[Geowanking] Urgent: routing for canvassing - was [Fwd: GIS routing question]

Jennifer Strahan jennifer at greeninfo.org
Mon Oct 20 08:14:46 PDT 2008


Hi Pamela & Peter,

Thanks for the solution!  I've sent it on to my colleague and they're 
giving it a try.

Regards,
Jennifer

pamela fox wrote:
> Cool. If you're working with spreadsheets, you could import them to
> Google Spreadsheets and then either:
> 1) Publish the sheet (possibly not kosher for your data?) and use the
> Spreadsheets API JSON ouput (/public/values/)
> 2) Use my "Spreadsheets Converter" gadget to easily create JSON to
> then host on your server (Do Insert->Gadget->custom and then enter URL
> "http://pamelafox-samplecode.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/spreadsheetsconverter/spreadsheetsconverter.xml")
>
> Or just export to CSV and parse the CSV file... whatever floats your boat.
>
> On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 5:14 AM, Peter Batty <peter at ebatty.com> wrote:
>   
>> Pamela, that looks like a nice potential solution - I tried it with a sample
>> set of data similar to that which I saw in my canvassing, and it came up
>> with a reasonable looking route (and was quick). It will need a little bit
>> of coding to integrate with whatever they have now, but I guess that's true
>> of any solution. There is a basic file import here so it might be possible
>> to do something quick but a little clunky based on some manual file exports
>> and imports and a bit of spreadsheet manipulation or whatever.
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 2:24 PM, pamela fox <pamela.fox at gmail.com> wrote:
>>     
>>> Since they're already using the Google Maps API, they could try to
>>> adapt the javascript-ified TSP solver:
>>> http://gebweb.net/optimap/
>>>
>>> Only works well for about 25 points though--but you could use
>>> pre-sorting to divide it up into 4 possible best clusters, and then
>>> apply the TSP solving on each of them.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 4:10 AM, Jennifer Strahan
>>> <jennifer at greeninfo.org> wrote:
>>>       
>>>> Hello Peter, Michael, Josh and Geowankers,
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for the detailed description of the problem and for the potential
>>>> solutions.
>>>>
>>>> Does anyone know if there already exists a tool that canvassers can
>>>> use?  Peter is correct that time is of the essence so there isn't any
>>>> time to develop anything.  Or, are there any folks in the group willing
>>>> to put in some volunteer time to quickly create something?
>>>>
>>>> Jennifer
>>>>
>>>> Peter Batty wrote:
>>>>         
>>>>> This is actually a (somewhat constrained) traveling salesman problem
>>>>> rather than requiring a point to point route, so Google Maps routing
>>>>> won't help you. pgrouting supports traveling salesman but I haven't
>>>>> used it and don't know what a practical number of points to handle is
>>>>> - traveling salesman is a complex problem of course.  I was out
>>>>> canvassing for the xxxxx campaign recently (the number of x's is a
>>>>> clue, in my case at least :) !!), so was an end user of what I assume
>>>>> to be the same system here. Of course I immediately wondered about a
>>>>> better automated solution than they had also.
>>>>>
>>>>> I thought it was an interesting problem though so it's worth
>>>>> explaining it in a little more detail based on my experience. We went
>>>>> out in pairs, and were each given a package of paper sheets. The cover
>>>>> page had a printed Google map with markers indicating the houses we
>>>>> were to visit (this was the same map for both of us). Then behind that
>>>>> we had a set of printed sheets, one or more per street, listing the
>>>>> houses we needed to visit on each street in numerical order, with
>>>>> details about the person/people to talk to at that house. We were just
>>>>> visiting houses of known sporadic supporters and independents, so it
>>>>> was a subset of houses - in this case it would vary from maybe 1 to 4
>>>>> out of every 10 houses. One canvasser had odd numbers and one even
>>>>> numbers, so you would do opposite sides of the street, so you had
>>>>> someone in the same general area for support. Often you would have
>>>>> more houses in a block on one side of the street than the other, so
>>>>> one person would get ahead of the other. In the area that we were
>>>>> canvassing, the blocks were long and thin, so we ended up walking
>>>>> along the blocks "lengthwise" as most of the addresses we had were on
>>>>> the north-south streets, but it was hard to tell if you were close to
>>>>> a house on one of the east-west streets (on a different page from the
>>>>> one that you were currently looking at). We ended up missing out some
>>>>> of these. In total we had 90 houses in the package, 45 each.
>>>>>
>>>>> So what we really wanted was to each have a list of our 45 houses in a
>>>>> suitable order for us to visit (as opposed to being listed street by
>>>>> street in numerical order), with a map showing the route. Doing the
>>>>> odd / even thing properly is an extra complication (i.e. taking 90
>>>>> houses and coming up with two routes, which ideally keep the two
>>>>> people close to each other). The simplest initial solution to this
>>>>> would probably be to take all 90 houses, come up with the best route
>>>>> to all those, and then just split it into odd and even after doing
>>>>> that. If you got that working, then you could look at something
>>>>> cleverer.
>>>>>
>>>>> It seems as though for pgrouting you would need to have a reasonable
>>>>> street network, which you may or may not have. In some cases,
>>>>> especially if you had a pretty dense set of houses to visit, you might
>>>>> be able to get a reasonable solution just using the locations of the
>>>>> houses and ignoring streets altogether - but clearly in some cases
