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Old 08-16-2011, 01:43 AM   #1
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Why does routing prefer Kansas?

Just curious about something. I just tried the Good Sam version of routing service on a trip from Dallas to Ft. Collins. It ran me up through Oklahoma and Kansas, and then west to CO.

So did a couple other similar services.

So, since this was not the way I would have routed it, I tried running the software again and this time excluding Kansas and going the more direct route. In each case, the trip through Kansas is about two hundred miles further than going through New Mexico, and takes hours longer.

Any idea why these routing softwares would choose a route that is further, and takes longer? how could that make sense from any perspective? It's also a much less scenic drive.

did the Cornhusker Chamber of Commerce hack the trip planning software or something?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo
Just curious about something. I just tried the Good Sam version of routing service on a trip from Dallas to Ft. Collins. It ran me up through Oklahoma and Kansas, and then west to CO.

So did a couple other similar services.

So, since this was not the way I would have routed it, I tried running the software again and this time excluding Kansas and going the more direct route. In each case, the trip through Kansas is about two hundred miles further than going through New Mexico, and takes hours longer.

Any idea why these routing softwares would choose a route that is further, and takes longer? how could that make sense from any perspective? It's also a much less scenic drive.

did the Cornhusker Chamber of Commerce hack the trip planning software or something?
Corhuskers are in NE. Try least use of freeways. It's most likely choosing interstate I35 and I70 which are now at 75 mph.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #3
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Why not route through Virginia? A bit longer, but you'd enjoy the visit and we'd welcome your spending!

Jack, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:20 AM   #4
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I just Googled the route, and they give the option of US 287, US 287 and I-20, and I-35 and I-70. The first two are significantly shorter, but the longer route through Kansas is only 20 minutes longer than the shortest route.
You can try "most direct route" rather than "quickest route" and see if there is a difference.
FWIW, my GPS reglarly routes me in weird ways out of my way. When I find this, go the quicker route, and it gets done "recalculating", the ETA drops by anything from minutes to hours. I think somebody got paid to route me past the highest number of shopping centers and tourist traps.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:41 AM   #5
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I found it curious. We plan to beeline to the nearest altitude, and don't really care about any schedule. I also used the Google Earth's 'direction' function and it routed me the way we would have expected. But Google was the only one who routed it that way, without me having to start specifying things and ruling out other things.

I just couldn't see a single reason the Oklahoma/Kansas route would ever be listed as the first option. It's always further, and always takes longer. So, if you can drive faster ( 75 mph) and burn more gas doing it, and still have to drive further and get there later...that means it costs more and takes longer, right?
I still don't see a single reason to go through Kansas to get from Dallas to Ft. Collins. I thought I'd ask here, figuring someone here would know if there was SOME reason for it..
Makes me basically suspect of any other directions these services might give me. I no longer trust either their agenda or their efficiency.

We bought a Garmin Nuvi 1450 a couple trips to the US ago. We love that thing.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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It's all about (someone else's) preferences. It seems like the map sites like AAA, etc prefer interstates unless told otherwise. They assume (not without some basis in fact) that we wish to roll mindlessly along at high speed without having to think about turns and junctions and traffic pulling out ahead.

While it's not always the fastest or most direct, an Interstate route is usually easiest for people, so it's the default.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:17 AM   #7
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Maybe they consider the lovely rolling corn/wheat fields an easier drive than those eyesore rocky humps.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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We have driven the route both ways, all interstate through Kansas and 287 to Dumas Tx., 87 to Raton N.M. and I-25 N to Colorado.
The shorter N.M. route takes much less time. Although 287 is not an interstate, it is a fast parkway and 87 is a two lane but light traffic and few towns. We think this route is more scenic and more interesting as well.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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that was my thinking, as well. I did drive from Houston to Rocky Mountain Nat'l park and back in '84. So this time around, when I started checking with some of the trip planners, I was surprised to be sent through Oklahoma City and Kansas.

Not that I have anything against Oklahoma City or Kansas, just didn't ever consider them to be on the way to Colorado. My own opinion is that the software should show you the shortest, fastest route by default, and let you edit your preferences based upon what your priorities are after that. NOT to make decisions for you that will take you more time and cost more money.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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Try: MapQuest Maps - Driving Directions - Map
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:41 AM   #11
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Although I am completely sure that all online services are constantly improving the art of mind control, I do believe the various trip routers, online or dash mounted, look for the interstate first.

I have played with settings on both Garmin and TomTom, and found that they both are better at planning a route along interstates. The interstate must be a LONG way out for the software to choose a two-lane road.

I have also noted the devices get kinda flakey when you change the preferences away from interstates.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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Most routing services do not take into account that I am towing at somewhere between 60 and 65. Even the ones where I can put in some speed settings tend to favor limited access roads.

This is especially true here in Texas where the programs seem to penalize state roads and especially farm to market (FM) or ranch to market (RM) roads. These latter roads here in Texas are often as fast as a thruway to tow and a lot more fun with little to no traffic. This is not true in a lot of states, I know.

I always put in a bunch of way points to force the routing to use these secondary roads whenever possible.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:03 AM   #13
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Ha, I know EXACTLY what you mean. For grins, I set all the toggles on the Garmin Nuvi to avoid everything on our one and only little shakedown cruise from Houston to Dallas pulling the new Airstream. I told it to avoid tolls, interstates, congested areas, and whatever other choices it had.

We spent all day touring Texas. I felt like I was tacking into the wind trying to sail back up the Bahamas. We finally got routed into the RV spot we had chosen for the night via some really bizarre ways to approach Dallas. We were going through freight terminals, etc.

I lifted the restrictions on the Garmin after that.

This Nuvi model has a feature we really like in that you can specify an intermediate point on the trip. This makes it real easy to pretty much tell it which way you want to go without having to exclude anything useful.

If I punch in Dallas to Ft. Collins by way of, say, Raton NM, that's all I need to do. It'll pick the best route including that point and it works pretty good from what I have seen.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:50 AM   #14
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don't you know nothin'!....nobody drives those two lane hiways and back roads they're dangerous. they're infested with banditos and savages just waiting to ambush around every corner! miles away from any civilized centers like mcdonalds or adult video stores
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