Both Google and Bing maps are incredibly useful tools. The APIs they have opened to developers offer an amazing ability to add value to the solutions we provide. We don’t have to use ALL OF THE THINGS, sometimes just a snippet here and there can make a big difference to our users. This article shows how I used some of the Google Map APIs to help office staff work out how to best route mobile staff during their working day.
When you have a team of staff on the road, working from cars and vans, they generally fit into one of two categories. Those that are heavily pre-planned (say commercial transport delivery vehicles), and those that have an aspect of planning but need to adjust during the day as needs change. It’s this last one we are interested in for this article. Take for example plumbers – sure, they have planned jobs during the day, however, in a big city and a busy service company, there may be multiple emergencies, burst pipes, water leaks, etc., during the day that need to be prioritized and transport routes carefully, but quickly planned out. One of the methods used to decide where to send personnel is a triage system that asks three questions: