Visualising urban, regional and through traffic in Aimsun using the Select Link Analysis Tool and View Modes

Technical Note #16

July 2016
By Martijn Breen

In transportation planning, traffic on the road is commonly divided into:


  1. Urban (internal-internal)
  2. Regional (internal-external, external-internal)
  3. Through (external-external)

Note that here ‘internal’ refers to zones inside the study area, whereas external refers to zones outside the study area.


These three types of traffic can be easily calculated and visualized in Aimsun using the Select Link Analysis Tool and View Modes.


First you have to define the internal and external areas.


Generate a new grouping category by right clicking group categories and choosing “List of objects of type:” and select “Centroid”. Change the name and check “Exclusive Objects” so zones are exclusively for one group.



Aimsun Select Link Analysis Tool and View Modes: define the internal and external areas

Click to enlarge: Defining the internal and external areas


Now draw a polygon around the area that you consider the external area (green) and the study area (red). Create two groupings by right-clicking on the Grouping Category that you have created in the previous step and name them “External Area” and “Internal Area”. Add the zones to each grouping by selecting the objects inside the polygon and adding them to the appropriate grouping.


You can now analyse the traffic with the Select Link Analysis Tool, located in the “Path Assignment” tab of any retrieved Path Assignment object.



Analyse the traffic with the Select Link Analysis Tool

Click to enlarge: Analyse the traffic with the Select Link Analysis Tool



Create a view mode that divides the External-External traffic by the total traffic

Click to enlarge: Creating a view mode that divides the External-External traffic by the total traffic


This figure shows that in some parts of the study area 30-40% of the traffic consists of through traffic. The same can be done for external-interval and internal-internal traffic. You can show the traffic proportions in a pie-chart for each section.



In some parts of the study area 30-40% of the traffic consists of through traffic

Click to enlarge: This figure shows that in some parts of the study area 30-40% of the traffic consists of through traffic

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Aimsun Next 23

Aimsun (2023). Aimsun Next 23 Manual del usuario, Aimsun Next Versión 23.0.0, Barcelona, España. Acceso: 19, 2023. [Online].
Disponible en: https://docs.aimsun.com/next/23.0.0/


Aimsun Next 20.0.5

Aimsun (2021). Aimsun Next 20.0.5 Manual del usuario, Aimsun Next Versión 20.0.3, Barcelona, España. Acceso: May. 1, 2021. [En software].
Disponible: qthelp://aimsun.com.aimsun.20.0/doc/UsersManual/Intro.html

Aimsun Next 23

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domicilio = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Barcelona, Spain}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
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Aimsun Next 20.0.5

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Aimsun Next 23

TY – COMP
T1 – Manual del usuario de Aimsun Next 23
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ET – Aimsun Next Version 23.0.0
Y1 – 2023
Y2 – Acceso: Mes, Día, Año
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PB – Aimsun
UR – [En software]. Disponible en: https://docs.aimsun.com/next/23.0.0/


Aimsun Next 20.0.5

TY – COMP
T1 – Manual del usuario de Aimsun Next 20.0.5
A1 – Aimsun
ET – Aimsun Next Version 20.0.5
Y1 – 2021
Y2 – Acceso: Mes, Día, Año
CY – Barcelona, España
PB – Aimsun
UR – [In software]. Available: qthelp://aimsun.com.aimsun.20.0/doc/UsersManual/Intro.html