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Example: Finding the Closest Locations

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This example demonstrates how to use Ultra MileCharter to report the route distances from each customer to the three closest stores. The input data can be found in the chicago_customers.xls spreadsheet in the Ultra Mileage examples file:


The customers are found on the Customers worksheet:




And the sales offices are found on the Sales Offices worksheet:




It is assumed that you have already downloaded the Contiguous USA road packs and are familiar with basic MileCharter operations. If not, please read Example: Finding Distances between Cities first.


Start Ultra MileCharter and select Excel for Location Source. Press Change to change the Excel location settings to look like this:




Set the workbook file to use the example chicago_customers.xlsx worksheet. We want to find the three closest sales offices to each customer, so the source locations are the customers, and the destinations are the sales offices. Set the worksheet and columns accordingly.


Press OK to return to the main Ultra MileCharter panel:




In contrast to the earlier example, we need to set the Only report the shortest/quickest routes check box to enable the 'find closest' functionality. We set the number of locations to find to be 3. This will report the 3 closest sales offices for each of our customers. Restrictions are also added for a maximum of 50 distance units (miles) and 70 minutes. We also want the sales offices to be ordered with the closest first, so check Rank routes in ascending order. Note that the routes we find will be the fastest and not necessarily the shortest, this is because we are using a road pack optimized for fastest routes.


Press Compute to start processing. The resulting chart of the closest sales offices will look like this:




Notice that the customer 'David Brown' only has one sales office within the specified criteria of 50 miles and 70 minutes.


The next example calculates driving distances and estimates costs to visit a customer from various sales depots in the UK.