Holiday greetings and a look back over the year

Well, 2021 is drawing to a close, and though it was not the year most of us hoped for, it certainly has been an eventful year here at openrouteservice.

Back in January, we saw the release of the vaccine map which aimed at showing you the location of your nearest Covid-19 vaccination centre and the best route to use to get there. This was also the first time most people got to see the new reactive maps client which was officially released as the main map interface to openrouteservice in March.

Also in March, a new project working with the GIScience group at Heidelberg University started called SocialMedia2Traffic. That project aims at using social media data to predict traffic levels which could then be used by openrouteservice to produce better travel time estimations.

In May, the nearby city of Mannheim started using openrouteservice on their public web services to allow people to plan routes with different travel methods within the city area.

July saw another new project start relating to routing whilst avoiding heat stress areas. This project, called HEAL, is a collaboration between HeiGIT, GIScience (Heidelberg University), and the TdLab Geography (Heidelberg University) and will be piloted in Heidelberg. July also saw some of the worst flooding in Germany and Belgium in recent years, and to aid in the logistical planning, HeiGIT released a first prototype of a system for automatically including avoid areas in routing requests. These avoid areas were automatically generated from the European Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) flood data.

In August, the openrouteservice for disaster management was migrated across to the new maps client, and shortly afterwards an activation was made for a tragic earthquake that struck Haiti. Similarly, a new activation for the Philippines after typhoon Rai hit in December.

Throughout the year our developers have also been working a lot in the backend for things that you might not yet be as visible, such as setting up the groundwork for new and exciting features, and bringing code and libraries up to date. With the recent security alerts for widely used libraries, it is clear that keeping code up to date is a major consideration, and more often than not, this development work goes unnoticed by people using the end software. So a big thanks to everyone who is in the background working away on things that hopefully most people don’t even realise is happening.

Now to finish up the year, here are some interesting stats relating to openrouteservice from the past year:

  • Over 800 code commits to the openrouteservice stable branch
  • 1,100 posts made on the Ask forum
  • 30,000 newly registered users for
  • Almost 200,000,000 served requests to our public API

All that is left to say is that we wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe, and responsible holiday time, and we look forward to what 2022 will bring!

The openrouteservice team