This article describes more advanced routing features.
A routing graph is made up of segments and nodes. Nodes have five purposes:
- To mark the start and end of a route
- To add intersections to a route
- To add curves to a route
- To add portals connecting different floors or areas
- 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.
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 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.