5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2012 7:59 AM by Kevin Andrist

# Calculating distances accross a network

Afternoon

Quick question and just looking for a quick answer! Is it possible to bring a network (e.g. roads) into Tableau and calculate distances accross the network. I can use Routefinder in MapInfo but I'm looking for something more interactive.

Simply put; can I do it?

Alex

• ###### 1. Re: Calculating distances accross a network

Hi Alex,

If you have the lat/longs for your roads/network, it is possible to find the distance between points. The following KB article provides further information on how to do this:

http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/calculating-distance

Hope this helps!

-Tracy

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• ###### 2. Re: Calculating distances accross a network

Thanks for the reply and the suggestion Tracy. While this method will work out the distance between two points, what I really need is a query that will trace along a network between two points, not necessarily in a straight line. Would it be possible to upscale the approach above to, in effect, run multiple distances between two points and return the shortest possible combination?

• ###### 3. Re: Calculating distances accross a network

Alex,

The question asking is similar to what I do for a living..  The specific question ("..run multiple distances between two points and return the shortest possible combination?"), to my knowledge, is typically handled by software purchased to do delivery-route planning, and specifically route optimization(the Fedex/UPS practice of making more right turns than left comes to mind).  Remember the shortest distance between two points, via available roads, may not be the fastest.

I'm more familiar with larger scale regional-global networks and the software that is used in this area calcualtes the straight line (great circle route) distance between two points and then scales the distance up by a factor of 1.2 to account for the average increase due to roads.  There are additional software applications available (PC Miler for one) that puts a finer point than a 1.2 scalar for specific point-to-point lanes.   If you need a spreadsheet to calc the straight-line distance between multiple Lat Lon pairs I can send you one..I have it around somewhere.  I haven't put this into Tableau as it hasn't been necessary..yet.

• ###### 4. Re: Calculating distances accross a network

Thanks Kevin. We currently use Routefinder for MapInfo to calculate batch queries across a road network, but I was wondering if there was a way we could replicate it in Tableau.

We're looking at management of the council's assets, answering questions like "If we move this service, how does it change customers' access" but more interactively than in MapInfo. I've included an image below to give some idea of what we would like to be able to do in Tableau, but with multiple points. By moving points, we could start to understand how location affects access in a more intuitive way.

• ###### 5. Re: Calculating distances accross a network

Very cool!..Out of my realm surely, but very cool.