Let's assume for this post that I know the amount of time I'll be spending at each location; the only unknown is travel time between locations.

I've been loading the addresses into Google maps, eyeballing the best route and rearranging the multiple endpoints, then copying travel times back into an Excel spreadsheet that calculates a timed itinerary for my day. Multiple iterations of a route can take 30 to 45 minutes to plan out.

From my research, I've found route planning and fleet management systems designed for delivery companies that are proprietary and cost-prohibitive. I've also found add-ins for GPSs that can plan routing for "up to five!" destinations. Assuming I have that particular GPS brand and pay for annual software updates.

I'm looking for something that would take a list of addresses, load it into Google maps, and spit back the most efficient route with addresses and travel times preferably as an Excel or CSV file. A plus would be the ability to specify "most efficient" by time or mileage, or a fuzzy-logic magic blend of the two. Open source is preferred.

Has anyone ever run into anything that might meet my needs?


1 Answer 1


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Try routeXL I'm not sure how many nodes you can max out on though. Here's an example of a 12 city output

  • To add destinations, find them in the search bar and press enter. click on the Address drop down to change/modify the addresses you just added
  • Click on find route for it to compute it

HEre's a screenshot of a run I did:

Route map using routeXL

ODL Studio

[Disclaimer - I am the author of the UI part of this software]

ODL Studio is an open source desktop application for planning vehicle routes - so it will solve your problem. It's free and we have people using it in many different countries throughout the world. Download from here http://www.opendoorlogistics.com/ or watch the tutorial video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DJdubVWX_A

It takes an Excel as input data which will help you. You can play around with the cost-per-km and cost-per-hour to have it automatically optimise for most efficient by time or mileage (given the size of your problem it will probably find the most optimal solution as well).

There is the personal route-planning software portatour which supports multiple stops and Excel upload.

  • Sign up for an account and upload your excel. Pressing "update schedule" will give you the shortest route.
  • portatour is made for sales reps visiting up to 1000 addresses repeatedly, so it has many more features which are specific for field sales, consulting, and maintenance. For example, opening times or visit intervals.
  • The result route can be exported as iCal calendar.
  • There is a free trial

Here is a screenshot of a generated Route on an iPad:

Route planning with portatour

Disclaimer: I work for portatour.

Check out Optimo Route - there is a free trial you can use. Import multiple addresses from MS Excel and easily plan optimal routes. You can also set things like service time (time you will spend at the location) and time windows (specific times you need to be at the location).

Routes can be exported to a GPS device (Garmin, Navigon, TomTom) or MS Excel.

Screenshot - Planned Routes

Disclaimer: I work for Optimo Route.

Also take a look at Speedy Route - another optimal route planner website. You can bulk upload addresses, and then either print out the optimal route, or export the results to Excel via CSV.

Finding the most efficient route from a list of addresses sounds a lot like the Traveling Salesman Problem, one of the most studied problems in computer science. It's one thing to calculate a straight line distance but adding street routes makes this highly unlikely that you'll find an optimal distance.

I might have answered part of your problem on another page. This may not be useful but I'll include it anyway.



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