I'm working on my bachelor thesis right now and I want to find a catchment area for different bus stops. Is there a function in QGIS where I could use a point layer as input, use ways as distances and I want to determine the distance (so e.g. a busstop has a catchment area that contains 500m). I think in ArcGIS it should work with the Network Analyst Tool. I'm looking for a similar tool on QGIS.

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    – underdark
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


The easiest way (at least for me) was to use GRASS for this. In QGIS you load the road network and the points (bus stops). Open the tool box (Str+Alt+T) next and search for v.clean and v.net.iso. You need to clean the road network first with the v.clean. After that you can use the v.net.iso to calculate the catchment area on the basis of the road network. This does not create isochrones. I found the following tutorial very helpful for that: http://www.northrivergeographic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Generating-Drive-Times-in-QGIS-2.14-and-GRASS-7.0.4.pdf

Another approach would be to use the Osm route plugin. A short introduction can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMJVltELU4A. With this plugin you can get polygons however you need to do every calculation for every point manually (or write yourself a script).

  • Thanks for your answer! I've followed the instruction from the tutorial. But when I started to use GRASS, an error occur. I cannot open the plugin processing anymore. Did anyone have this problem as well? It says that there is an Python Error.
    – Julia
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 8:23
  • you should pay attention, that you DO NOT use special characters (like german Ö, Ä, Ü etc.) within the folder name of the folder that contains your data (shapefiles etc.)! That is often the cause of python errors.
    – Phil
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 9:11

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