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Example: Finding Distances and Costs from Depots to Customers

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This example demonstrates how to use MileCharter to find the distances from a group of depots to a customer. This could be used to find the closest depot for delivery purposes, or for charging transportation costs to the customer. We will also calculate transportation costs according to the road types used. The input data can be found in the yorkshire_depots.xls spreadsheet in the MileCharter examples file:


It is assumed that you are familiar with basic Maptitude operations. Import the two worksheets from this workbook into Maptitude as data views. This can be performed using the Create-a-Map Wizard or File->Add on the main menu. The resulting map will look something like this:




The sales depots have been imported as the Sales Depots layer and colored red. The customers (in-fact only one customer) has been imported as the Customers layer and colored blue. Many of the other layers, including the road labels have been switched off for clarity.


Start MileCharter to display the main MileCharter panel:




We have set the routes to start at the Sales Depots and to finish at the Customers. We have requested the fastest routes, and to calculate the route distances and estimated travel times and costs. Press the Costs button to display cost options:




Most of the cost options are rate tables of one form or another. Select Type of rate table to be Costs by Road Type, and then press Set Road Costs to set these costs. This will display the Road Costs dialog box:




Most of the costs will initially default to 1.00 per unit distance. Here we have miles and work with the UK, so these costs would typically be interpreted as "£ per mile". Click on a number in the Cost per unit distance column, in order to edit it. Here, Major Connector's cost is being edited. The costs might seem quite high, but these could be commercial costs. Note the higher ferry cost, representing ferry charge(s).


Once all the costs have been calculated, press OK to finish.


The roads have a couple more parameters that can be set. As well per-distance costs, you can set their absolute speeds (e.g. "All motorways are 70mph") and a relative speed adjustments (e.g. "Decrease A road speeds by 10%").  These speeds are set by pressing the Speeds button on the main panel. All of the road parameters (costs and road speeds) can be set by pressing the Roads button on the main panel. This also gives you the option to save the road parameters, and to load new ones. This is useful if you re-use road parameters, or wish to share them with colleagues. The resulting road parameter file can also be used with MPMileage for Maptitude.


Once all the parameters have been set, press Compute to start the route computations.


Here are the resulting route distances (in miles):




And here are the calculated costs (£/mile):




As expected, the North Leeds Office is the closest and cheapest.