Innovation already successfully implemented for Hebbes real estate search website
Edegem, 27 February 2018 – Belgian technology company Localyse, Google Cloud Premier Partner for the Benelux and specialized in Google Maps, today launches a new development in the field of smart mobility: the Travel Time API. Thanks to this recent innovation, it is now possible to visualize distance in travel time rather than kilometres. This opens a completely unprecedented perspective for users, who are given accurate insight into the actual travel time distance. Data or search results can be visualized in simple travel zones, according to pre-determined criteria.
Travel Time API is based on the live, rich traffic and travel time data from Google Maps.
Localyse Managing Partner Chris Hoogwys, explains,
‘With the Travel Time API, travel times are the most important indicators. This is because the Travel Time API makes it possible to analyse, sort and visualize travel times within a certain service area with multiple destinations at a glance, providing better correlation between searches and results.’
The Travel Time API has already been successfully implemented on the Hebbes real estate search website. Mark Vercammen, Project Manager at Mediahuis, explains why the company has integrated this innovation in Hebbes:
‘Hebbes continuously seeks ways to make the search for a new home easier. We try to anticipate visitors’ wishes, such as minimizing their personal travel times. In fact, everything revolves around the visitor.’
A survey of visitors to the platform showed that in addition to the traditional criteria when choosing a house or apartment – such as the price and the number of bedrooms – travel time to the office, school, station or family are also considered important. In Google Maps, Hebbes found the solution that provides the most relevant travel time data via a user-friendly interface. Localyse then developed an easily integratable tool that combines search results with travel times.
Via this cutting-edge tool, Hebbes now offers a personalized result based on preferences the visitor has entered for modality and personal POIs. As such, potential customers occasionally arrive at surprising insights, and the search can then be extended to other locations or additional factors in the travel times of the service area.
‘We are pleased to be one of the first companies to have integrated this innovation into our search site. We are convinced that this new tool will help our visitors in the choice they ultimately make. The new “travel time” feature makes our platform even more relevant and user-friendly.’
The Travel Time API uses something called isochrones, with which Google Maps determines the area that falls within a given travel time from a specified starting point. The integration of the Travel Time API is not only beneficial to search sites but can also help solve various mobility questions, such as How accessible is a new office building? or How long will it take an employee to reach a customer and which route is best? Another interesting application is for delivery services. For example, using the Travel Time API they can use the travel time rather than the number of kilometres for free delivery within a certain radius.
 An isochrone is defined as ‘a line drawn on a map that connects points at which something occurs or arrives at the same time’. Isochrone maps (isochrone plan, isochrone diagram) are often used to depict areas of equal travel time for transport planning.
Mediahuis is one of the leading media groups in Belgium and the Netherlands. More than 3,200 employees generate an annual turnover of 800 million euros. With news brands such as De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg, Mediahuis is responsible for the daily sales of approximately 516,000 newspapers in Belgium. In the Netherlands the group is active with the news brands De Limburger, NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next, De Telegraaf and Noordhollands Dagblad, with total daily sales of 1,215,000 newspapers. Mediahuis also operates a number of important classified ad platforms in Belgium and the Netherlands, such as Jobat, Jellow, Hebbes, Zimmo, Vroom, Gaspedaal and Groupdeal. As a publisher, Mediahuis is an unconditional supporter of independent journalism and strong, relevant media that make a positive contribution to people and society. Based on this vision the company continuously invests in its strong news brands, both in print and online.
Technology company Localyse, located in Edegem and Utrecht, is a Google Cloud Premier Partner for the Benelux and is specialized in Google Maps. The company develops its own Google Maps-based products and also supports companies in the development of their own applications. Travel Time API and ODIQ, Localyse’s most recent developments, unifies all current online traffic data based on Google Maps’ extensive traffic data and provides it to third parties.