Create an Origin-Destination Analysis


This guide will show you how to easily create a basic Origin-Destination (O-D) Analysis Project using StreetLight InSight. Our O-D Analysis is one of our most versatile Project Types because it allows you to understand trip volumes and flows between Origin and Destination Zones.
Note that this Project Type not only lets you analyze trips that start or stop in your Origin and Destination Zones, but also trips that pass through them. The ability to analyze trip flows, trip volumes -- whether trips are pass-through or not -- means that O-D analyses are useful assets when conducting weave analyses, internal-external studies, turning ratios, travel demand models, and more.

In this guide, we’re going to create an O-D Analysis for all the TAZs in Madison, WI. We want a traditional “full” matrix, where the Origin Zones are the same as the Destination Zones. This means that we’re looking at the true origin and destination of each trip - that is, where the trip actually starts and actually ends.

Keep in mind that while we’re walking through a specific example in Madison, you can use the flow described here to create O-D matrices where the Origin and Destination Zones are different from each other, and also where the Origin and Destination Zones are pass-through road segment Zones. 

Step 1: Ensure you have Zone Sets

1a. You will need to have Zone Sets for an Origin-Destination Analysis. Learn more about uploading or drawing Zones.

For an Origin-Destination Analysis, you will need at least one Zone Set:

  • Can be Pass-through or Non-Pass-through
  • Can be a Line Segment or Polygon Zone

Note: Zones that are Line Segments will be assessed at the Middle Gate.

In our example, we will only be using one zone set for our Origins and Destinations. You may also run an O-D Analysis with different Origin Zone Sets and Destination Zone Sets.

Note: Remember that once you use a Zone Set in a Project, it will no longer be available for editing. Before creating your Project you can edit the names, borders, direction, etc. of your Zone Sets. Learn more about editing a Zone Set.

Step 2: Set Up an Origin-Destination Analysis

2a. Go to the “Create Projects” tab under the “Manage Travel Projects” section.

2b. Give your Project a unique name. For this example, we will name our Project “Madison TAZ to TAZ O-D”

2c. Optional: You can type a description of the Project in the description box with any information you want to remember about the Project.


 2d. In the “Select a Project Type” drop-down menu, select O-D Analysis. This will automatically populate your Type of Travel, Mode of Travel, and Data Source Type, which you can change. For O-D Analysis you will have the following options. Learn more about these options. 

  • Type of Travel: Personal or Commercial
  • Mode of Travel: All Modes, Bicycles*, or Pedestrians* (more modes are coming)
  • Data Source Type: Location-Based Service with Pass-through or Navigation-GPS
  • Calibration Type: “None (StreetLight Index)”, “Single Factor with User-provided Counts”, or “Single Factor with StreetLight AADT”*

*available for certain subscription levels

Note: You can also choose Premium Attributes for O-D Analysis. Learn more about Premium Attributes.

For our example, we chose Personal for Type of Travel, All Modes for Mode of Travel, and Location-Based Service with Pass-through for our Data Source.

Step 3: Choose your Zone Sets

3a. Select your Zone Set in the “Available Zone Sets” Box.

Note: All Zone Sets that are available for use in your account will appear in the list in the “Available Zone Sets” box. Zones must be located within your designated subscription region to be used in a Project. Learn more about viewing your subscription region. 

3b. Use the arrow button next to the corresponding “Selected Origin Zone Set(s)” to move your selected Zone Set.

3c. Repeat for "Selected Destination Zone Set(s)"

For this example, we will select “Madison TAZs” as our Origin and Destination Zone Set.



Pro Tip: You can have multiple Zone Sets as an Origin/Destination in an O-D Analysis.

Step 4: Configure Project Options

4a. For any O-D Analysis, you can click “Edit” to change various Project options. You can change:

  • The Data Period
  • The Day Types
  • The Day Parts
  • Calibration Data Period (If Single Factor with StreetLight AADT is selected)
  • Specific Dates*
  • Weigh Class Segregation*
  • Premium Trip Bins*

*available for certain subscription levels


4b. When you click edit, a new window will pop-up. This window will allow you to edit and manipulate your Project options.

Step 5: Preview and Confirm your Project

5a. Make sure to Preview your Project before you confirm. 

This gives you a chance to double check that your Project is set up exactly the way you want it to be.

5b. Click “confirm” and your Project will begin running. Learn more about what happens to your Project after you click "Confirm," and what our system does to take your Project from running to "Available." 

Projects will take anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours to run, depending on their size and complexity. 

Note: A Project may go into Coverage Review if our system notices that a Zone has low trip counts. This could occur for various reasons:

  • Your area Zone is in a rural area or is very small
  • You used one or two months of data to run your Project
  • You indicated direction on a Zone that did not match up with normal traffic flow
  • Your pass-through Zone did not align with the OSM layer

Once the Project is Available, you can analyze the results via the Interactive Visualizations or by downloading the Metrics.

Interactive Visualizations

Step 1: Go to the “Interactive Visualizations” section

Step 2: Select your Project in the “Select a Project” box by clicking the title of your Project.

Within the Interactive Visualization tool, you can analyze results by type of day and time of day, by Origin Zone or Destination Zone you are visualizing, and more. Learn more about our Interactive Visualization tool. 

Our Example

In our example, we will look at the O-D matrix sheet in the Interactive Visualization. This is a sheet that is only available for the O-D Analysis Project Type. 

We are able to see from this visualization that the highest volume O-D pair, for the first five Origin zones, is from "Madison TAZs Zone 0001" to "Madison TAZs Zone 0008." 

When we look back at our Map, the black box is "Madison TAZs Zone 0001" and the red section represents "Madison TAZs Zone 0008." This O-D pair has the highest volume of trips, and the Zones happen to be very close together, which indicates that this could be a good location to try and convert short trips from vehicles to other modes. 

Downloaded Metrics

Step 1: Download your Project Metrics from StreetLight InSight.

Learn more on downloading Metrics. 

 Step 2: Analyze the Metrics.

For an O-D Analysis, we recommend starting with the Interactive Visualizations. Then, if you need a more granular look at the data, go to the .CSV files. If you would like to make an O-D matrix from your results, learn more on how to do so in excel. 

Note: Pass-through Zones in an O-D project where the Origin and Destination Zones are the same will typically have a larger volume of trips. Learn more. 

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