Adding Routing to Your Maps

Routing is what the Meridian Editor uses to provide your visitors turn-by-turn directions in the Meridian-powered app to and from any point of interest, or placemark, on your map.

Routing Basics

In the Meridian Editor, a route is called a pathway. Points of interest are identified by placemarks on the map.

The advantage of the Meridian routing feature is that you don't have to draw every possible pathway on your map. All you need to do is mark the legal pathways your visitors can use and Meridian will calculate the best possible route between any two placemarks. When calculating a path, Meridian chooses either the shortest route or the shortest accessible route.

In the Editor, a routing graph is made up of blue lines and blue dots. The blue lines, or segments, are legal pathways. The blue dots, or nodes, mark the start and end of a segment. Every segment has two nodes, one on each end.

When you make a change you'd like to keep, click Save. Unsaved changes won't be kept when you leave the page.

Creating The Routing Graph

Before you can create a routing graph, you'll need to upload your map to Meridian.

Open the Routing View

Complete these steps to open the routing view.

  1. In the Meridian Editor sidebar, click Maps. Find the map level where you'd like to add a routing graph, and then click the Routing button. It looks like a curved arrow.

Draw a Routing Segment

Complete these steps to create a new segment.

  1. Press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click the map where you'd like to add a node. A node is added to the map. Click and drag the node to move it.

  2. Press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click the map where you'd like the second node to be. A segment is added between the two nodes. If this doesn't draw a segment, it means the first segment wasn't selected.

  3. Click and drag the nodes to change the placement of the segment. Make sure the segment doesn't go through a wall.

  4. Click Save.

Make a Routing Segment Preferable or Accessible

Complete these steps to mark a segment as preferable or accessible.

  1. Find a segment you'd like to mark as a preferable route or one that is non-accessible, click the segment to select it, and then click it again to open the segment dialog box.

  2. In the dialog box, click Prefer this segment to add a check and have Meridian use this route when possible. If the segment is not accessible, click Non-accessible to add a check.

  3. Click the map outside of the dialog box to close it. When a segment is marked as preferable, it will be a thicker line. When a segment is non-accessible, it will be a light blue color.

  4. Click Save.

Routing: Nodes

A routing graph is made up of segments and nodes. Nodes have five purposes:

  1. To mark the start and end of a route
  2. To add intersections to a route
  3. To add curves to a route
  4. To add portals connecting different floors or areas
  5. To create steps in the Meridian-powered app's turn-by-turn directions

Nodes Mark the Start and End of a Route

Every route begins and ends at a node. When a visitor to your location uses your Meridian-powered app to ask for directions from one placemark to another, the app will start from the node closest to the starting placemark and it will end at a node closest to the ending placemark.

The nodes next to the starting and ending placemarks don't have to line up exactly with specific nodes, but they should be close enough to create an accurate route.

Nodes Add Intersections to a Route

On any map, it's common for routes to cross other routes. Nodes can be used to create intersections on your map where segments meet. A node can have any number of segments connected to it. When you move a node, all the segments connected to it will move as well.

Nodes Add Curves to a Route

In addition to creating intersections, many nodes can be used together to create curved or circular routes. Nodes with many short segments can be arranged to form a curved or circular route on your map.

Nodes Add Portals to a Route

Portals are places that connect different floors, such as stairs and elevators, and other areas connected to a location. Any node can be flagged as a portal on your map. Before you can mark a node as a portal on the map, you'll need to add the portal on the Maps > Portals page.

For a node to be a portal the Is Exit checkbox must be checked.

See the Routing: Portals section for more information on how to add a portal to a route.

Nodes Create Steps in a Route

Finally, nodes are used to create steps in a route. These steps are used to create the turn-by-turn directions that will help your visitors navigate from one placemark to another.

The node placement uses the map's scaled distances to automatically create direction hints, such as, "In 200 feet, turn left."

For more information on setting your map's scale, please see Setting the Map Scale.

Routing: Turns

Depending on the angle of the turn, different messaging is presented to the visitor. Here is a chart that shows the angle of turns for each message.

Turn Angle Routing Message
Less than 45 degrees Slight Right
Between 45 and 109 degrees Turn Right
Between 110 and 178 degrees Sharp Right
Between 179 and 180 degrees Turn Around
Between 181 and 249 degrees Sharp Left
Between 250 and 314 degrees Turn Left
Between 315 and 360 degrees Slight Left

Routing: Portals

Portals are connections between maps or parts of maps. Portals are most often used to indicate connections between floors, such as stairs, elevators, and escalators. Portals can also be used for other types of connections, such as skybridges or same floor transitions from one building to the next when the buildings are immediately connected but on a separate map.

When a visitor requests directions to a placemark on a different floor, the directions will take the visitor to a portal, switch maps, and then continue on to the destination.

