Automatically Generate Routes

Update: Closing this as something I won’t be spending time on, based on feedback


Expanding on Route Builder, the next layer - providing routing automatically - is going to require some conversation with you all.

(As an aside: It’s possible that automatically generated routes are not what we want. This idea gives up a lot of control, and if it doesn’t create something that “fits” with your typical routes, it’s going to be weird and likely unwelcome. We may learn together that the better approach is to improve on what Route Builder shows during the process.)

I need to understand what your expected “inputs” are…

  • Presumably, you’d want to choose a starting and ending point
  • You probably want to set a maximum distance, to ensure the route is achievable, but I’m unsure if you want a guaranteed distance - for example if you choose a single point for both start & end, and a distance of 5 miles, if you only have a 2.5 mile route that will complete new streets, do you want it to tack on a random 2.5 miles of something?
  • I’m unsure if you’d want to manually specify some streets … selecting some that you definitely want to complete in this route

I don’t know how efficiency plays a role for everyone … very efficient routes can be confusing so if you don’t have a watch that will shout wildly complex turn by turn directions at you, you’re probably not going to have a fun time with a very efficient route

Some approaches that I can think of are:

  • You set a start and end point, and set a distance, and a route is generated based on that which will complete the maximum number of streets
  • You select some streets you want to complete and set a distance, and a route is generated based on that … get yourself to the starting point :laughing:
  • Some combination of them, where you choose start/end and distance and some streets

Reference Links:


How would you expect this to work, and what would you want it to produce for you?

To start with, what would be the goal? Maximum completed streets? Maximum nodes?
The way I usually go about it is that I choose a certain area that I would like to run in. So having way points would be good for me. But I also know that it is not always possible to get every street in a single run, so I might go for a “clear this area in 2/3 runs” approach. I wonder if that would be something that would be interesting for an automated approach?
Oh, and I think being able to enable or disable cities would be good. You might want to focus on finishing a city that has uncompleted streets further away, rather than going for closer streets in a different city.

@JamesChevalier

Not knowing what people will come up with, my view is that short of a few improvements with the current route builder, I like what you have already. I am not sure I WANT it to generate anything automatically.

I might like a way to modify points within a route rather than having to undo or start over to make a change.

Also, there is the occasional bug where it tells me I will complete nodes on a street I already have completed…

But to automatically make a route? I am not sure I would use that.

I occasionally use Every Street Challenge to get ideas on how best to stride an area, but usually a big part of the fun for me is working through the map and trying different strategies to see what works.

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Pretty much the same for me. Even though the ideal-route generator is pretty cool in theory I wouldn’t want to miss out on building the routes myself.
Would the generator be “nodist” or “streetist”?

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I like clicking on the map to make my route / determine distance.

I’d only use this feature to find the closest untouched node / street. Whether this is done as a single button “find closest unrun node / street from your start point”, or as a map “show closest N nodes”, or “show all unrun nodes/streets within X km/miles”, it all achieves the same goal and support it. Similar to my comments here:
Custom distance areas (not exactly a city).

I “finished” running my city, and unlikely to run the surrounding towns. I’m still looking for little motivational goals which could include running to the nearest untouched nodes slowly spiraling outward (thanks finally for Hard Mode!), or alternatively running all the city streets X number of times if that could be tracked…

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Great feedback on this - thanks everyone! I’m glad I posted this instead of diving into building something.

Great idea, I’ll see what I can figure out…

Ah, yeah, looks like Route pages are “Hard Mode” by default. If your route passes through a node you haven’t completed, that street - regardless of whether you have completed it or not - will be included in the list.

:laughing: :rofl: CityStrides - A runner’s nodist colony

Sounds like there’s an opportunity to make Route Builder a little more interactive/informational during the build process e.g. listing incomplete streets ordered by distance from the last click or subtly displaying them on the map

I’ll need to change quite a bit of my infrastructure to accomplish this, but it is on my list. It also enables a long-time idea I’ve had of a kind of “king of the hill” game per street.

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Thanks James -
I like the “list incomplete streets ordered by distance”.

Just one thought re: the “running all the city streets X number of times” - some streets I’ve run down and back. Although i’ve run it “twice”, i think of only having run it once. So there’s that conundrum to deal with.

Wanted to add my opinion (as OP on CPP) that an automatic route generator is functionality that I would no longer view as useful. @JamesChevalier, what you’ve built in through the route builder is incredible and when paired with the map overlay is extremely effective for route planning as is.