The algorithm used by Google Maps?

In summary: I was just doing a round trip from my hotel to the airport and back. It was a waste of time.In summary, the conversation discusses the use of Google Maps and its routing algorithm, specifically the "djykstra algorithm." The application may recommend taking seemingly unnecessary routes due to factors such as traffic flow and restrictions on left turns. The conversation also mentions that the software used for mapping may be open-source.
  • #1
michinobu
53
0
I was using at Google Earth, and used it to look at some directions when I noticed that program recommended that I take a right and drive down this road, then take a u-turn and drive past from where I turned originally, when I could've just simply taken a left instead.

Does anyone know how Google Maps uses finds directions for someone? And, why would the application recommend that I take an unnecessary route like this? Is the software, by any chance, open-sourced as well?
 
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  • #2
The general concept is called "djykstra algorithm" but most mapping systems have a few extra features on top.

The map data might indicate no left runs allowed.
Some routing algorithms, especialy for delivery trucks, are tuned to reduce left turns (I assume you are in a country that drives on the right) because these waste time and disrupt traffic flow.
They are generaly biased to maximise the time you spend on major roads compared to minor ones - so a longer (distance) journey might be faster.
 
  • #3
michinobu said:
I was using at Google Earth, and used it to look at some directions when I noticed that program recommended that I take a right and drive down this road, then take a u-turn and drive past from where I turned originally, when I could've just simply taken a left instead.

I noticed the same thing a few months ago when I had a training session in Columbus.
 

1. What is the algorithm used by Google Maps?

The algorithm used by Google Maps is called the Google Maps Routing Algorithm. It is a complex mathematical formula that calculates the best and most efficient route between two locations based on several factors such as distance, traffic, and road conditions.

2. How does the Google Maps algorithm work?

The algorithm works by first gathering data from multiple sources, such as real-time traffic information, road networks, and user input. It then uses this data to create a graph of all possible routes between two locations. Finally, it compares these routes and selects the one that is the most efficient based on the input factors.

3. What factors does the Google Maps algorithm consider when calculating a route?

The Google Maps algorithm considers a variety of factors when calculating a route, including distance, traffic conditions, road closures, and road types. It also takes into account any user preferences, such as avoiding highways or toll roads.

4. Is the Google Maps algorithm always accurate?

No algorithm is 100% accurate, but the Google Maps algorithm is constantly being updated and improved to provide the most accurate and efficient routes for users. It also takes into account real-time data, so it can adjust routes based on any unexpected changes in traffic or road conditions.

5. Can the Google Maps algorithm be manipulated?

The Google Maps algorithm is designed to be resistant to manipulation. It uses a complex combination of data and factors to calculate routes, making it difficult for anyone to manipulate the system. Additionally, Google has systems in place to monitor and prevent any attempts at manipulation.

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