Create a Portal

Before you can add a portal to a node, you'll need to create a portal. Complete these steps to create a new portal.

  1. In the Meridian Editor sidebar, click Maps. Under the Maps header, click Portals.

  2. Click the Add Portal + button.

  3. On the New Portal screen, click the TYPE dropdown menu, and then click the portal type. Your options are Portal, Elevator, and Escalator.

  4. In the NAME field, enter a name for the portal. Each portal in your location must have a unique location. You can give your portals any names that you like, but the best practice is to give them names that are meaningful in some way. For example, if you had three elevators, you could name them EL-1, EL-2, and EL-3.

  5. In the FIXED SECONDS field, enter the time in seconds it will take the portal to become available to your visitor. For example, escalators and stairs are available immediately, while elevators are usually available after a short wait.

  6. In the PER FLOOR SECONDS field, enter the time in seconds it will take to use the portal. For example, stairs usually take more time than elevators or escalators.

  7. If the portal is accessible, click the ACCESSIBLE checkbox to add a check. If the portal is not accessible, leave it unchecked.

It's not necessary for the Fixed Seconds and Per Floor Seconds fields to be perfectly accurate. Meridian-powered apps use this information to help calculate the fastest route from one placemark to another.

  1. Click Save.

Add a Portal to a Node

Once you’ve created a portal, you'll add the portal to a node on the map that's closest to the portal location. If there isn't a node there, you'll need to add a node for the portal location. Make sure that the portal node is connected to the rest of the routing graph. You should have an ending node for each portal on your map.

Complete these steps to add a portal to a specific node on your map.

  1. In the Meridian Editor sidebar, click Maps. Find the map level you'd like to add the portal to, and then click the Routing button to the right of that map level. The routing button looks like a curved arrow.

  2. On the map, press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click the map to add a node on the map where the portal is located. If you already have a node there, skip this step.

  3. Make sure the node is connected by a segment to other nodes on the map. If not, click the node to select it. Press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click a nearby node to add a segment. TIP: You may need to add multiple nodes to create a legal pathway to the portal node.

  4. Click the portal node to select it, and then click it again to open the portal dialog box.

  5. In the portal dialog box, click Is Exit to add a checkmark.

  6. Click the No Portal dropdown menu, and then click the portal name for this node.

  7. For best results, leave the Portal Label and Directions to this exit fields blank.

    These fields are related to legacy routing system no longer in use.

  8. Click the map to close the portal dialog box.

Make sure that you add connecting portal nodes to every other level or segment of the map. The portal name is what connects the nodes to each other.

You can create a one-way portal by checking the Is Exit checkbox for a portal on one map, but not on other maps where you've added the portal. The Meridian-powered app will only generate routes through the portal with Is Exit checked.

  1. Click Save.

Manual Routing Text

In some cases, you may want to customize the text your visitors see as they follow Meridian's turn-by-turn directions through your location.

The Meridian Editor supports custom manual routing text.

At this time, manual routing text is an all-or-nothing feature. If you're using manual routing text, then every node on your map will need to have custom text added to it.

Manual Routing Steps

One thing that complicates manual routing text is that you'll often want to display different text to your visitors depending on which direction they're traveling along a route.

In order to make this possible, the Editor treats pairs of nodes differently than other nodes. When two nodes are placed close together, Meridian will display the text for the first node in the pair, and ignore the second.

At the default map zoom, if two nodes are close enough to look like a single node, then they're close enough to be a node pair.

This way, your visitors will see different messages when traveling in opposite directions.

Add Routing Steps to Your Map

Complete these steps to create directional steps on a map.

  1. In the Meridian Editor sidebar, click Maps. Find the map level you'd like to add routing steps to, and then click the Routing button. The Routing button looks like a curved arrow.

  2. On the map, press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click the map to add a node.

  3. Press and hold the SHIFT key, and then click the map near the first node to add a second node connected by a segment.

  4. If you want to add routing steps to an existing routing segment, you'll need to delete that segment, and then replace that segment with new segments and adjacent nodes along that route. To delete a segment, click a segment to select it, and then press the DELETE key.

  5. Double-click the first routing step node to open the node dialog box. In the node dialog box, click Is Exit to add a check.

  6. In the Directions to this exit field, enter a hint you'd like your visitors to see when they arrive at this step. If you leave it blank, your visitor will see the message, "Follow the highlighted path."

  1. Click Save.

Routing Steps Best Practices

You can create as many steps, made up of pairs of exit nodes, on your map as you want, but each step must have at least one non-exit node between each step. The more steps you have on your map, the more turn-by-turn directions your visitors will have to follow. The best practice is to have the smallest number of steps possible for each route, reserving steps for locations where your visitors will have to make decisions about which direction to go.