View Full Version : Seeking help with mapping home addresses


anonymouslyadd
01-10-16, 02:20 PM
With my job, I go door to door but not every door in the neighborhood. The doors are targeted. With the volume of doors to knock on, it's important to have a way to map the list of doors within a neighborhood. I have software that does that, but it doesn't do a good job routing the list. It will have you knock on a door on one street, skip over the next door neighbors house to go to another door on the list on the adjacent street and then, come back to the other door.:scratch:

I need a better way to route the lists to save my sanity. I currently have to manually move addresses around to put them in the right order. I'm tired of this. It takes me too long to do it and when you knock on about 100 doors a day, it's exhausting.

Does anyone know of a way to better route addresses using an internet program or software?

DJ Bill
01-10-16, 02:42 PM
How about mapping just one house on each street? You know you have to go to them all, anyway.. (I think that's what you are doing)
Edit: I just saw you said not every door... SO just map the lowest numbered one or the highest numbered one.....
Then just go by your list of numbers for that street when you get there...?

anonymouslyadd
01-10-16, 02:46 PM
How about mapping just one house on each street? You know you have to go to them all, anyway.. (I think that's what you are doing)
Edit: I just saw you said not every door... SO just map the lowest numbered one or the highest numbered one.....
Then just go by your list of numbers for that street when you get there...?
But there are multiple houses on each street. I'm not sure that I understand you.:scratch:

namazu
01-10-16, 02:53 PM
Does your current mapping software allow you to view/print a map that has the locations marked?

Maybe you could navigate using the marked map (i.e., "OK, I'm going to hit all the houses I need to hit on Main Street, in order.") rather than going down the jumbled list it currently gives you.

dvdnvwls
01-10-16, 02:55 PM
Mapping the house two doors (or even 20 doors) away from the one you've already mapped, on the same street, is a waste of effort. Once you're on the correct street and have found one of the addresses, you don't need a map for the rest of them. (Watch out, though, for different sections of road with the same name that may be mutually inaccessible because of some feature of the land or of the engineers' plans. You know, for example, if West 1st St and East 1st St are separated by a park, that type of thing.)

anonymouslyadd
01-10-16, 02:57 PM
Does your current mapping software allow you to view/print a map that has the locations marked?

Maybe you could navigate using the marked map (i.e., "OK, I'm going to hit all the houses I need to hit on Main Street, in order.") rather than going down the jumbled list it currently gives you.
Yes, I can do that. The list isn't that jumbled but messed up enough to bother my OCD.:o

I have an idea...

Fuzzy12
01-10-16, 02:59 PM
Are you looking for an optimised route, ie the shortest/quickest route to cover all addresses?

anonymouslyadd
01-10-16, 03:27 PM
Are you looking for an optimised route, ie the shortest/quickest route to cover all addresses?
Yes, yes, yes!:goodpost:

dvdnvwls
01-10-16, 04:48 PM
Depending on number of places to cover, you could go to Google maps, hit the "directions" button, and type each of the addresses one by one into a slot. That would give you a potentially messed-up route, but you then have a pretty clear visual layout to conduct a "sanity check" on. There are arrow buttons beside the list to shift each destination earlier or later in the trip, thus modifying the route.

If you had a very large number of places to go, that would get very cumbersome.

Fuzzy12
01-10-16, 05:39 PM
Yes, yes, yes!:goodpost:

Hm...there's a lot of research being done on this but unfortunately i don kknow myself of any softare that might help you. . There might be some commercial software packages available. I'll see if I can find out. What's the name of the software you are using currently so I know what you are looking for?

L

Socaljaxs
01-10-16, 05:42 PM
I'm not sure where you live, or how the system of the streets are( I.e grid maps or hills ect) or what kind of industry you work in, or what you do with each door knock if you have soliciting restrictions or not)... But, when I was in a previous beverage sales job, where I was assigned a few territories and each day would have to stop at certain number of set stores along with prospecting new stores.. I had to hit 15 set stores each day give or take.

My company used Randal McNally maps to organize our routes.. That was set up as half onions.. Start from home then next stop close to home and move on till farthest point and turn around and hit stores on way back..

But Randal McNally was great to organize our routes to be most productive and least amount of travel time verses actual in store time.

google map makers/street finder products since for its costly and I'm sure cheaper software exist here is Wikipedia list of similar programs http://https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_McNally#Street_guide.2FStreetfinder_products

dvdnvwls
01-10-16, 06:20 PM
Socaljaxs: your link accidentally contains an extra "http://" at the beginning.

anonymouslyadd
01-10-16, 08:13 PM
Depending on number of places to cover, you could go to Google maps, hit the "directions" button, and type each of the addresses one by one into a slot. That would give you a potentially messed-up route, but you then have a pretty clear visual layout to conduct a "sanity check" on. There are arrow buttons beside the list to shift each destination earlier or later in the trip, thus modifying the route.

If you had a very large number of places to go, that would get very cumbersome.
There are many avenues that would allow me to add one address at a time. That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.:(

TygerSan
01-10-16, 10:16 PM
Google maps will allow you to put pins and way points onto a map (might help if you have latitude and longitude as opposed to street; not sure). There may be a limitation on how many points you can import at once, and I'm not 100% sure about navigation, but it's definitely a tool to check out.

dvdnvwls
01-10-16, 10:29 PM
There is a part of Google Maps called "My Maps" that has more features. I don't know how to use it but I do know that it allows address import in some form or another. Regular Google Maps does not allow address imports at all, though it seems that it did in the past.

