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Road Distance Calculations

This is a discussion on Road Distance Calculations within the Development forums, part of the MapPoint Desktop Discussion category; I am new to Mapppoint. Can the software compute the road distance between two British PostCodes? I understand that finding ...

  1. #1
    Merrows is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Road Distance Calculations

    I am new to Mapppoint.

    Can the software compute the road distance between two British PostCodes?

    I understand that finding the distance as the crow flies is available in several programming applications. But the road distance is rare.

    I tried already Google APIs and failed and then my approaches to Royal Mail and the Ordance Survey organisations met with demands for huge copyright fees.

    My actual application is finding the nearest store to someone's home. Clearly as the crow flies is useless as there could be a mountain, or a river, in between someone's home and the store.

    I can code in .NET so any .NET interfaces would be useful. Also are there any special license requirements when this is run as a Web Service?

    I am happy to use any links if anyone has done a tutorial on Mapppoint.

  2. #2
    John.Sewell is offline Member Yellow Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Yes, there are a number of off-the-shelf applications to create real road distance matricies (of distance & drive time). Routene, which is an Excel add-in, is one; a link can be found somewhere on this site.

  3. #3
    app_2_win is offline Member Yellow Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Since you know the store locations, why not make the customer's location the start point of a route, and compute "routes" looping through your stores as end points. Keep the distance and store info of each in an array and present the closest (or closest few) at the end.

    Larry

  4. #4
    merrows1 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Hello again,
    Since my posts here, I have got the MP software via the Bizspark program and also got a demo site working (called plzure.co.uk). I hired someone from rentacoder.com but the work did not get done.

    I am getting a little stuck. I have another guy working on ip2location.com so that the approximate location is determined of the visitor and then all the local shops could hopefully be determined as well.

    I would be grateful of any help in getting MP working.

    I am happy to hire coders via rentacoder.com or odesk.com. But they need some direction on how to do this work.

    I did get a quote for an off the shelf option but the guy wanted 10K a year. That is not viable for me.

    I do not fully understand the license requirements for Royal Ordance and Royal Mail. Does anyone have any details?

    I look forward to your replies.

    Trevor

  5. #5
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Yes data costs from the Ordnance Survey (not "Royal Ordnance", whose products tend to be explosive and I don't think exist any more! ) are expensive. The data is probably the best map data I've ever seen, though.

    You would also need to write your own routing application (non-trivial) to use the OS's Mastermap ITN data. The result could be very sophisticated and far better than MapPoint's routing, though! (to me $10,000 seems a bargain for this as custom work minus the data)

    The Royal Mail would give you "PAF" (postcode) data but not road data. This is also fairly pricey. Not sure exact prices but I think in the GBP500-1000 a year range? However as postcode data goes, it is the the best you can get. (the OS's version is simply a copy of the RM version minus a few offshore/special postcodes)

    So you are wanting to find the closest stores within a distance? You could use MapPoint, but it sounds like this is a web application? It is going to take a few seconds to do that (I'm assuming only a few are close by).
    Also I wouldn't trust Rentacoder for MapPoint work. It is too specialised/niche. You'll find much more experienced people here - including myself

    Other alternatives would include the MapPoint and Virtual Earth Web Services, but they have subscription fees in most commercial applications.


    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

  6. #6
    merrows1 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Hello
    Well I will consider hiring your services or someone else's.

    I will spec out what I need exactly.

    1. Customer enters postcode (call it PC1). Before that the approx area is derived from ip address using ip2location (I have someone working on that part).
    2. System then finds all shops providing service to that area. The shops will either list out postcodes they deliver to, or a generic area (eg Southampton), or to within a certain driving distance (eg within a 10 mile drive).
    3. Once shops are found system loads data into a dataset for further processing.

    So the issue is one of postcode, ip, and driving distance.

    I am developing a demo site called plzure.co.uk. Systems are all c#, .NET.

    Trevor

  7. #7
    Winwaed's Avatar
    Winwaed is offline Mapping-Tools.com Black Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    Have you checked that MapPoint's postcode database is sufficient for your needs? Eg. that it has enough full postcodes in its database? It might be worth trying the demo version that Microsoft have.

    (I hear MapPoint Europe 2009 is now on MSDN if you have a subscription)


    Richard
    Winwaed Software Technology LLC
    http://www.winwaed.com
    See http://www.mapping-tools.com for MapPoint Tools

  8. #8
    merrows1 is offline Junior Member White Belt
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    Re: Road Distance Calculations

    I have the full version. My project is registered under Bizspark.

    Actually I am more ideas now how the business side. I need someone to handle coding. Also I need someone to install it on a server.

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