I wish to generate highways network routings and travel times from trip pairs. The trip pairs are between the centroids of UK census Lower Super Output Areas. For each trip pair (perhaps 5,000 records in a dataset) I wish to generate a polyline indicating the quickest route using the UK highway network, and return the associated journey time.

I require the routing and travel time to take account of typical (or realtime?) observed traffic conditions, i.e. delay due to congestion and queuing at junctions.

I use Mapinfo as my GIS. In recent months I have begun to use QGIS as a complete novice. I do not readily have access to any of the ESRI suite.

I'm a fairly basic user of GIS so I'm looking for a solution that does not require proficiency in programming.

I have been investigating propriety products such as Mapinfo Drive or Routefinder from routeware.dk, though i've been unable determine whether these will take account of journey delay. I have also researched the use of a routing web service. This solution appears to require much proficiency in programming. Is this right?

Does anybody have experience of carrying out a similar function. I'd be grateful for any suggestions of how I can perform these analyses.

Thanks for reading, Tim


Yes, you are right. If you want to use a web service, that would require you having at least a little programming knowledge. If you decide to take on some programming, it would be really helpful if you had stored your trip pairs in PostGIS for example, because that way you could simply use PHP language for instance to fetch your trip pair data and load it to a directions web service request, whose result you can append to your table.

Here are some links that can get you started:

PHP curl: PHP curl Manual

PHP PostgreSQL commands: PHP PostgreSQL manual

Google Directions API: Directions API docs

Also note, that the Google Directions API has limitations on the usage of their API -> 2500 requests per day, so taking this to account, you can be done in two days.

As for routing, you can build a network from your data after you fetched all the travel times and driving distances and use pgRouting for doing that for you.

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  • Thanks Tamas, This could prove very useful if I feel brave enough to embark upon programming. My preference is to use a ready made solution if on exists that will take account of journey delay (though of course this will incur cost). Were I to pursue a WMS, are there alternatives to google directions that do not have request limits, perhaps paid subscriptions services? Thanks, Tim – Tim Harper Jul 11 '13 at 9:39
  • An alternative to google can be to use OSM data with pgrouting, however, that will lack the traffic factor. Anyways, if you don't want to display your end results on a Google Map, using OSM is your way of accomplishing this task. You can go an download OSM data for the UK from downloads.cloudmade.com/europe/northern_europe/… – EZMapdesign Jul 11 '13 at 11:09

To answer your specific points on RouteFinder for MapInfo:-

We actually have a function called Route Pairs that will fit exactly your requirement above

We can used different speed profiles but you will need to have a network and know how you want to apply it. However there are datasets from INRIX that will give you average observed speeds on roads. We can supply quotes based on your requirements in you like.

We cannot use web based networks as we have to create our own binaries from a MapInfo TAB file. However this does give you the ability to define exactly which roads you want to use for each mode and the speeds associated with the classes.

Please do contact me if you need any further information


Martin Hodder Higher Mapping Solutions www.highermappingsolutions.com

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