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Desperately looking for a Mapping Solution!

Posted by geeknews at 9:51 PM on September 6, 2006

I am working very dilgently to help my mom streamline her business so that it is more manageable. A very large part of her business requires delivering produce orders in two counties in Northern Indiana. All of the Produce orders come in via landline or mobile phone as the high majority of the customers are Amish and they do not utilize computers.

The orders are hand written on individual order forms and categorized and up to this point they have setup delivery zones, and use regular commercial paper maps, marking them up to determine where there stops are for the day. This is highly inefficent and takes an incredible amount of time.

This is what I am looking for I need a way for my mom to enter the next days deliveries into a database by entering the address city zip. Then from that input I would like that data migrated onto reference points on a map that can be printed, she can figure out the physical route.

To take it a step further I would like to put a laptop in the panel van have it tied to a GPS and interlace the days map on the screen.

If there is a commercial solution out there please point me in the correct direction, if this is something that can be built and integrated into one of the current online mapping programs online. Please help me out, I am willing to pay to have the code written to accomplish this and the interface would not have to be fancy.. Tying it back to a central database would be cool as well so that the system would become smart over time..

Come on Geeks lets see if you can find me a solution.

12 Comments

  1. From Mike Wills at 10:22 pm on September 6, 2006

    I know truckers use software like this. I believe most decent mapping software with GPS capability would do this for you. I don’t have specific examples of software right now.

  2. From ~Just Josie~ at 12:43 am on September 7, 2006

    Check your email for info and contact information for TeleNav. You’ll need the business modual. Having vendor contact reach out to you. Can customize what ever you need. Very cost effective and will work with your back end.

  3. From ~Just Josie~ at 12:43 am on September 7, 2006

    Check your email for info and contact information for TeleNav. You’ll need the business modual. Having vendor contact reach out to you. Can customize what ever you need. Very cost effective and will work with your back end.

  4. From Todd Sutton at 6:36 am on September 7, 2006

    I use Microsoft MapPoint 2006.

    http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/products/2006/default.mspx

    You can import from a databse or link to an excel file.

  5. From pcnerd37 at 8:19 am on September 7, 2006

    Microsoft Streets & Trips w/GPS is the best mapping program ive used. You can input multiple stops and it will tell you the quickest route and can even figure out how much gas you need for the route among many other things. I use this for my incar navigation on my laptop as well as we use it for work. In the towing business, we need to be able to find a place and get to it as quick as possible and this program does the trick. I highly recommend it.

  6. From lapidary at 11:30 am on September 7, 2006

    google earth plus?
    it has GPS connectivity, and building a database of points shouldn’t be that hard.

    and for $20 I doubt you can beat the price

  7. From lapidary at 12:21 pm on September 7, 2006

    oh oops! google earth plus can only import from a gps! my bad

    fortunately someone created a tool that reformats google’s data format to gpx
    http://www.fish-track.com/kmltogpx/index.cfm
    for a list of software supporting gpx:
    http://www.topografix.com/gpx_resources.asp
    sorry for my previous post: I couldn’t find a way to edit it.
    lastly, some software supports csv; another easy format to save things in!

  8. From lapidary at 12:21 pm on September 7, 2006

    oh oops! google earth plus can only import from a gps! my bad

    fortunately someone created a tool that reformats google’s data format to gpx
    http://www.fish-track.com/kmltogpx/index.cfm
    for a list of software supporting gpx:
    http://www.topografix.com/gpx_resources.asp
    sorry for my previous post: I couldn’t find a way to edit it.
    lastly, some software supports csv; another easy format to save things in!

  9. From Sidx001 at 3:45 pm on September 8, 2006

    I’m on the road from 0630 to 5PM every day on appointments. I plan my route the night before using MapPoint 2006. It’s easy to use, and affordable as well! I can have it give me a route based on addresses or GPS coords. It’s the best solution out there that I have found for the price.

  10. From ajcannon at 10:23 pm on September 10, 2006

    todd, I just wanted to put my vote in here for mapquest as well. Sure it has some downsides (manual data entry is the biggest one in my opinion), but it’s probably also about the cheapest thing you’ll find. And quite honestly, it does the job and does it well. Just type in a list of addresses and then click a few buttons to sort them in a variety of ways and upload to a GPS enabled palm pilot or handheld computer and you’re on your way.

  11. From ajcannon at 8:24 pm on September 11, 2006

    oh yeah todd, I meant map point, not mapquest by the way

  12. From Funcoder at 1:47 pm on September 12, 2006

    Hi!

    I am a .NET developer and can create a solution for you mum as I have the components needed to build the desktop app.

    The second stage could even be developed in a pocket pc if you want.

    As its your mum I won’t charge you :)