>>>>> this would not work well.
>>>>>
>>>>> A pragmatic short term solution might be a semi-interactive one -
>>>>> display the houses to visit on a map, let a user sketch a line
>>>>> visually with an approximate route, buffer around that and find all
>>>>> the houses close, and sort them appropriately based on that. And have
>>>>> the ability to highlight any houses that were not yet added to the
>>>>> route, etc. I suspect that for a short term solution (which is
>>>>> presumably what you need), given the challenge of getting a good road
>>>>> network, etc, this approach may be your best bet. It would need a bit
>>>>> of custom development though, unless someone happens to have something
>>>>> like that lying around.
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>     Peter.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 12:01 AM, Josh Livni
>>>>> <josh at umbrellaconsulting.com <mailto:josh at umbrellaconsulting.com>>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>     pgrouting if you have the street data in postgis would be one way.
>>>>>
>>>>>     tho as long as they're drawing over google maps, why not insert a
>>>>>     little javascript to use the gmaps api routing?
>>>>>
>>>>>       -josh
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>     On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 1:03 AM, Jennifer Strahan
>>>>>     <jennifer at greeninfo.org <mailto:jennifer at greeninfo.org>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>         Hello Geowankers,
>>>>>
>>>>>         I'm forwarding this email from a colleague in hopes that
>>>>>         someone will
>>>>>         have some suggestions to pass on.
>>>>>
>>>>>         Thanks for the help.
>>>>>
>>>>>         Regards,
>>>>>         Jennifer
>>>>>
>>>>>         ps. I've stripped out political references.... that's why
>>>>>         you'll see
>>>>>         xxxxx campaign.
>>>>>
>>>>>         -------- Original Message --------
>>>>>         Subject:        GIS routing question
>>>>>         Date:   Wed, 15 Oct 2008 14:32:43 -0700 (PDT)
>>>>>         From:   louis at overlookmedia.com
>>>>> <mailto:louis at overlookmedia.com>
>>>>>         To:     aubrey at greeninfo.org <mailto:aubrey at greeninfo.org>
>>>>>         CC:     amanda at greeninfo.org <mailto:amanda at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         rhonda at greeninfo.org <mailto:rhonda at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         jennifer at greeninfo.org <mailto:jennifer at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         larry at greeninfo.org <mailto:larry at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         tim at greeninfo.org <mailto:tim at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         john at greeninfo.org <mailto:john at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         alexandra at greeninfo.org <mailto:alexandra at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         jason at greeninfo.org <mailto:jason at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         maegan at greeninfo.org <mailto:maegan at greeninfo.org>,
>>>>>         tommy.albo at oregonmetro.gov <mailto:tommy.albo at oregonmetro.gov>
>>>>>         References:
>>>>>
>>>>> <1940ed30229618a3c1c10dd781cb8380.squirrel at npomail.electricembers.net
>>>>>
>>>>> <mailto:1940ed30229618a3c1c10dd781cb8380.squirrel at npomail.electricembers.net>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>         Hi All
>>>>>
>>>>>         My partner is working for the xxxxx campaign and was asked by
>>>>>         the regional campaign office to look for computer-based
>>>>>         routing solutions for canvassing.
>>>>>
>>>>>         Nationally, all the campaign offices use a networked,
>>>>>         web-browser-accessible database called VoteBuilder. It manages
>>>>>         contacts and lets field coordinators define canvassing
>>>>>         territories by drawing over a Google map.
>>>>>
>>>>>         VoteBuilder doesn't construct a route for the canvassers--
>>>>>         that's up to them. In suburban neighborhoods with winding
>>>>>         roads and cul-de-sacs it's almost impossible for them to come
>>>>>         up with an efficient route that doesn't miss some of the
>>>>>         households.
>>>>>
>>>>>         Some of the local and regional offices have adopted software
>>>>>         solutions for routing, but the techniques aren't being
>>>>>         disseminated.
>>>>>
>>>>>         I know there's an extension for ArcGIS to do routing. Is this
>>>>>         the only solution?
>>>>>
>>>>>         Thanks for any suggestions..
>>>>>
>>>>>         Louis
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>         _______________________________________________
>>>>>         Geowanking mailing list
>>>>>         Geowanking at lists.burri.to <mailto:Geowanking at lists.burri.to>
>>>>>         http://lists.burri.to/mailman/listinfo/geowanking
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>     _______________________________________________
>>>>>     Geowanking mailing list
>>>>>     Geowanking at lists.burri.to <mailto:Geowanking at lists.burri.to>
>>>>>     http://lists.burri.to/mailman/listinfo/geowanking
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Peter Batty - President, Spatial Networking
>>>>> W: +1 303 339 0957  M: +1 720 346 3954
>>>>> Blog: http://geothought.blogspot.com
>>>>>
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>
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>>>>>           
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>>
>> --
>> Peter Batty - President, Spatial Networking
>> W: +1 303 339 0957  M: +1 720 346 3954
>> Blog: http://geothought.blogspot.com
>>
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>>     
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