
API to get the coordinates.
Point In Polygon
The last step is to check if a customer coordinate is inside one of our store isochrones. We use a Point In Polygon calculation (PiP) to determine if this is true. There are many libraries that can calculate a PiP, but there is also an easy API that can do this for you, the Azure Maps Point in Polygon API. We now can target those customers close by a store with store-specific offers and promotions.
To learn more about the services and solutions that make up the Bing Maps Platform, go to https://www.microsoft.com/maps
- Bing Maps Team