About Flowmap

A sofware package dedicated to display and analysis of human spatial interaction.

Why use Flowmap

Most general purpose GIS packages are primarily designed for the management and display of spatially referenced data. In other words, data relating to one or more objects in space, where the object takes the shape of a point, a line, a polygon or a raster-cell. Typical analytical capabilities are polygon overlay, buffer analysis, nearest object identification or raster-based map-algebra functions.

However, they do not carry specific tools for the management or analysis of data that relates to pairs of locations. Data that entails spatial relations in terms of origin location, destination location, distance and volume. Volume in his context is also addressed as flow, flow-size or spatial interaction. This data is most often of human or animal origin (for instance commuter trips, bird migration, flows of goods and telephone calls) and does not fully follow the laws of physics but usually involves an element of choice or instinct.

FortunatelyFlowmap fills this gap since 1988 and has just been upgraded to the new 2023 version. In Flowmap was specifically designed to handle:

  • Storage, display and analysis of spatial flow patterns.
  • Computing distances, travel times, or transport costs using a transportation network map.
  • Prediction of spatial flows using Gravity or Lowry models
  • Modeling the market areas of existing or planned facilities.

Flowmap facts

  • Classic Flowmap 7.4.2 runs on Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/VISTA/7 platforms
  • New Flowmap 10.1 runs on Windows 10, 11 platforms
  • Importing MapInfo/MIF and Shape files is easy
  • Flowmap 10.1 can also import CSV, GPX and GeoJSON formatted data
  • Flowmap 7.4.2 stores attribute data in dBASE III format
  • Flowmap 10.1 stores attribute data in dBASE IV format for more capacity
  • Flowmap 10.1 is upwards compatible earlier Flowmap versions
  • Geometric results are easily exported as MapInfo/MIF files
  • Flowmap attribute tables can be directly opened and joined in mainstream GIS packages
  • Result maps can be saved in BMP, GIF or JPEG format
  • Logfiles can be used to track progress, but can also be edited and/or rerun
  •  is compatible with mainstream GIS packages



Flowmap Main Analytical Functionality

Spatial aggregation
–          Based on geometric properties (shortest joint perimeter etc.)
–          Based on attributes values
–          Based on spatial relations (Functional distance)

Trip end ranking
–          Add distance and rank to spatial interaction
–          Add distance to closest alternative facility to spatial interaction
–          Detour analysis

Transport Network Analysis
–          Check network connectivity
–          Determine distance network segments to nearest origin or destination
–          Identify network segments on shortest path to nearest origin or destination

Interaction (Flow) assignment to transport network (Traffic Load)
–          Add non directional interaction to network segments on shortest path
–          Add non interaction by geometric direction to network segments on shortest path

Catchment Area Analysis
–          Regular: Identify nearest destination for all origins based on shortest path distance
–          With linear optimization: minimize overall travel distance (Hitchcock)
–          Alternate: Identify destination with lowest ‘Mean’ or ‘Worst Case’ travel distance
–          Second Best: Identify first and second best destinations for all origins

Accessibility Analysis
–          Regular proximity count; sum origin attribute within user defined distance
–          Threshold distance; distance needed to reach user defined capacity
–          Proximity coefficient; combination of the above

–          Potential scores; like regular proximity count but divided by function of distance
–          In Competition: all of the above but counts only if closer than existing facilities

Gravity modelling
–          Usual four models
–          Integrated Garin-Lowry model
–          Range exploration; identify strongest possible distance decay parameter

Service Location modelling
–          Set Coverage; identify minimum number of facilities needed to cover a whole area
–          Expansion; identify additional facility sites one by one given optimization criteria
–          Relocation; relocate facility given optimization criteria
–          Combination: Relocation after each Expansion step with same optimization criteria
–          Reduction; remove facility sites one by one given optimization criteria

Support Functionality: Although not considered main functionality Flowmap does offer several options for geometric manipulations

  • Generalization of lines and polygon boundaries
  • Removal of pseudo nodes from lines
  • Creation of regular tessellations like squares and hexagons
  • Creation of Thiessen (Voronoi) polygons
  • Creation of a Delauney network (TIN)
  • Adding feed-links to a transport network
  • Creation of public transport network with generalized waiting/interchange times
  • Creation of air-line or transport network based distance tables
  • Creation of a minimum spanning tree between origin or destination locations
  • Creation of spatial footprints like hulls and minimum bounding rectangles or circles
  • Identification of largest inscribed circles
  • Calculation of weighed gravity points

Please noteFlowmap is not a general purpose GIS. The focus lies on the above mentioned spatial analysis tools, its general map editing and visualization functionalities are rather basic.

Flowmap 10 Regular or Commercial

Unlike earlier versions the new Flowmap 10 comes in single flavor:

The Regular edition (see Downloads page) is free of cost and contains full functionality.

However, the Regular version is menu driven only (GUI).

As an alternative the Commercial version can be purchased, that facilitates the running of Flowmap driven by scripts (TUI), which allows Flowmap to be run in foreground or background of any user application.

The Commercial Version can be customized to the user demand and may include (online) training and support. For more information, use the e-mail address on the contact page.




This is the Flowmap homepage that shows news and updates.


This page contains the downloads of Flowmap. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions by our Flowmap users.