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Streets & Trips 2009 Routing Errors
jharpur
I've noticed that most unusual routings are corrected (sometimes causing other insanity further downstream, though) when another point is added and re-routing is needed - this happens whether you select a point to add while planning the route, or as I'm prone to do while travelling, using the GPS to reroute from my current point, assuming I'm already on the "non-loopy" route.

Algorithm: Definitely skewed. It might also explain why, when travelling across Canada (Moncton, New Brunswick to Vancouver, BC, for instance) the router (on both Shortest- and Quickest Route preferences) will, annoyingly, divert you into the states at every possibility, even if it adds hundreds of miles. The algorithmic "weighting" of the roads differ from US and Canadian sources.

What S&T denotes as a passable, but unpaved road in the US is shown as being the equivalent of what may be a roughcut logging road in Canada. Experimenting with S&T2007, I followed two routes with my preferences for nice, wide roads turned waaaaaay down; once for a trip in the US, and once in Canada.
What I noted was the roads in the US were generally about a grade higher than the "matching" roads in Canada - but I also found that the best Canadian highways weren't given equal values to their US counterparts - occasionally with reason, but if a route is safe at 110km/h, it ought to be considered roughly the equivalent of one safe at 65mph.

Rant rant rant, gripe gripe gripe. Still love S&T.
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharpur
I haven't tried this in any version other than the 2009 trial; but if you take Fort MacMurray, Alberta as a starting point, and, say, Surrey, BC as a second (end) point, S&T routes you ('inexplicably'? certainly 'indirectly') through Hay River in the North West Territories.
Microsoft's Maps.Live.com can generate this route better than Streets & Trips 2009. It may not be as good as the route Terry generated with his Garmin Mobile PC, because Maps.Live.com routes you through Edmonton, but Terry's route avoids Edmonton. Nevertheless, the online map doesn't make the big error discussed above. View the route here.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharpur
...
What I noted was the roads in the US were generally about a grade higher than the "matching" roads in Canada - but I also found that the best Canadian highways weren't given equal values to their US counterparts - occasionally with reason, but if a route is safe at 110km/h, it ought to be considered roughly the equivalent of one safe at 65mph.

Rant rant rant, gripe gripe gripe. Still love S&T.
It seems to me that S&T rates US Interstate Highways as the Gold Standard beyond which there can be no better. This is, of course, pure nonsense inasmuch as very few US Interstates are as good as, say, the TC1 from Regina to Calgary. And S&T makes some perfectly good Canadian highways look like goat tracks and vice versa for some US roads.

I guess it is futile to expect reality or at least a true equivalency in road ratings.
Ken in Regina
I wonder if it has anything to do with the sources of Navteq's data for Canada? It's possible that the attribute coding on road segments is different from whoever supplies the Canadian data and that's what causes the discrepancy.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
Highly likely.
Ken in Regina
There is a solution for that problem. It's a map product called Metroguide Canada. After nearly five years we are finally being treated to an update (from v4 to v5). It's Canada only and it's about the best map on the planet. The data supplier is DMTI Spatial, a Canadian company. Unfortunately the map product comes from Garmin so that's not much good for S&T users.

...ken...
Musty
But unless we can convince Microsoft to use that data we are stuck with poor routes.
chsfieldinspector
Hello,


I am using the trail version of S&T and it has been great till now....

Now, when I enter in my route (45+) stops it wont optimize correctly. I enter in the route and it says its optimizing but keeps it in the same order as I entered it. I have to then manually re route it myself. How can I help it to optimize correctly again?

MisterMoonlight
Larry from MS said (at the beginning of this thread):

Quote:
Rather than dragging the route to the correct road - a better work-around would be to create an "AVOID AREA" over a portion of the illogical route. This will acheive the same result but without adding unneeded stops to the route.
The avoid area feature is also suffering for some bugs and it is not always working neither.

See: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/1052-correct-use-avoid-area-feature-microsoft-streets-trips

Maybe you can add a fix for this issue as well in next version of S&T 2010...

Sorry i am a little bit late for giving a feedback on this thread
LineChaser
Just chiming in - I've been hit with some routing glitches in the past when planning out some "line chase" trips (first using S&T 2004 then with S&T 2008). My solution was always to add in some "routing" stops to force the route planner to 'wake up and smell the coffee'.

