Fast Offering Routes

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wearingaredhat
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Fast Offering Routes

Postby wearingaredhat » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:12 pm

I was speaking with a bishop recently about technology. He mentioned how nice it would be if a program/app was developed to route out collection routes for fast offerings. His general idea was to input a number of deacons and have the application split up the ward list into appropriate and quick routes.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:03 am

Yes that would be nice. This has been a topic on and off within the forums for years. You may find it interesting about the level of complexity for such a program found in the thread Fast offering routes in MLS. Take a look atpost #12for one posters local solution. It is an old thread but still closely represents the situation today.

To be able to do this as a Church application on lds.org requires the Church's Maps program to be further developed and provide greater plotting accuracy than it currently has. There is a possibility that someone in the community may develop a program solution indepent of the Church Map program. However, from reading the forum discussions of the level of GIS software required to do this it may be cost prohibitive for an individual to do.

I would not count this out, however. It may just take some time to be done. There are more pressing development programs that are taking the higher priority of limited resources at the Church right now.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:29 am

jdlessley wrote:Yes that would be nice. This has been a topic on and off within the forums for years. You may find it interesting about the level of complexity for such a program found in the thread Fast offering routes in MLS. Take a look atpost #12for one posters local solution. It is an old thread but still closely represents the situation today.


That was my post, and we still use that method. If I were building the process today I would rewrite the map-creation scripts to take advantage of a newer Google API, which should enable combining some of the steps at runtime each month. But the overall complexity would still be quite high.

Also, the Church mapping system today might be substituted for our own geocoding of addresses -- but only if the ward clerks manually "verify" and/or move each address location per the design of that system's workflow. (Once that is done, the geocoded addresses become a central resource available for multiple purposes, including boundary analysis, emergency preparedness, etc.) The function of creating district areas -- whether those areas be used for fast-offering districts, unit boundaries or emergency prep areas -- then automatically grouping the geocoded addresses within those areas still requires some minimal GIS tools.

FJSeminario
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Routes in general

Postby FJSeminario » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:10 pm

I don't know if this will help, when I want to find the best route for anything, be it Fast Offering route, Christmas caroling route, Home/Visiting teaching routes, Verification of Address route etc... This is what I do
When we talk about routes we are talking about a Maximum of 24 addresses
1- I export the List of addresses (From MLS ) or any .csv or excel file
2- Select only Head of household or individual addresses (There is a Limit of 24 Addresses)
3- I select out only the Address portion of the list (Address Number/Name/Suffix, City, State & Zip code)
(123 N AnyStreet Ave. AnyTown, Anystate,ZipCode) and delete the First line (Title line)
4- I go to http://findthebestroute.com/RouteFinder.html
a- Click on the Show Options link and select the Distance Dial button
b- Click on the Green arrow to Import
c- Switch to the list (.csv or excel) and click on top left corner to select the whole sheet
d- Copy the selected address (Ctl + c)
e- Switch to RouteFinder.html and paste (Ctl + v) in textbox provided
f- Click the OK button
g- Now click on the [Calculate Route Button
h- You may find some miss spelled or invalid address, fix and retry
5- Now you have a text route of your start to finish directions an a map route.
6- You have the options of export to GPS (.csv) or Google maps

In Google maps you can create a route map to MyMaps and name each route with a description

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:42 pm

FJSeminario wrote:I don't know if this will help, when I want to find the best route for anything, be it Fast Offering route, Christmas caroling route, Home/Visiting teaching routes, Verification of Address route etc... This is what I do
When we talk about routes we are talking about a Maximum of 24 addresses
1- I export the List of addresses (From MLS ) or any .csv or excel file
2- Select only Head of household or individual addresses (There is a Limit of 24 Addresses)
3- I select out only the Address portion of the list (Address Number/Name/Suffix, City, State & Zip code)
(123 N AnyStreet Ave. AnyTown, Anystate,ZipCode) and delete the First line (Title line)
4- I go to http://findthebestroute.com/RouteFinder.html
a- Click on the Show Options link and select the Distance Dial button
b- Click on the Green arrow to Import
c- Switch to the list (.csv or excel) and click on top left corner to select the whole sheet
d- Copy the selected address (Ctl + c)
e- Switch to RouteFinder.html and paste (Ctl + v) in textbox provided
f- Click the OK button
g- Now click on the [Calculate Route Button
h- You may find some miss spelled or invalid address, fix and retry
5- Now you have a text route of your start to finish directions an a map route.
6- You have the options of export to GPS (.csv) or Google maps

In Google maps you can create a route map to MyMaps and name each route with a description


That's a cool site. There are several methods of finding such routing, and any multi-point method such as this must work around the famous traveling salesman problem.

But the rest of us, including me, have been using the word "route" rather more loosely. I really am just talking about grouping small sets of families to be visited into districts. (The methodology in my ward actually uses the word "district" rather than "route," although the young men frequently call them "routes.")

We could have taken it to the next step as you suggest and calculate optimal or near-optimal turn-by-turn routing and directions for each district. But we decided that was more automation than we wanted, as it would result in several pages of printed directions for each driver each month. So we excluded that from our requirements. We give them a set of printed locator and thumbnail maps printed on a single two-sided sheet of paper, and trust the young men and their drivers to navigate by their own pluck.

EDIT: Also, the methodology of this site does not perform the core task at hand, which is dividing the set of families to be visited into multiple subsets to be assigned to multiple priesthood teams. This method assumes that for each route, that task has already been accomplished by some independent method. So it could be an add-on to the whole process (which in our case we elected not to do). But it could not substitute for the basic task itself.


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