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I am working on a Sales Person Deployment project and quite often come across requests for calculating centroid of a territory where work is distributed across 1000s of ZIP codes. Increasingly we get requests to calculate centroids based on travel distance and not straight line (or crow fly) distance.

  1. What is the most optimal way to calculating centroid based on travel time (i guess it is similar if not same to point of minimum distance)?

I have attempted to calculate distance (using Google API) between all the ZIP codes with workload and then take the approach of travelling Sales Man problem to come up with a starting point. But there are couple of challenges here:

  • A sales person may cover multiple targets if s/he goes to a cluster and
  • Using this method is time and resource intensive

Excuse any digressions from Forum rules as I am a novice here and catching up with the protocols. Looking fwd to be part of this interesting community.

  • Welcome to GIS.SE. First of all, try to keep it down to one question at a time. This makes answering easier - and also finding the right answer for other users. Also share some insight into what you already tried, what you researched and where exactly you are stuck. – Erik Mar 19 at 15:58
  • I don't feel sure enough of my terms to write an answer. Similar tasks used to be called location-allocation. It's related to siting a store, school, fire station, or processing center given a particular territory/distribution area. – mkennedy Mar 19 at 16:51
  • Thanks Erik, I have modified my request based on your guidelines. – ankit Mar 19 at 17:13
  • @mkennedy - I think you have captured the problem well in your statement. Any pointers for solution. I guess ArcGIS Analysis functionality has "Choose Best Facilities" option that can be leveraged. I am exploring how to add my data for the analysis. Thanks you! – ankit Mar 19 at 17:16

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