projects of interest? - mebot

Tim Newsom cephdon at
Wed Jul 18 22:38:31 CEST 2007

On Wed, 18 Jul 2007 12:51, Brad Pitcher wrote:
>> Actually, I was thinking of offloading that work to a mashup like
>> interface.. Say google maps or what not and just displaying the result.
> But google maps doesn't reorder destinations to create the optimal path 
> does it?

No idea.  That's why I said "or what not" /grin.
I know you can build maplets.. But I have never done it and I don't know 
what possible there. I am going to assume that you have the ability to 
enter a starting point... (Maybe where you are right now).
Then if the mapplets are just plotting functions the best you can do is 
find a route.  However, there are functions to find the shortest 
distance, shortest time etc.. A test would need to be provided to see if 
you could enter a set of gps coords as "waypoints" or whatever you call 
them and then say map by shortest distance.  Maybe it only works in the 
order you provide the points.
In that case, (I think mapplets are only Javascript but I don't know) 
assuming there is a programming interface you could upload to the 
mapplet a set of points and the starting point... Then it could iterate 
through the remaining possibilities till it finds the route...

I.e. What the distance from start to each point...
Find the shortest and then find the distance from that one to the ones 
remaining.. Continue until completed. That gives you the order for the 
Really, you could guess the order based on distance between gps coords, 
but that won't take into consideration road length... I.e. From the top 
of a mountain to the bottom might be 3 miles based on gps coords, but 
due to the winding roads its more like 10 or 15... Kinda big error 

Anyway, if you include an external server and sufficient software the 
rendering could be pretty quick. And I am guessing most people won't 
have more than 20 or 30 places to go in a day... But even at 100, the 
sorting time could be pretty small.

I grant you, its not the most efficient algorithm.. But it should do the 

You could add additional features such as end where you started... So it 
could balance the travel with the last few stops closest to where you 
began, etc. Many ways to do that.

Or another variation on this theme, assuming you have access to a 
directory listing, traffic and weather data and you know the category of 
some tasks (groceries, gas, books) or maybe the category of locations 
(grocery store, gas station, book store) or how about a specific one in 
case you have a preference (76, chevron, barns and noble, safeway or 
albertsons) - btw, I am in the USA so exchange with names in your 
country -

Then once the tasks in your lists are categorized have the mapped route 
take you to the closest places based on those and sort in the shortest 
time or distance and take into account traffic and weather conditions.

Anyway, its just an idea built upon an idea.


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