OpenStreetMap’s OSRM (Open Source Routing Machine) provides not only routing service, but a feature that enables drawing multiple routes to form a time-based polygon range as well. This is also called an isochrone.

An isochrone, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “a line drawn on a map connecting points at which something occurs or arrives at the same time”. In other words, it is just like contour lines measuring travel time in urban design.

Timothée Giraud has a repo osrm that connects OpenStreetMap’s service and R.

In the README file of this repo, there is also a vanilla example of how to draw osrmIsochrone.


# Get isochones with a SpatialPointsDataFrame, custom breaks
iso <- osrmIsochrone(loc = c(149.1212457, -35.2766747), breaks = seq(from = 0,to = 30, by = 5))

# Map
osm <- getTiles(x = iso, crop = FALSE, type = "osm", zoom = 13)
tilesLayer(x = osm)
bks <- sort(c(unique(iso$min), max(iso$max)))
cols <- paste0(carto.pal("turquoise.pal", n1 = length(bks)-1), 80)
choroLayer(spdf = iso,
           var = "center", breaks = bks,
           border = NA, col = cols,
           legend.pos = "topleft",legend.frame = TRUE,
           legend.title.txt = "Isochrones\n(min)",
           add = TRUE)
plot(apotheke.sp[10,], add=TRUE, col ="red", pch = 20)


However, the processing time of this plot is not very satisfying. What about drawing the polygons with leaflet?

# Map as leaflet
iso@data$drive_times <- factor(paste(iso@data$min, "to", iso@data$max, "min"))
factpal <- colorFactor("RdYlBu", iso@data$drive_times)

leaflet() %>%
    setView(149.1212457, -35.2766747, zoom = 11) %>%
    addProviderTiles("CartoDB.Positron", group="Greyscale") %>%
    addMarkers(lng = 149.1212457, lat = -35.2766747, popup = "Starting Point") %>%
    addPolygons(fill=TRUE, stroke=TRUE, color = "black",
                fillColor = ~factpal(iso@data$drive_times),
                weight=0.5, fillOpacity=0.2,
                data = iso, popup = iso@data$drive_times,
                group = "Drive Time") %>%
    addLegend("bottomright", pal = factpal, values = iso@data$drive_time,   title = "Drive Time")


An interactive map is not a bad idea. And can use proc.time() to track the processing time of both methods.

ptm <- proc.time()
# plotting method
proc.time() - ptm

Compare the processing of two plotting above. osrm takes around 50 seconds, while leaflet() only requires less than 7 seconds.

   user  system elapsed
 28.081  13.457  48.232

   user  system elapsed
  5.692   0.173   6.532