Time-Distance Matrix service API reference

The Time-Distance Matrix service provides a quick computation of time and distance between a set of locations and returns them to you in the resulting matrix table.

View an interactive demo

Matrix service actions

You can request the following actions from the Time-Distance Matrix service: /one_to_many?, /many_to_one?, /many_to_many? or /sources_to_targets?. These queries compute different types of matrices: a row matrix for a one_to_many, a column matrix for a many_to_one, a square matrix for a many_to_many or any of the three matrices using sources_to_targets.

The /sources_to_targets action takes a sources and targets parameter instead of the locations parameter. This allows you to set the origin locations separately from the destination locations. Because of this, the previously mentioned matrix types can be thought of as special cases of the /sources_to_targets request format. The difference here is that the set of origins may be disjoint (not overlapping) with the set of destinations. In other words, the target locations do not have to include any locations from source locations.

An action for /weight? is being considered for the future.

Matrix type Description
one_to_many Returns a row vector of computed time and distance from the first (origin) location to each additional location provided. The first element in the row vector computed time and distance is [0,0.00].
many_to_one Returns a column vector of computed time and distance from each location to the last (destination) location provided. The last element in the row vector computed time and distance is [0,0.00].
many_to_many Returns a square matrix of computed time and distance from each location to every other location. The main diagonal of the square matrix is [0,0.00] all the way through.
sources_to_targets Can return a row, column or square matrix of computed time and distance, depending on your input for the sources and targets parameters.

Inputs of the matrix service

An example request takes the form of matrix.mapzen.com/one_to_many?json={}&api_key=, where the one_to_many? represents the type of matrix and the JSON inputs inside the {} include an array of at least two locations and options for the route costing model.

For example, while at your office, you want to know the times and distances to walk to several restaurants where you could have dinner, as well as the times and distances from each restaurant to the train station for your commute home. This will help you determine where to eat. The API request for this uses many_to_many and pedestrian costing.

matrix.mapzen.com/many_to_many?json={"locations":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508},{"lat":40.739735,"lon":-73.979713},{"lat":40.752522,"lon":-73.985015},{"lat":40.750117,"lon":-73.983704},{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"costing":"pedestrian"}&id=ManyToMany_NYC_work_dinner&api_key=your-mapzen-api-key

These are similar examples as above, but using sources_to_targets.

one-to-many using /sources_to_targets?

matrix.mapzen.com/sources_to_targets?json={"sources":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508}],"targets":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508},{"lat":40.739735,"lon":-73.979713},{"lat":40.752522,"lon":-73.985015},{"lat":40.750117,"lon":-73.983704},{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"costing":"pedestrian"}&id=ManyToMany_NYC_work_dinner&api_key=your-mapzen-api-key

many-to-one using /sources_to_targets?

matrix.mapzen.com/sources_to_targets?json={"sources":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508},{"lat":40.739735,"lon":-73.979713},{"lat":40.752522,"lon":-73.985015},{"lat":40.750117,"lon":-73.983704},{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"targets":[{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"costing":"pedestrian"}&id=ManyToMany_NYC_work_dinner&api_key=your-mapzen-api-key

many-to-many using /sources_to_targets?

matrix.mapzen.com/sources_to_targets?json={"sources":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508},{"lat":40.739735,"lon":-73.979713},{"lat":40.752522,"lon":-73.985015},{"lat":40.750117,"lon":-73.983704},{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"targets":[{"lat":40.744014,"lon":-73.990508},{"lat":40.739735,"lon":-73.979713},{"lat":40.752522,"lon":-73.985015},{"lat":40.750117,"lon":-73.983704},{"lat":40.750552,"lon":-73.993519}],"costing":"pedestrian"}&id=ManyToMany_NYC_work_dinner&api_key=your-mapzen-api-key

There is an option to name your matrix request. You can do this by appending the following to your request &id=. The id is returned with the response so a user could match to the corresponding request.

The matrix service requires an API key. In a request, you must append your own API key to the URL, following api_key=. See the Mapzen developer overview for more on API keys and rate limits.

Location parameters

When using the one_to_many, many_to_one or many_to_many actions only, location must include a latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. The coordinates can come from many input sources, such as a GPS location, a point or a click on a map, a geocoding service, and so on. External search services, such as Mapzen Search can be used to find places and geocode addresses, whose coordinates can be used as input to the Time-Distance Matrix service.

Location parameters Description
lat Latitude of the location in degrees.
lon Longitude of the location in degrees.

You can refer to the Turn-by-Turn location documentation for more information on specifying locations. NOTE: Using type in addition to the lat and lon within the location parameter has no meaning for matrices.

Source and target parameters

When using the sources_to_targets action, you specify sources and targets as ordered lists of one or more locations within a JSON array, depending on the type of matrix result you are expecting.

A source and target must include a latitude and longitude in decimal degrees. The coordinates can come from many input sources, such as a GPS location, a point or a click on a map, a geocoding service, and so on.

Source and target parameters Description
lat Latitude of the source/target in degrees.
lon Longitude of the source/target in degrees.

Costing parameters

The Time-Distance Matrix service uses the auto, bicycle and pedestrian costing models available in the Mapzen Turn-by-Turn service. The multimodal costing is not supported for the Time-Distance Matrix service at this time. Refer to the Turn-by-Turn costing models and costing options documentation for more on how to specify this input.

Other request options

Options Description
id Name your matrix request. If id is specified, the naming will be sent thru to the response.

Outputs of the matrix service

If a matrix request has been named using the optional &id= input, then the name will be returned as a string id.

These are the results of a request to the Time-Distance Matrix service.

Item Description
one_to_many Returns a row vector (1 x n) of computed time and distance from the first (origin) location to each additional location.
many_to_one Returns a column vector (n X 1) of computed time and distance from each location provided to the last (destination) location.
many_to_many Returns a square matrix (n x n) of an array of computed time and distance from each location to every other location.
sources_to_targets Can return any of the 3 matrices of computed time and distance above, depending on your input for the sources and targets parameters.
distance The computed distance between each set of points. Distance will always be 0.00 for the first element of the time-distance array for one_to_many, the last element in a many_to_one, and the first and last elements of a many_to_many.
time The computed time between each set of points. Time will always be 0 for the first element of the time-distance array for one_to_many, the last element in a many_to_one, and the first and last elements of a many_to_many.
to_index The destination index into the locations array.
from_index The origin index into the locations array.
locations The specified array of lat/lngs from the input request.
units Distance units for output. Allowable unit types are mi (miles) and km (kilometers). If no unit type is specified, the units default to kilometers.

See the HTTP return codes for more on messages you might receive from the service.

Sample matrix demonstration

If you want to see the results of the Time-Distance Matrix service, try this interactive demo.

The code shows integration of the Time-Distance Matrix results into a map and a table. This demo does not use the sources_to_targets action call.