Also, in my experience, hitting the "Optimize Stops" button almost always reverses the order of the stops and injects a healthy dose of insanity as a result. I just pulled up the planned trip for next month and tried it - sure enough. I then decided to try hitting the 'undo' button and I then get "Invalid argument was encountered" and S&T then locked up - had to kill the process in the task manager (0% CPU but nonetheless locked up). Relaunching the program, I find that it didn't even remember I had recently opened that same file (it didn't list that map in the most recently used list).

I then just thought of hitting 'reverse route' after S&T reversed my route and it skews the timing further - like all those stops where I had marked as 'stay overnight' or stops where I plan to spend a few hours have had all the timing information removed. Even restoring the timing still left a route that looked good but was insane time-wise.

I usually end up shuffling the order of the stops and regenerating the route until I get a route that looks good and has some breathing room built in.
LineChaser
Yup. S&T 2008 has routing issues too. Try routing between Benedict, ND and Norwich, ND - it will send you up the Ward / McHenry County line (181st St. SE / 20th Ave. SE). Go look at it on your preferred satellite view website and see why that won't go. The correct routing from looking at the satellite imagery would be through Sawyer (Dakota Ave.) then 153rd or 167th St. north to US 2 then east...
Ken in Regina
I tried it with Garmin's MapSource/City Navigator North America 2009. Garmin's data comes from Navteq, the same supplier as Streets.

If I set the route preferences to faster time it takes me north up CR-23 to highway 52, north-west on 52 to the junction of highway 2 at Logan, then east on 2 to Norwich.

If I set the route preferences to shorter distance it takes me north all the way: north on CR-23, jog east on ND-23/233rd, north on 181st to cross highway 52 just east of Sawyer, jogs east on 47th to 19th Ave N, then north on 19th to Norwich.

In MapSource you can also set "Road Preference". It's a slider with "Prefer Highways" at one end and "Prefer Minor Roads" at the other. Mine is set in the middle (the default).

With such a variety of possible routes available in this particular case, it appears that routing preferences will have a significant impact on the resulting route.

...ken...
MisterMoonlight
Linechaser said:
Quote:
My solution was always to add in some "routing" stops to force the route planner to 'wake up and smell the coffee
Unfortunatly you are correct. The avoid yellow zone technic is not always working all the time when you need it as we can see in the example i have given above. Only the manually added stop at a strategic point to force the routing, safe me in the illustrated case i have given
LineChaser
Ken: Interesting route. At any rate, I only use S&T to get a good idea of the route I want to take. I have never printed out the final product, since I prefer to just transcribe the route between stops (since I am pretty familiar with central ND; having grown up there). I did get bit by another routing bug when developing a side trip north from Bottineau, ND through the Lake Metigoshe area and which was all the more infuriating since I know that area well to say the least. It is good to know that I'm not alone with these glitches and my "forced" stop approach is the better of the two workarounds.
Ken in Regina
In real life I rarely use the GPS for long distance routing. I travel for fun, not business. So I travel in one of two modes. One, is that I'm going to visit family or friends or go to a favorite vacation spot. No need for routing .. been there lots of times.

The other is going somewhere we've never been. Or somewhere we've been but we want to take a different route. In either of these situations, I fire up the map on the screen to see what roads - major and minor - exist between here and there. Then I look at what "places" exist along those various roads that might be of interest.

Once we have an idea of the various things that might interest us between here and there, we do some more detailed research into some of the places to be sure we will be interested. The "route" we want to follow will usually become pretty obvious by the things we want to see.

This is the point where the routing of laptop/PC nav software becomes useful. I get the software to calculate the distance and driving times between here and there via the various places we want to see (I use MapSource so this is literally a quick point/click exercise). This allows us to do our planning for overnight stops along the way so we'll know where to book hotels, if we decide to book them in advance.

We don't get the opportunity to do trips like this more than once or twice a year. So, while this is important use of the routing features, it's not very frequently used.

My most frequent use of routing is if I'm in a large, unfamiliar city and I need to get to an address or POI (my wife considers Ikea to be a POI ). In these situations I'm only looking for a way to get there without getting lost. I really don't care that a local could probably find a shorter/faster way to get there. The efficiency of the route is of little concern to me in these situations.

...ken...
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