GeoSmart Weblog

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The Travelling Salesman Problem

GeoSmart now has a solution available for people wanting to know which order to visit their clients in, so that they can keep time and travel costs to a minimum. This is a form of Route Optimisation known as the Travelling Salesman Problem. GeoSmart also offers complex Route Optimisation under the banner of Route2GO, but that is another story.

With the price of petrol now permanently above NZ$2 a litre and time at a premium, this tool can easily assist people in making the most of their travel.  It could be a delivery truck working out the order of their deliveries and in reverse order how to load the truck. It could be a sales person working out the best way to make their sales calls.

In the illustration you can see that we set the first and last addresses as fixed. In other words we are defining where we start and finish for the day, they don’t have to be the same, the last one could be a motel yo are staying at for the night and the first one might be your home or office. You could just fix the start point and be flexible on the end point and then go to the AA Maps website to decide where to stay for the night and even make the booking before you leave.

In the illustration, the sales person guessed an order in which to do the calls, but the optimised route cut 34km from the route and at the (adjustable) per km rate resulted in savings of $10 on the trip.

This tool doesn’t just have to be used for a set of destinations. It could also be used as a trip/price calculator. For example one of our new clients is putting this tool (slightly modified so that you can’t edit the price per km which only he can do on his site) so that people can get their own quote on a delivery job without having to ring the company.

Many companies pay staff or contractors on the basis of an agreed distance, it could be for commuting, or for visiting clients, patients etc. This tool can calculate the ‘fastest’ route between clients and will deliver a consistent result that can reduce arguments and deliver an equitable result.

There are other standard features to this tool, for example click on any of the letters denoting locations and the map will instantly zoom to that location so you can see it better. The maps are dynamic and do of course have full pan and zoom functionality.

This optimisation is possible because GeoSmart has a full turn restriction database for New Zealand so when it calculates these directions it knows all about one-way streets, dual carriageways, no right turn, no left turn etc. This is in fact the same database used by te leading car navigation brands including TomTom, Navman, Siemens VDO, BMW, Ford, Honda,Horizon and Nav N Go.

If you have a route optimisation problem, please send us an email to info@geosmart .co.nz or follow the directions on our Contact Page.

June 16, 2008 Posted by | car navigation, cartography, Delivery, driving, Freight, gps, maps, new zealand, petrol, Sales | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital Maps of New Zealand

We don’t advertise very much and often people find us as a last resort when they want digital maps or printed maps for posters, books, advertisements and other tasks. There is a little information on our website about Digital Maps, but because we do lots of custom work, it’s not easy to describe products as such. If you want to print or display anything to do with New Zealand maps give us a call.

In additional to the more complex products we supply to companies such as Wises and the NZ Automobile Association to name the biggies, we do lots of work with digital and print maps.

Recent jobs have included maps for use on print advertisements, large PDF maps which will be used for a service company offering services to 2 major councils and printed maps to go on posters for a major trade show which will feature the outlets for the clients products, throughout New Zealand.

We have a client who produces maps for tourists with Japanese Kanji characters overlaid on the maps to help non English people find their way around tourist areas. We supplied the maps with street name labels, but all other labels were removed.

We are able to provide customised maps of all of New Zealand, down to specific localities and we can swtich on and off a wide range of features. You can even have purple parks and green water if it suits your purposes. We have our own plotters so can also print to demand.

We also do map books and travel atlas products for major brands in New Zealand and can produce custom books or products. So if you want a custom printed map to hang on your wall, a map book as a corporate gift, a digital map image in PDF, EPS, TIF, JPG or other format or any other form of cartography, give us a call or email info@geosmart.co.nz.

June 12, 2008 Posted by | cartography, maps, new zealand, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment