More info coming soon…
OptiRoute is a mapping tool that attempts to calculate the optimal route (shortest path) to visit a set of locations that you provide.
Until I get around to writing a complete tutorial, here is what you need to know:
- It does not guarantee an optimal route (its an approximation – so it might not be the shortest path).
- It runs in O(n) and can handle unlimited number of points (at least theoretically) and shouldnt take ever to compute.
- The algorithm does not take into account one-ways, detours, etc. It uses straight line distances in determining the optimal route.
- The algorithm attempts to visit every point in a circle, visiting the closest points first.
- Once the optimal order of visitation is determined, you get the list of the points in the order to visit them on the left side of the map. On the right side you get links to Google Maps and Bing Maps, which will let you see the actual route that you would have to take to visit each location.
- Instead of making you insert points one by one (by address or latitude/longitude), it uses points that you might have already collected in popular online mapping tools like Google Maps and Bing Maps (Virtual Earth or Live Maps).
- OptiRoute uses points in a GeoRSS feeds as its source of points.
- Bing Maps allows you add points and store them as Collections. Collections can then be exported to a GeoRSS feed using the Actions menu.
- In Google Maps you need to create a new MyMap and then use the RSS feed icon.
- Copy the GeoRSS feed to your map containing the collection of points you wish to visit and paste it into the text box in OptiRoute and hit the load button.
- OptiRoute will fetch all the points and then route them and display the route on a map as well as in the table on the left side of the map.
Here are some examples for you to try:
Bing Maps examples (copy the URL and try them in OptiRoute):
Google Maps using My Maps:
1. What route would you take to visit all 82 recycling bin locations in and around Denver? Try the following GeoRSS url in OptiRoute:
2. Or what route would you take to visit all of the top restaurants in Denver (check out the MyMap first). Now try the following GeoRSS link in OptiRoute: http://www.google.com/maps/ms?vps=31&jsv=163d&ie=UTF8&msa=0&output=georss&msid=114327217251696325968.00045d80ce0bfc575da9e
Leave me comment if you try it and let me know what you think (especially if you come across a bug).