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Route planning more than 100 addresses? Learn what our route planner is doing at this moment.

June 01, 2011     ShareThis

The process of optimizing multiple addresses (any size) has 3 steps:

The first step is Geo-coding

This is when we validate the address and get its location (x,y coordinates). You see it as your addresses turn into green / yellow / red. Once we validate an address we turn it to green (or yellow if it’s not detailed) and we display its location on the map. If we are not able to geo-code an address, we turn it to red and we ask you to further verify it by adding more details or select between several alternatives.
This step usually takes seconds, even for a list of 100 addresses or more.

Verifying the route maker multiple addresses optimization-Video

Verifying the route maker multiple addresses optimization-Video

The second step starts once you click Plan My Route

Here we examine all possible routing alternatives between every two addresses that were recognized. You can see this process progresses by watching the ruler. This is where the number of addresses comes into the picture, the larger the number of addresses is, the longer it takes to calculate the distances between them. If there are only 2 addresses then we have only 4 alternatives but if we have 5 addresses the number of alternatives increases exponentially, and for 100 addresses or more there are hundreds of thousands alternatives between them and all should be taken into account.
This step is the most time consuming and may take a few minutes depending on the number of addresses.

The third step is the optimization

This step starts automatically when the second step finishes. This is when the optimization algorithm selects the best alternative connecting any two points in the system based on the parameters you’ve set.
This process takes between 10 to 30 seconds even for a large number of addresses.

The average time for examining all possible routing alternatives:

10 addresses – 15 seconds.
50 addresses – 2 min.
100 addresses – 7 min.
150 addresses – 15 min.
200 addresses – 25 min.
250 addresses – 28 min.
Our current limit is 350 addresses in one single run because above 350 addresses, the calculation will take longer and longer and that can be quite frustrating for the web user.

As you can see, as the number of addresses increases, the longer it takes to calculate distances between all existing roads. The route optimization process as mentioned takes no more than a few moments but the entire 3 steps process takes time.

Automate Vs. manual route planning

The good thing is that the user gets an optimized route and although this can take time, it’s much quicker than the time it takes to manually optimize a route. And to be honest, it’s also a nicer result since all possible routes are calculated and examined while the human mind can’t really do that. Having the ability to use other features such as Service time, Max. route duration or Multiple routes is an added value that we are sure you’ll learn to appreciate.

One last thing – when you’re planning a large number of addresses, you’ll find our Territories feature most useful. Using territories to plan your route, whether these are known in advance or decided while viewing all stops on the map, will simplify your management of an area and the staff assigned to it. Defined territories can be your answer, discussed in our territory blog.