Isochrones as geofences

Using isochrones to create a more refined and relevant geofence

Tue Oct 10 13:19:00 EDT 2017

In location-based advertising, defining a target geographic area for digital ad delivery is usually done by creating radial boundaries around Points of Interest (POIs). While this enables the rapid creation of geofences, there are shortcomings to defining geofences in this way. First, POI locations that are derived from geocoding a business address can differ enough from the actual POI location that the resultant radial geofences may not be centered around -- or even cover the correct locations. Second, radial geofences often over-estimate the true areas of interest desired for targeted advertising, generating false positives.

Isochrones are used to create a more refined and relevant geofence for use in location-based advertising. Isochrones are polygons formed by connecting points along a street network that are within an equal travel time from a POI.  They are computed from routing algorithms run on a digital street network. Drive-time isochrones define the areas that are within a specified drive time from a POI, whereas walk time isochrones define the areas that are within a specified walk time from a POI.

Left image shows a radial geofence (green) centered on a POI (pink dot). Right image shows 1 (pink), 3 (yellow), and 5 (blue) minute drive time isochrones centered around the same POI.

Pitney Bowes offers pre-generated drive time isochrones as part of the Branded Geofence product stack. These drive time geofences are centered around the centroid of a spatially precise, manually generated representation of shopping area’s lot centroid, and are available in 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-, 15- and 30-minute increments. Using drive time geofences, as opposed to radius-based geofences, allows adtech clients to more effectively reach their target audience. Pitney Bowes also provides software that allows clients to create custom drive or walk time isochrones based on their own criteria.   Isochrones can also be used for site selection, disaster response planning, and risk analysis applications.

The Pitney Bowes Branded Geofence product stack also includes geofences that outline a business’s retail space, the building footprint in which the retail space is located, and the extended shopping area surrounding the business. This includes the building, parking areas, and access roads and walkways associated with the building. The combined product stack offers clients maximum flexibility for defining and reaching the target audience by providing varying levels of detail for geofence coverage. The different geofence layers in the product stack are linked to one another and to their corresponding Pitney Bowes POIs via persistent IDs, allowing clients to easily drill up or down within the data stack as needed for their specific use case.

Learn more about our Branded Geofences product and mobile LI advertising products and services.