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Except this time, we needed to look up 2,450 directions to get the “true” distance between all 50 landmarks — a monumental task if we had to do it by hand.

But really, this algorithm works just as well when you’re planning a smaller trip within your state as when you’re planning a larger trip spanning the entire world. This blog is my labor of love, and I've spent hundreds of hours working on the projects that you'll read about here.

Instead of exhaustively looking at every possible solution, genetic algorithms start with a handful of random solutions and continually tinkers with these solutions — always trying something slightly different from the current solutions and keeping the best ones — until they can’t find a better solution any more. Note: There’s an extra stop in Cleveland to force the route between Vermont and Michigan to stay in the U. Assuming no traffic, this road trip will take about 224 hours (9.33 days) of driving in total, so it’s truly an epic undertaking that will take at least 2-3 months to complete. on this trip, and as an added bonus, you won’t spend too long driving through the endless corn fields of Nebraska.

I’ve included a visualization of a genetic algorithm solving a similar routing problem below. The best part is that this road trip is designed so that you can start anywhere on the route as long as you follow it from then on. Here’s the Google Maps of the route: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] (Note that Google maps itself only allows 10 waypoints to be routed at a time, hence why there’s multiple Maps links.) Here’s the full list of landmarks in order: If you’re more of a city slicker, the road trip above may not look very appealing to you because it involves spending a lot of time outdoors. If you’re able to drive through Canada without issue, then take the direct route through Canada instead.

This complication is why Google Map’s route optimization service only optimizes routes of up 10 waypoints, and the best free route optimization service only optimizes 20 waypoints unless you pay them a lot of money to dedicate some bigger computers to it.

The traveling salesman problem is so notoriously difficult to solve that even xkcd poked fun at it: Clearly, we need a smarter solution if we want to take this epic road trip in our lifetime.

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