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What is the best solution in terms of cost effectiveness, stability & speed for running a lot of routing requests and comparing them. lots of times over and over? I understand now that it can be a combination of several tools.

A simple solution is always better...

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I want to take a route I've gotten via a routing service like Google-maps or CloudMade and add several way-points to it. then check how they affect the time and distance of the route. the problem is that i need to do this Many, many times per day. (i have big list of routes and way-points) and this can get expensive. the services are not free..

a) What is the best map / routing provider for such a thing?

b) Alternatively, is it possible to download an entire database of such maps & a routing solution to use it in-house? (only if it's cost effective)

Thanks!

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what regions? I know certain GIS shops have routes that you could download for free. –  Steve Dec 27 '11 at 20:56
    
Hi @Steve, I need the solution to globally applicable. But if you must, we can focus on Europe, North America and the rest of the developed world. –  Pingi Dec 28 '11 at 10:11
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Pretty much any solution you find that fits your needs (high usage, cost-effective) is going to based on OpenStreetMap data. Here are a couple options:

  • MapQuest Open Directions API is based on OSM data and is completely free for any use. See the terms on their page. They allow you to "request a multi-point route for up to 50 locations".

  • YOURS is also based on OSM data but, unlike the MapQuest service, the code is available so you could run everything in-house if you wanted. They've also got a hosted version at http://www.yournavigation.org that you can use though.

There are many other routing engines based on OSM data. I'd recommend taking a look at these articles:

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Thanks @Rohan! I understand that OSM is a must. What about CloudMade? how does it compare to MapQuest? yournavigation.org is failing my simple 2 way-points navigation queries :( –  Pingi Dec 28 '11 at 10:12
    
Both CloudMade and MapQuest use proprietary routing engines that are based on the OSM data. I think CloudMade's TOS precludes any commercial use: "(b) Any use by you of any of the CloudMade Materials and CloudMade Site other than for your personal use is strictly prohibited." –  Rohan Singh Dec 28 '11 at 18:36
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