Nothing to see here

Posted by Minh Nguyen on 5 December 2008 in English (English). Last updated on 25 January 2017.

A traveling salesman plans to attend a conference of traveling salesmen and wants to drive from point A to point B and back using the shortest, quickest route possible. He first tries the obvious tool for the job, Google Maps, which times out unexpectedly. Yahoo! Maps, Live Maps, and MSN Maps all do likewise when given the same query. MapQuest returns a more helpful 500 Internal Server Error after a few minutes.

In a fit of desperation, he consults OpenStreetMap, which routes him through null and undefined. The traveling salesman is now enlightened about the NP-hard class of problems.

Edited 24 January 2017: Replaced OSM Gazetteer links with Nominatim links.

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