openrouteservice 6.0 - Ganymede
Over the past few months we have been working hard to get an update ready for openrouteservice, and today we are pleased to make the openrouteservice 6.0 release, also known as Ganymede!
The main changes in the code are mostly back-end meaning that you might not see any obvious changes, but believe me, they are there! The main changes have been with regards to upgrading the openrouteservice to use a newer version of the GraphHopper core library, which has required a lot of refactoring of the code.
As well as all the things needed to get the update working, we have also brought in 3 new things that will be more obvious to users:
- Alternative routes - when you request a route, you can now also get some alternatives that might not quite be the optimal, but could still be of interest if you want to see what your options are
- Round trip routes - fancy going on a bike tour or a jog without any particular destination in mind? Now you can request a round trip route where you specify the distance you want to travel and openrouteservice tries to come up with a route that starts and ends in the same location but travels about that distance.
- Fast long-distance driving routes with restrictions - for a while now, one of the main restrictions when using openrouteservice was that you could get either long-distance routes quickly, or routes that take into account avoiding particular features. This was always an “or”, but now you can get both. Want to do a route across USA avoiding highways? Not a problem! Ever wondered the fastest way to get from Lisbon to the Nordkapp in Norway without going through Sweden? Now you can find out! And best of all, finding these routes is fast (less than 2 seconds for Lisbon to Nordkapp, which is almost 6000km - the waiting part is for actually rendering the route on the map). This truly is a big step forward for openrouteservice, and we hope you are as happy with the results as we are.
There have been a number of other edits in the code base, so take a look at the changelog for more information.
That said, there are a few caveats with this release. Firstly, we are aware that in some cases when using profiles other than car and HGV there may be some slight detours (i.e. unnecasserliy crossing a road). This is due to the underlying algorithm where a previous fix can no longer be applied with the new GraphHopper code. We are looking at fixing this though in the next release. Secondly, the round trip routing feature is still relatively experimental, and it can provide sub-optimal results for shorter routes and when used near coastlines. Over the next few months we will look into improving that algorithm to make it more versatile. Finally, there may be some issues relating to turn restrictions on the car and HGV profiles whilst we rework the algorithm to make proper use of these.
Also, the new routing methods are at the minute only available via the API and are not yet available on the maps.openrouteservice page. We are working hard on getting them added to the interface, so keep an eye out for that.
So with all that said, we hope you enjoy the new release as much as we do. You don’t need to change anything in your API calls unless you want to use the new routing options (round trip and alternatives), which we will document on the interactive documentation soon.
Did you know, that Ganymede is the largest satellite in the solar system, and is one of Jupiter’s Galilean moons. It is so large that it has a bigger diameter than Mercury, though it has less than half of the mass. This is because underneath Ganymede’s rocky surface there is believed to be a liquid ocean, that contains more water than all of Earth’s oceans combined. Also, Ganymede is the only known satellite that has its own magnetic field (though it is completely dwarfed by Jupiter’s huge magnetic field).