Guided Tour of MPMileage: Overview
This guided tour gives an overview of how MPMileage is used, and the options that are available.
Input data is read from a database
MPMileage calculates distances for point-to-point routes. Each of these routes is specified by a row in a database (typically Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel). There are a wide range of possible applications, including: the calculation of delivery costs and times for individual customers; and the calculation of employee driving expenses.
This example database is based on a sample that is provided with Microsoft MapPoint. Notice that empty columns have been added to receive the distance, time, cost, and error status results. One of the results has been duplicated: MPMileage detects duplicate route requests and does not duplicate the necessary calculations.
Points can be located with a map file
The individual points in the database are located using pushpin names, street addresses, or geographic coordinates. Here, a MapPoint map (.ptm) file has been used to supply pushpin locations. Each location in the database has a name that matches a pushpin on the map file. In this example, two pushpins have their information opened up for inspection. Although these example pushpins have lots of additional information, MPMileage only requires the pushpin's name.
By using pushpins in a pre-existing map, MPMileage does not have to worry about geocoding errors, such as mis-spelt addresses or mis-typed coordinates. This results in more efficient processing, because you do not have to run MPMileage multiple times to fix location errors such as these. However, street addresses can be geocoded at run-time if you prefer. MPMileage also supports the use of longitude, latitude coordinates.
The results are written to the database
MPMileage writes the calculation results out to the empty columns in the input database. The error status indicates if the route was calculated okay or whether there was a problem, eg. if the source or destination location could not be located.
The output for the above example is illustrated to the right. No problems were found, so all of the data rows have their error values marked as "Okay".
Next, we look at the main MPMileage panel.