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Google Maps With Multiple Destinations  (View post)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
8 years ago7,255 views

A couple of previous discussions:
blogoscoped.com/forum/79590.ht ...
blogoscoped.com/forum/79629.ht ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Thanks. Still catching up with all emails and forum posts.

Wouter Schut [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

I want Google Maps to be integrated into Google Calendar. So that travel time is automatically calculated between appointments.


test.seweso.com/calendar-maps. ...



And it should (of course) link to:
maps.google.com/maps?f=d&h ...

Andy [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

It's also extremely handy when Google Maps insists on routing through roads that don't exist (or are otherwise impassible).

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

It would be nice if they could also have a button that is something like "Optimize trip" and that will put the destinations in the most efficient drive time order.

But ending with the starting point is really handy as well for round trips :)

Travis Harris [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

One other thing that is bothering me, is that I can not search without loosing my planned trip.
What would be nice is to have a "Find businesses near my route" option.

So, I could get a list of all Denny's that I could stop at and eat while I am traveling.

Gary Price [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Just a quick post to point out that Ask Maps (maps.ask.com) has offered both multiple locations (up to 10) along with walking directions (driving directions to) not only for the U.S. but for many parts of eastern Europe since the service first launched about 10 months ago.

Examples:
1) A quick walk or drive around London U.K.
maps.ask.com/maps?l=lt%3D51.50 ...

2) A visit drive/walk around Berlin, Germany
maps.ask.com/maps?l=lt%3D52.54 ...

3) A walk or drive around Innsbruck, Austria
maps.ask.com/maps?l=lt%3D47.25 ...

Also, to change locations, simply drag a pin to a new location on the map. The new location will be dynamically calculated and routing recalculated. Additionally, you can add new locations by simply right-clicking and selecting add location. Within a couple of seconds the new location will be marked on the map.

Raj Patel [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Didn't Ask.Com have this eons ago? Congrats Google actually does something that is not 80% experimental and is 100% useful. I know Google copied that Yahoo page, but now Ask.Com?!!!

paul [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

I love the drag and drop reordering. Its so intuitive

Gary Price [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Ask.com first began offering these types of maps with walking and driving directions (the type I use as examples) and allowing multiple locations on February 27, 2006 on the Ask.com site.

All of the features are mentioned in this news release from February 27th:
irconnect.com/ask/pages/news_r ...

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

My favorite is the drag and drop reordering. You can enter multiple destinations and then drag/drop the destinations to see what routes will be the most efficient.

So you can play Traveling Salesman very easily. :)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Cool. I didn't even realize they were draggable. I wonder if there's an interface element that would explain "draggable!" without a nasty help text. Maybe something like subtle diagonal "grip lines" somewhere at the top of the left-side gray stuff. If that doesn't suffice, a very low-contrast "(drag me)" perhaps, though then we're back to help text. Of course, maybe usability testing resulted in a high-enough understanding of "draggable" already :)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

<< I wonder if there's an interface element that would explain "draggable!" without a nasty help text. >>

Hmmm. Without hovering over it? Tricky. The "hand tool" icon Google uses on the map says "draggable" to me, but you'd need to hover over your mouse over it to see that.

BTW, the destinations are currently using the usual link hand/cursor icon instead which then changes to the "hand tool" icon when you start dragging them – or, at least it does in IE – so this isn't really intuitive anyway, although I guess that's because you can also just click them to be taken to the destination on the map... argh, too many features!!!

Jianing Hu [PersonRank 0]

8 years ago #

So that's one less thing that Yahoo Maps does better than gmap.
I actually still prefer Yahoo Maps for its features, but I use gmap mostly because lassozoomer doesn't work with Yahoo Maps.

cs19 [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Is there anything out there that lets your put in several addresses (say, 10, for example), and then you click a button and it calculates the fastest way to drive to all 10 – regardless of the order – and gives you the results in a typical driving-directions fashion with maps as well? It seems like Google is halfway there with their drag and drop feature... it's very time consuming to drag and drop on your own through every possible combination of 10 locations. Shouldn't someone at Google be able to automate the drag and drop to consider every possible combination and then kick back the quickest? There's a feature I would love to see.

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

cs19: What you're describing is a variation on 'The Travelling Salesman Problem'. It's a classic computer science example of what is though to be an intractable problem (Ie. There is no known 'correct' solution apart from trying the different variations).

Every possible combination of 10 destinations is going to be something like 10^10 different routes, which at 10 billion isn't so bad, but it really doesn't scale well, expand that to 50 locations and things get pretty ugly (what's 9 with 84 zeroes called??) – and it gets more complicated if you're not supposed to backtrack etc.

Still, maybe if they limited the number of stops...

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

8 years ago #

Reto, actually, according to WP:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelin ...

It can be solved in O(2^n) time (using dynamic programming), so Google would only need to check 1024 possibilities.

cs19 [PersonRank 1]

8 years ago #

Hey, they are called Google, as in googol... so I figured 9 with 84 zeros is still within their range, right? But seriously, I would think Google could try it out in a "beta" with something like a 10 location max. If you put in several locations, then drag and drop, Google is recalculating the route and time in a fraction of a second. Couldn't that process be automated? I realize that 10 billion combinations might take long – but remove the graphical rendering of each route, simply calculate the time alone, then find that quickest time (or perhaps the 5 quickest to give the user some choices) and only render that one (or 5) onto a map.

Either way... isn't an old classic problem that is notoriously problematic the exact kind of thing you would expect Google engineers to want to tackle and find a way to make the information available quickly and easily? Maybe someone needs a "20% time" project idea... if they're even still doing that over at Google.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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