[personal profile] jeneralist
Today's installment of "In Search Of:"

Does anyone know of an interactive map application that will show you regions within driving time x of a given location?

Imagine the contour lines on a topographic map. Now if we use that idea to draw a map where contour lines represent commuting time, rather than altitude...

Let's say I wanted the map to show everything within a half-hour's drive of my house. I'd get a weird blob with tentacles reaching out along the Parkway and the Turnpike, and sub-blobs at exits off of those main roads.

Such a map would be useful to job-hunters ("what can I get to within a reasonable commute?") and house-hunters ("where can I live, and wind up with a reasonable commute?")

It's useful, so it must exist already, right?
A cursory Google search did not find it, but I'm not sure what the search term would be.

Date: 2006-06-14 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tracyandrook.livejournal.com
I can only think that some of the cable channels or people who monitor traffic patterns might have the ability to do this. The Highway Authority? NJTA? It changes so much for time of day. You might be able to find upcoming construction plans.

The best I could do was to get miles from a yellow pages site and then ask people about it.

Date: 2006-06-14 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dcseain.livejournal.com
Part of the difficulty of that kind of utility is that time of day makes a difference. At Noon or Midnight, my mother is 30 min south of DC. At rush hour, however, without a carpool, she's about 2.5 hours south of DC.

Where i live is 30 Min into the city, but at rush hour, it's 1.5-2 hours into the city. Tysons Corner, 10 miles from my house, 20 min non-rush, 40-60 min rush.

It would be hard for such a tool to account for that i think.

Date: 2006-06-15 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selki.livejournal.com
"mashup" is the term I've been seeing for this kind of app, lately. Combine with "commute" and/or "traffic" or some such?

Date: 2006-06-15 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeneralist.livejournal.com
I'm not looking for the level of detail that shows how commuting time changes by time of day -- at least, not at first. Just make a grid of resolution x centered on location y; for each point on the grid, generate a query to Google Maps and get the driving time to point y. Use some nifty color scheme to show results in 10 minute increments.

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