Friday, August 05, 2016

The Burrito Eater's Problem

On Monday Maps Mania featured Randy Olson's Optimal Road Trip of U.S. National Parks. Randy's map is an example of solving the Traveling Salesman Problem. This problem involves finding the most efficient route taking in a number of different waypoints. Randy's map shows the most efficient route for visiting all 47 national parks within the contiguous states of the USA.

If you want to create your own optimal route maps then you can use Mapzen's Optimized Route API. This service allows you to find the optimal route for a list of locations, using your first location in the list as the starting point and the last location as the ending point.

You can view the API in action on a new demo map which Mapzen published today on its blog. Optimizing Your Route explains how you can use the Optimized Route API. To illustrate the blog post Mapzen has created an optimal route of some of San Francisco's best burrito restaurants. If you move the markers on the map the route automatically updates to show the new optimal route taking in the new location.

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