Socaljaxs
01-10-16, 11:44 PM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_McNally

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_McNally#Street_guide.2FStreetfinder_products

Here's a competitor of them link as well. But the routing program/software is what your looking for maybe one of then will help

https://www.datafox.co/rand-mcnally

Trying this again.. This list is organized by U.S cities

KarmanMonkey
01-20-16, 12:14 PM
Unfortunately computers still aren't very good at the "travelling salesman problem".

The easiest way is still to sit down with a paper map, mark all of the addresses, then plot the course that looks the most efficient to you.

Another thing I'd suggest is to talk to your boss, or colleagues, and make sure there isn't a setting or an optimization step you're missing with the software provided. Your colleagues may know of options you hadn't considered, too.

Good luck!

aeon
01-21-16, 12:06 AM
Unfortunately computers still aren't very good at the "travelling salesman problem".

The easiest way is still to sit down with a paper map, mark all of the addresses, then plot the course that looks the most efficient to you.

This is absolutely not true.

If you have a list of addresses, there are many online services and/or software applications that will sort those addresses into ZIP+4 with USPS Carrier Route info so as to qualify for lower postage rates.

It also means the addresses are sorted into the shortest, most efficient, one-direction, no backtracking, walking routes.

Computers are peerless when it comes to the ďtraveling salesman problem.Ē

Got 10 addresses? No problem.
Got 100 addresses? No problem.
Got 500,000 addresses across 7 states? No problem.

Itís all done in seconds.

Plus, the Carrier Route data will tell you how many houses, apartments, businesses, and/or PO boxes are on a given route.

The sorting service/app can clean your database and verify all addresses as valid and physically accessible, if needed.

Paper maps are good for when the grid fails. Until then, ZIP+4 with USPS Carrier Route is the... Way. Itís. Done.

Address sorting by sequence of physical location when walking is a perfect example of something a computer is absolutely suited for...bar none, the best tool for the job. Compared to the tedium of doing it by hand, itís nearly effortless.

Lower postage rate qualification is essential if you are sending out, for example, 30 million First Class envelopes. Voila!, you just saved $2.1 million USD.

It is for that reason that sorting by ZIP+4 with USPS Carrier Route works, and works well. Thereís a significant incentive to for it to be good, very good indeed.

Donít ask why I know about this. :p


Cheers,
Ian

KarmanMonkey
01-21-16, 10:17 AM
I guess things have advanced quite substantially since I was in university then... Back in '98 the best computer algorithms could only get within a certain percentage of the ideal solution, and that gap widened with each point added to the network. The best results were also heavy computationally.

ANYWAY, I'm glad things have advanced since then. Perhaps that's partly because of the vast increase in storage and computational capabilities. Theoretically one could have a database of routes and sub-routes, and even have a "brute force" computational method that reaches the ideal solution.

More reading on the subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_salesman_problem

dvdnvwls
01-21-16, 04:59 PM
... USPS Carrier Route ...

Donít ask why I know about this. :p
I won't ask that... but I will ask, how does one access this information? Since from the way you've described it, it seems clear that you know how to get this service, but you haven't said.

aeon
01-21-16, 08:26 PM
I won't ask that... but I will ask, how does one access this information? Since from the way you've described it, it seems clear that you know how to get this service, but you haven't said.

Goggle the key phrase to get many results.

I have used Lorton Data many times in the past.


Cheers,
Ian

roflwaffle
01-29-16, 10:05 PM
Hm...there's a lot of research being done on this but unfortunately i don kknow myself of any softare that might help you. . There might be some commercial software packages available. I'll see if I can find out. What's the name of the software you are using currently so I know what you are looking for?

L
You can try the google maps api with an API key.

https://developers.google.com/optimization/routing/tsp?hl=en

I'm not sure how many locations you can use, but the request html seems pretty simple, and it gives you a link to directions in the JSON response.

http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/directions/json?origin=Adelaide,SA&destination=Adelaide,SA&waypoints=optimize:true|Barossa+Valley,SA|Clare,SA |Connawarra,SA|McLaren+Vale,SA&key=API_KEY

As long as you can copy the list of addresses from the software you already have, it should be fairly straightforward to parse that list, create and send the request, and load up the directions using a command, scripting, or dynamic high-level programming language.

InvitroCanibal
01-31-16, 03:20 AM
With my job, I go door to door but not every door in the neighborhood. The doors are targeted. With the volume of doors to knock on, it's important to have a way to map the list of doors within a neighborhood. I have software that does that, but it doesn't do a good job routing the list. It will have you knock on a door on one street, skip over the next door neighbors house to go to another door on the list on the adjacent street and then, come back to the other door.:scratch:

I need a better way to route the lists to save my sanity. I currently have to manually move addresses around to put them in the right order. I'm tired of this. It takes me too long to do it and when you knock on about 100 doors a day, it's exhausting.

Does anyone know of a way to better route addresses using an internet program or software?

A standard gps Ap will track where you are and where you've been trail wise. You can stop at any point and select save location and mark it along the tracks. This will tell you the ground you've covered as you've covered them.

As long as you are not zigzagging down the streets and you save each location, it will naturally show up in the order when you go to retrieve your locations on your map.

By the way, don't knock on my door...I hate rearming the traps

Fuzzy12
01-31-16, 05:00 AM
I'm so sorry anon. I never did actually find out anything. :(

Aeon of course is right. There is no way that a human can out perform a computer at the travelling salesman problem. Humans just need to write the algorithm and then let a computer do the number crunching. Yes, there are still limits to how many points in a travelling salesman problem a comp can realistically deal with but that number us still vastly more than a human could compute.

aeon
01-31-16, 12:40 PM
By the way, don't knock on my door...I hate rearming the traps

:D lulz