Brouter for long route planning.

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Jan 26, 2022, 8:34:52 PMJan 26
to Cruiser Users
I'm becoming more and more impressed with Brouter.
Convinced myself routes of 500KM do-able with the
right profile. So I investigated if very long route planning could
be done with Brouter.

I created a profile with out the Kinematic model, a vmax = 90
and restricted road use to only the following

Basically Brouter will ignore residential roads and lower.

Two warnings with this approach
.1. The first few kilo-meters and the last few kilo-meters
of route are not created.
2. Waypoint needs to be close the the allowed roads.

The results are impressive.
Routes less than 200km are near instantaneous.
Routes of 500km are a few seconds to compute.
Computing routes of over 2000km are do-able. The
ones I tested take around 40-50 seconds to compute.
Brouter seems a good detail router and can also
be used for long distance route planning.

While I have no problem using Brouter, the profiles
are somewhat confusing and some seem experimental.
But this seems to still be in development so perhaps this
is as it should be. To repeat my rather cynical joke about
getting my less skilled friends to use Cruiser-Brouter. If I do a
install on their phone, I would delete all the profiles
and only provide ones that I know work. Basically don't give then
a chance to screw it up.

I''m not a developer, but an avid user of Cruiser, Amap, Osmand.
And where I live the OpenStreetMap maps are general far more accurate.

One quick story about OpenStreetMap...
Bought a second house in North Carolina, but rented and
apartment at first. Had no trouble finding it as I was using Cruiser1.9
at the time with mapsforge maps of course. They are very accurate.
The google maps had only the neighborhood entrance road. But none
of the streets in the neighborhood. When my lease was up, the new
prospective renters had a hard time finding the place. They were using
google maps. For a two months I kept telling them if they want an
accurate map to find this place, try OpenStreetMaps.

The openness, accuracy of maps and range of apps is amazing.
If the 1800's was the steam engine, the 1900's the electric power
grid and electronics, the 2000's are geo-location tools in smartphones.
And it seems OpenStreetMap and the entire technological ecosystem
around it are the point of the spear.

Keep up the good work guys!

Feb 11, 2022, 7:39:45 PMFeb 11
to Cruiser Users
One thing about being retired. I get to play with apps
all day long. And type way to much. But I promise
there is some funny stuff at the end.

I've officially given up on Brouter. While my custom profiles got it
to work for much longer routes. "re-tracking" error continue to plague
me. Switched all my spare phones that I use for routing from Cruiser2.1.11
back to Cruiser1.11.

I did  bunch of experiments
comparing the track files generated for very long routes. Probably at least
10 different routes of lengths 3000km to 8000km. For all these test cases
(I'm exporting track, not route files from cruiser or other apps
as I want to compare the path created, not letting a re-route occur when
importing to a different app)

Comparing tracks created with....

1. Cruiser1.11 and sparse graphs I create.

2. Graphhopper web interface which I assume is using contraction hierarchies.

3. Google maps web interface, which I have no idea what is uses.
    Exporting the gpx track from google maps was not an easy thing to accomplish.
    Took some web searching to see how to do this.

OSM web interface to generate tracks using both
4. the "graphhopper" option
 5. and the OSMR  option.

6. Brouter web interface
   I would like to have done comparisons of track generattion using
  brouter for the same long routes. But Brouter does not have that
  capability yet.

For 1,2,and 3 I could import the tracks into Cruiser and overlay them
and inspect them for differences.  Most of the time the generated tracks
where identical. Turn for turn identical. For the longest route which goes
from my house in Florida to Deadhorse, Alaska, a route of 8550KM,
(which on my Cruiser1.11 calculates in 13 seconds) I found
two small differences. Each about 20km in length where one choose to
go though a small town, and the other choose to bypass the small town.
So for about 40km out of 8550km a different path was taken, not
wrong or right, just different.

For option 4, 5 I could only visually compare the track generated locally on
my phone using sparse graphs, and what the OSM web interface generated.
OSM web does not allow an export of tracks to a gpx file. So I could
not overlay tracks like the above experiments.
Only did this for two test cases each about 3000km. Very tedious visual
comparison. But they looked identical to the tracks generated locally on
my phone using graphhopper.

It's not surprising this is true. The mathematical properties of graphs that allow
contraction hierarchies to work so well, allow low level roads to be ignored
on long routes with little risk. I just was not sure what the risk was.
But my experiments indicate there is no risk so long as the route
is sufficiency long.

