Giving insight into transportation

When Google’s Mobile development platform was introduced, the presenter said:

Right now there are thirty-one satellites zipping around the world with nothing better to do than help you find your way to the grocery store.

This proves that finding your way “first time right” has turned into a commodity. As companies transport goods and cargo, do they evaluate the routes they travel from point ‘A’ to ‘B’? If so, these insights should give them a good idea how to effectively organize their logistics. Now, how could this scenario be supported with QlikView?

To be able to support this use case we need data that tells us what milage was done between two gps coordinates, right? So for this example the dataset could look like this:


Here you see that for every OrderID there are two records with different Latitudes and Longitudes. The ‘FromTo’ Field displays the starting point (1) and the end point of the route (2). These parameters are needed for QlikView to be able to draw a route using a mapping API, for example MapBox, Cloudmade or the popular API from Google.

What we want to achieve:


The dark grey dots represent the starting points for the routes that are used. In a typical business context these could be plants or distribution centers. The orange dots represent the destinations, their size depends on the amount of cargo that gets transported on that route.

Now, these insights could really help planners or managers for logistic processes to determine if there could be more effective ways of organizing their transportation efforts.

Again, this post won’t bother you with dull bullet points for implementing this kind of visualization. After all I’m not a trainer in any way 😉

Instead here you will find an example application that will give you the right amount of inspiration to be able to give these insights to your users.

 Let me know what you think, after all this blog is about sharing our thoughts and knowledge.