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MapInfo Products Knowledge Base

Product: MapInfo Professional
Version: 8.5
Platform: Citrix; Windows 2003 Server Enterprise; Windows XP Home; Windows XP Home SP1A; Windows XP Home SP2; Windows XP Professional; Windows XP Professional 64 - 32 Bit Mode; Windows XP Professional SP 1A; Windows XP Professional SP 2; Windows 2000 Professional SP4
Category: Divetime - EOLS

Finding customers within 10 minutes or 10 miles/Routing Server setup (MapInfo Professional v8.5).


Finding customers within 10 minutes or 10 miles (MapInfo Professional v8.5).


Do you need to find out how many customers are within ten minutes drive of your stores? Do you want to find all of the suppliers within 15 to 30 miles of your warehouse location? If questions like these interest you, then the new Drivetime web service in this release is for you!

The Drivetime web service uses the latest road networks and fast search algorithms to show the buffer boundaries in time (isochrone) or distance (isodistance) from a specified location. These buffers are different from other MapInfo Professional object or table buffers because they are based on road networks and not straight line distances. Driving region time and distance buffers are calculated based on the speed limits of the individual roads and highways in the road network and the distance or time values you request. Isochrones and isodistances are collectively called isograms.

You can only access this Drivetime data and calculation functionality on an Envinsa 4.0 routing server. The Driving Regions web service helps you create isochrone and isodistance buffers using points in your own data.

An isochrone or a time buffer is a region that shows the area that a driver can reach from a starting point in a specific amount of time based on the speeds specified in the routing network. For example, if you wanted to put together an event and invite the customers who live within an hour’s drive of the event site, you could create a time buffer for known customers within an hour’s drive. The service would then use the average driving speeds defined in the road network to calculate the time buffer from your event. You can then display your data within those buffer regions using a Select or SQL Select statement.

An isodistance or a distance buffer is a region that shows the area that a driver can reach from the starting point in the same distance. For example, if you want to contact all of the customers who live within 50 miles of the event instead of one hour, you could calculate the distance using the Drivetime web service, using similar logic.

Effectively, you are creating buffers from a point or table of points based on the server’s road network for a specified times or distances. Using the Driving Region service options, you can control the way this information displays and the number of time and distance buffers you can create at a time.

How are Time and Distance Buffers Calculated?

This is a raster map of a portion of a major city, but it could just as easily be your community.

You can travel further on a limited access highway than a local road in the same amount of time due to the difference in speed limits.

In it, you can see limited access highways, major roads with buildings on them, and local streets with homes. The speed limits on these streets vary depending upon their size and use. The routing server manages the speeds for each road type and uses those speeds to calculate the distance a driver could travel in a specific amount of time. For example a driver could get further in an hour on a highway, than on a local road, due to the average speed limits on those roads.

If you think of these speed limits and distances in spatial terms, starting from a particular point, the region the web service could create along a highway would be longer and narrower than the region you would create using a more local road based on the same amount of time or distance request.

That is the concept behind the Driving Region functionality.

Setting up the Routing Server and Preferences

Before you can access an Envinsa Drivetime service, you need to show MapInfo Professional where to find the Routing server it is housed on. This process gives MapInfo Professional all the information it needs to access the server. You need to enter this information only once per server.

To set up a Routing server:

1. From the Options menu, choose the Preferences option and then select Web Services. Click the Routing tab to set the web service preference options.

2. In this tab, you set the server and Driving Region preferences:

Driving Region Batching (Number of start points to batch)
Use this field to indicate the number of points MapInfo Professional should send to the routing server at a time when calculating batch table isograms. The default number of points is 2.

For example: If you enter the number 2 in this field and the table you are processing contains six records, MapInfo Professional will send two records at a time in three batches. That is, MapInfo Professional will submit two records, wait for the process to return, insert the new records, and then submit the next two until all six records are processed. This prevents overloading the server.

Default Timeout Values
These timeout values affect communication with the routing server. You can override these defaults on a per server basis.

Note: When you set these time out values, keep in mind the size of your request. The more complicated your request, the more time may be required for connection/sending/receiving.

Connect Time Out
Indicates the time allowed to establish an Internet connection to the routing server. If request takes longer than this value, a timeout occurs. The default connect time out is 60 seconds.

Send Time Out
Indicates the time allowed to send an Internet request to the routing server. If the request takes longer than this value, a timeout occurs. The default send time out is 60 seconds.

Receive Time Out
Indicates the time allowed to begin to receive a response from a request to routing server. The download can take longer than the time out, but the response has to occur within the timeout setting. The default receive time out is 300 seconds.

3. To add a new routing server, click Servers to display the Routing Servers List dialog box.

4. Click Add. The Routing Server Information dialog box displays.

MapInfo Professional supports server-side and proxy server authentication. If you use a proxy server for Internet access and your routing server also requires user/password authentication, you authenticate with the proxy server first. As a result, the Connection dialog box displays twice -- once for the proxy server and once for the routing server.

5. Type the server URL, the server description, the default user name and password in the fields provided. Click the check box to remember the password when you enter the correct user name.

6. Consider whether the default timeout settings are appropriate for the server you are adding. The default settings display in each field. The options you select in this dialog box determine the Routing server’s default settings. To change these entries, select the Override Default Values check box and enter new timeout settings using the same definitions.

Note: When you have entered a server that you will use most frequently, highlight it in the list. Click Set Default. A check mark displays beside the server you selected.

7. When you have completed these entries, click Test URL to ensure that the connection is available. The Routing Server Details dialog box displays. If the URL is valid, the Routing Server Details dialog box displays and the Countries list displays the server’s available country data. Click Close to return to the Routing Server Information dialog box.

Note: If you select Test URL and no server connection is found, an error message displays.

8. When all of these fields and options are complete, click OK to save the new routing server.

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