So I now know I can stay with Cruiser1.11 and still plan very long trips
without the need of cell service or wifi access. I'm currently at my
second home. There is no cell service or wifi while in the Smoky-Mountains
so this is kind of important. Some people in this part of the USA carry
two phones. I do. As i go from one little town to the next, my ATT phone
may  loose service, but hopefully my Verizon phone gains service and
of course the reverse happens. In between the little towns we loose all cell
service. Long gaps in cell coverage means I way need to route plan on
my own. This has eliminated Brouter from consideration for my trips.
Not sure who you intend to market Cruiser to, but being able to create a route
500km down the road(reliably) is an expectation from people that
operated motorized vehicles. What if I accidentally deleted
my track that I created at a Duncan Donuts that has wifi. I'm
giving you a load of information, to monetize, you need to know
who you are marketing to. If all your going for is the hiking, biking market
non of this matters. Check out the population densities

people per square mile.
Denmark  354
Netherlands  1062
Russia   22
USA-Canada 45
If a navigation app needs cell service to work, it
won't be marketable it in some places. Countries like
USA-Canada-Russia, it's normal to travel long distances
without cell service.

Funny story: (Involves Cruiser)
My neighbor Steven. We both live in the foot hills of the smokey
mountains. He's retired from forestry service. Loves
the outdoors. Him and his wife (yes a wife story),
got lost in the smokey mountain national park. This is about
60 miles from his house. It's getting dark, his wife was
furious. But they made it back and they are still married.
Told me his navigation stopped working.
Tells me, "I asked google to find my home and it could not do
it, I guess I lost the satellites!"  Explained to him the satellites
are free and always there, you just lost access to a cell tower
to download map tiles. Years ago it was possible to lose
GPS satellites if under forest cover or in a storm, but the GPS
chips are such high sensitivity now that won't happen unless
in a metal building. He knows I designed Motorola cell phones for most
of my life and wants me to "fix" his phone.

Told Steven, You just  need an app that always you to
pre-download maps.
 He is NOT tech savy.
Needs something simple and unbreakable.
Told him I'll set you up with Cruiser. This was
a couple months ago and i was still using Cruiser1.11
So he gives me his phone, I hook it up to my lap top.
He looks scared. He's never seen a phone hooked to
a laptop. Steven asks me, "Is this going to use all my phone
storage?" It's a new phone, I check the storage, he's
got 225GB free and no secondary storage. Told him, the app
is only about 10MB but the maps and graphs can take
a few hundred MB. Yes, but is 225GB enough?

I had all the stuff he needed pre-download
so we were up and running in minutes.

Now the hard part starts. Cruiser is by far the simplest,
well organized, navigation apps there is. The only
part that takes any skill is
"open map"  Where did I put that map??
"open graph" Where did I put that graph??
I did that part while Steven wasn't looking else
he might have a panic attack.
And since the default route type is "car"
There is nothing else to do.

And yet this will be a trial by fire.

I'm going into details here, but this is who you are marketing to,
and it's funny stuff anyway. He wants to talk to his phone and never
touch it. Was made brain dead by google maps.

I  tell him, find on the map where you live and lets put a bookmark
there. "Whats a bookmark?" he says. At this point, I am very grateful
this was not my wife I was trying to teach. Else I might be in jail at
this point. This is my friend Steven, He's in the "man" club, but not for long
if he keeps asking me questions like this.

"Touch the screen and drag it around"
"touch and hold"
"touch and drag"
"pinch and zoom in zoom out"
"tap" look at the little + and - symbols for zooming in and out.
"touch and hold" to mark were you live.
"tap" the little bullseye lower right screen to center map on our position
"touch and hold" the little bullseye to keep map centered.

This goes on for about an hour. Finally his first bookmark
set so he navigate is dumb ass home by himself.
End of story. Or so I thought.
Calls me the next day and tells be Cruiser is broken.
Which I know is not possible. He's just forgotten everything.
So we repeated everything from the previous day.
It's been a month. He love's Cruiser.

His excitement got me to what to update myself from Cruiser1.11 to 2.1.11
And the interface is the same, so there is no issue. But I know he
will want to navigate to his other house in Georgia. And will
get a "re-tracking error" and I'll have to teach him about intermediate
waypoints and explain the theory of game tree searches and that
a CPU is just a proxy for what a human used to do and that a human
had to write a program to make that happen. There is no such thing as magic
and programs have bugs and or limitations sometimes. This was
a real conversation I had with my wife years ago.
Her reply was, "But why would people put bugs in software?"
Thankfully I just walked away.

I've typed way too much.

Big fan of both Cruiser and Osmand
Thankfully retired and  most difficult design I
make most days is,
"Will it be Cruiser or OsmAnd on my drive today?"
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