Estimation of distance and travel time between selected communes in Poland in 2016

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The purpose of the study was to estimate the selected characteristics of spatial accessibility using resources of OpenStreetMap for 2016 and making them available in the form of an accessibility matrix to users interested in conducting advanced spatial analyses. 

The information included in the matrix fills the gap in official statistics in this area.  It also meets the needs of users interested in problems associated with work-related commuting. (e.g. distance and travel time), expressed, for example, during consultations concerning the subject-matter scope of surveys undertaken by official statistics in this area (cf.

The accessibility matrix contains orthodromic distances between centroids of communes, estimated road distances and travel times.  The last measure is given either in minutes and hundredths of a minute or in the format “minutes:seconds”. The matrix has been created at the Centre for Urban Statistics in the Statistical Office in Poznań and follows the format of the matrix of work-related commuting flows.  

Important facts about the matrix:

  • communes of employment and residence (with a distinction between the urban and rural part in the case of urban-rural communes) are represented by their centroids, i.e. geometric centres;
  • spatial and attribute data used to produce the matrix come from the National Register of Boundaries (PRG) for 2016 and the OpenStreetMap file as at the turn of 2016 and 2017, downloaded from the resources of;
  • the orthodromic distance (the shortest distance in km) between commune centroids was calculated using the distGeo() function from the geosphere package in R;
  • road distance (in km) and travel time (in mins) was estimated using the ors_matrix() function from the openrouteservice package.

We have also included PNG files with isochrones of accessibility for provincial capital cities, i.e. choropleth maps showing areas with the same travel time to provincial capital cities, at 15-minute intervals. The maximum travel time is 90 minutes.

The study, which has led to the creation of the accessibility matrix and choropleth presenting isochrones of accessibility, is an experimental work whose innovative character consists in:

  • the use of a new data source, in the form of OpenStreetMap resources. It is a crowd-source solution, based on the open data licence;
  • the use of open source software for data processing: the openrouteservice R package licensed under CC-BY 4.0 .

Questions concerning the matrix should be sent to Ms Anna Stępniak from the Centre for Urban Statistics in the Statistical Office in Poznań at , tel. 612798324.

Macierz dostępności zawiera informacje z bazy danych OpenStreetMap, na warunkach Open Database License (ODbL). Dane pobrano z zasobów i przetworzonych za pomocą pakietu R openrouteservice na warunkach licencji CC-BY 4.0.

The accessibility matrix contains information from OpenStreetMap database, which is made available here under the Open Database License (ODbL). Data were obtained  from the resources of and processed using the openrouteservice R package licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

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