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I am thinking about writing a program to check some mileage claims (about 45'000 of them actually) made by British MPs recently.

The data I have is quite course - the origin and destination of the trips is generally provided only at the Town level. What I am looking to do is basically look at the mileage figures they have submitted, look at the "calculated" mileage obtained from a web service, and then compare / contrast. (I'm thinking of perhaps being interested in cases where the claimed mileage exceeds 40 miles, and the claimed mileage exceeds the website figure by a factor of at least 1.4 for instance).

Code wise I'm fine, but what I don't have is a webservice I can use to get the distances. Google Directions is out (has to be used with Google Maps) - and I am looking at writing this as a console app in C#.

Can anyone suggest any suitable service?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Mapquest Open Directions Web Services has just been launched

you need lat/lng pairs for basic routes

example:,-2.7990345&to=53.958336, -1.080102&callback=renderNarrative

Your trip is 85.34 miles.

There are many other factors try

Open Directions Service Developer's Guide

[1]:,-2.7990345&to=53.958336, -1.080102&callback=renderNarrative

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That's great... I was hoping for a WDSL file I could point SharpDevelop at, but with this, should I now find something which will find the position of a town, I should be able to get somewhere near - even if it does mean handling the HTTP myself... – Martin Milan Feb 8 '11 at 22:21

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