A while ago, I made OptiMap, a Google Maps mashup that will take a number of locations and give you the best way to visit all of them. By best, I mean fastest. Since then, I have been exposed to various ideas on applications for this tool. One is in the real-estate business, where prospective home buyers want to visit a number of houses for sale.
To make things easier for anyone interested in applying this tool, there is now a way for your website to make search requests automatically. This is done by sending a http GET request to http://gebweb.net/optimap/index.php?loc0=start&loc1=dest1&loc2=dest2. Here,
start should be replaced by the address or (latitude, longitude) pair where your trip starts and ends, and
dest2 each should be replaced by either an address or a (latitude, longitude) pair you want to visit.
Up to 20 locations can be specified in the variables loc0, loc1, …, loc19. Remember to http-encode any whitespace etc. in your address strings. This is done automatically if you use the html form element to store your data. Example:
<form NAME="roundtrip" METHOD="get" ACTION="http://gebweb.net/optimap/index.php">
<input NAME="loc0" TYPE="text" />
<input NAME="loc1" TYPE="text" />
<input NAME="loc2" TYPE="text" />
<input NAME="loc3" TYPE="text" />
<input TYPE="submit" VALUE="Submit" />
document.roundtrip.elements["loc0"].value = "2 Bloor St West, Canada";
document.roundtrip.elements["loc1"].value = "(37.4419,-122.1419)";
If you have any comments, bugs or feature requests, please leave a comment on this site 🙂