Using the Drivetime Tool in MapInfo Pro 17.0

MapInfo Pro 17.0.
The Drivetime Regions tool make it easy to quickly generate drive-time or drive-distance boundaries.
Drivetime Regions is a MapInfo Pro tool that is loaded by default when you install MapInfo Pro 17.0. This tool replaces the older Drivetime Regions (Table) Utility that used an Envinsa 4.0 server. 

The 17.0 Drivetime Regions Tool provides an improved, more intuitive, modern user experience, supporting requests against the PB GeoZone and Spectrum On-Premise drivetime services. Using this tool, you can access a Driving Regions server to create time-based and distance-based buffers for the selected table entries. MapInfo Pro accomplishes this by connecting to:
  • Spectrum Spatial Server
  • Pitney Bowes LI APIs

The new Drivetime Regions Tool executes its request processing in a separate thread, allowing the user to continue to work with the main MapInfo Pro UI while the task completes. If desired, the driving/walking regions generated by the request can be displayed directly onto an open map upon completion of the task. 

The Drive Time Tool is auto loaded and the UI is accessed by

  • Ribbon Menu: navigate from the Spatial tab, to the Create group, to Regions to Drive Regions
  • Shortcut keys: Ctrl-Shift-Alt-D
  • Tool Manager: from where it can be unloaded or hidden if not required
Note, there are helpful tool-tips associated with each of the controls on all the UI panels. Also, in the event of an error condition, a tool-tip is available to give additional information and recommendation for resolution.


Here is an example, using the Drive Time Tool to create 3 Walking time regions from a selected point from the MapInfo Pro Sample Workspace.

The input object is a selection from the sample POI table, POI_USA_PLUS_DC_LANDMARKS: Foggy Bottom -GWU Metro Station .

There are 3 zones requested, 5, 10 and 20 minute walking times from the point source.

The user has an initial (current) balance of 2,000 credits available prior to initiating the request. The estimated transaction cost is 5 credits, to complete the one point transaction.

Note: transaction costs are based on the number of input geometries, not the number of output regions. Therefore, a standard cost of 5 credits is applied to each input geometry, regardless of the number of zones, 1-3, selected.

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The resulting Walking regions are written to the output table and are automatically added to my map (see the Map Output option on the Main UI Panel):

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Main View

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The Drive Time user interface has several key sections of note.

  • Input objects - This can be an entire table with input geometries, or the current Selection set
  • Output Table and Mode: Drive Time writes its output to the target table and the user can select to overwrite or append data to an existing table
  • Region Name: This source table field provides an identifying key for each output record, referencing back to the source table. Note: This can be extended with additional source table fields specified under the More Options window
  • Driving|Walking, Time|Distance - Specify the request context
  • Cost Zones: Define the values for the regions of interest. 
    • 1-3 for PB Geozone, 1-5 for PBS Routing Service (Spectrum On-Prem)
    • The displayed regions are for illustration only, to assist with the color theme selection, and are not indented to reflect the actual results
  • Credit Check: For PB Geozone, the current subscription credit balance is reported for the logged in user account, as well as an estimate of the cost of the pending transaction
  • Server: Select the desired service endpoint by clicking on the "gear"

Service Configuration

Drive Time Servers List

Select the desired service endpoint by clicking on the "gear". This brings up a dialog with the list of currently defined services. Select the service by clicking in the list and selecting OK.
Note, the LIApi service, PB Geozone, is always available whether or not the user is currently logged in. The configuration parameters of this service are not user editable.

Add, Edit or Remove PBS Routing Service configurations as desired

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Drive Time Server Configuration

The PBS Routing Service edit dialog will look something like:

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To set up the service configuration, the user will need the following:

Address/Port: The name and port information for the service location.

User ID/Password: The required service authentication credentials, if applicable.

After entering the information above, select Verify to initiate the connection and fetch necessary service information.

Drive Time Database Specification

Once the service connection is validated, the user will need to select from the available Driving and Walking databases.

Note that each defined service configuration will be associated with a single Driving and/or Walking database. If a service is configured with multiple databases, the user may wish to define the Service Configuration Description accordingly. 

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More Options

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Reference the tool-tips and appropriate service documentation for additional details for the request options

LI GeoZone :

Spectrum GetTravelBoundaries:

Usage Note: While optional, the resulting isochrones are usually more accurate if the Off-Road Travel Limit is defined to be ~0.1 miles.

Task Management

The Drive Time Tool creates a background task for each submitted request. This frees up the main MapInfo Pro UI from the the request processing, allowing the user to interact with Pro normally while the request is being processed by server and client. 

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The tasks are defined to auto-run once the user selects Process but the user may control the task operation from the Task Manager:

Pause, Cancel, Resume, Re-execute

Double-clicking on the task will bring up the task log, detailing the input parameters and results of the request.

UPDATED:  May 8, 2018