Route Optimisation in MapPoint RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a list of calls which I need to make in the most efficient manner, lets say shortest route.

    I import a list of Postcodes from Excel (say 20 or so), I then make the push pins into Stops.  Next I optimise the Route then draw a rectangle around them and Export back to Excel.

    Why doesn't the MapPoint Route actually make a shortest route calculation?

    Why doesn't the Excel list match the sequence of the MapPoint route?

    Am I using the product right? Or should that be "Am I using the right product?"

    Saturday, October 5, 2013 8:36 AM

All replies

  • Route optimization: To do this properly (ie. to find the true shortest route) would take an extremely long time. There are 20! combinations, let's say 0.1 sec per route (to be optimistic) and you come to about 7.8 billion years! So ALL route optimization systems use various heuristics and approximations. These work pretty well and work in seconds/minutes rather than billions of years. The downside is that they cannot guarantee that they find the best route - just a pretty good one.

    re. the output order: This is due to the way MapPoint views the route vs. how us humans view it. Okay you created waypoints from the pushpins. MapPoint does not keep track of that - to it, the pushpin set is just a group of pushpins - it does not know that some of the pushpins have waypoints on top of them, and that the waypoint order is important.

    This is a common problem - so common that I wrote an add-in to solve it, called MPRouteWriter.  MPRouteWriter includes a free 14 day trial and licenses cost US$75. More information can be found on the official website at http://www.routewriter.com

    MPRouteWriter can do other things, including writing all the pushpin information, the waypoint distance, travel time, etc.

    MPRouteWriter also includes "MPRouteReader" which does the opposite - create a route from a pushpin set, sorting the pushpins in a pre-defined order (defined in a pushpin data field). The MPRouteReader has a couple of bug fixes which will be released later this month.

    Richard Marsden
    MapPoint Add-ins at Mapping-Tools.com

    Monday, October 7, 2013 1:20 PM
  • Richard
    Thank you for your most patient reply to my frustrated question.
    I understand the magnitude of the bruteforce problem to finding the shortest route to a number of waypoints, but in reality the vast majority of the premutations can be dis-reagarded by the most basic algorithm.  I'm not a programmer, so I'll leave the details to you, but MapPoint appears to offer the capability to "Optimise" the route.  That being the case, it seems perculiar in the extreme not to facilitate the exploitation (read exportation) of that effort !!!!
    That would indeed be fact, or you wouldn't have invested time and expertise in a product to do just that.

    I've got a brilliant idea that's guaranteed to make pots of money . . .  it just needs fini

    • Edited by NigelH1 Monday, October 7, 2013 3:17 PM
    Monday, October 7, 2013 3:12 PM