Routing is the process of creating the recommended routes that a user should follow when the user wants directions on the Meridian-powered app.
Routes are what the map admin creates to determine the turn-by-turn directions for the user. Routes consist of a starting and an ending point (node), and a line (segment) joining those two points.
The turn-by-turn directions displayed on the Meridian map is a collection of contiguous nodes and segments from the starting point to the destination.
Don't forget to click the ?⃝ icon in the bottom right to get a brief overview of the on screen buttons to help you work with the Map Editor.
Routing nodes are the backbones of the turn-by-turn directions. They serve the following purposes:
- Marking the start and end of a segment
- Adding intersections to a route
- Adding slight turns to approximate a curve
- Transitioning between floors
- Notifying the user about turns
NOTE: Use only as many nodes as necessary to help the user navigate through your floors. Using excess nodes can cause delays in generating the turn-by-turn directions.
Marking the Start and End of a Segment
A starting node and an ending node is joined by a segment to make a path as part of the route for the turn by turn directions.
Adding Intersections to a route
A nodes can have as many path segments connecting to other nodes as needed. For example, a T-intersection consists of one node at the intersection point joined by 3 segments that lead to other nodes.
There may be a situation where you've decided that you want to add a new route to an existing route. In this situation, you've already create an existing route as two nodes connected with a segment. Now you need to join a new route the this one. A new node must now be created so you can add the new route. You can delete the old segment to add a new node to draw the new route, or the better option is to add the new node directly on the existing segment. To do this, hold down the shift key and click on the desired location of the segment. While holding down shift key move the cursor to where you want to place the next node and click. The two new nodes will automatically be connected with by segment, thus creating the new route. The existing segment and new segment will be highlighted with the same color to indicate that they are all connected.
WARNING: The nodes and segments must all be interconnected for a proper route to be displayed. A discontinuity in the nodes and segments will result in a less desirable route for the user.
Generally, your routes should be fully interconnected. In order to assist with that, disconnected routes are shown in different colors. This means that if an area on the routing graph is all one color, you can get from any point to any other point without using a portal or going outside. Make sure to connect all parts of your maps together.
A disconnected routing graph:
Then after drawing another path segment:
After finally connecting all segments:
Adding slight turns to approximate a curve
Path segments are always straight lines, but by adding many nodes joined by segments to your route, you can approximate a curve. A circular hallway or roundabout may require many nodes with very small line segments.
Transitioning between floors
Transitions from one floor to the next can be done by configuring the node as a portal. Portals are ingress and egress points that my be used to represent elevators, escalators, stairs, or any other way of connecting two or more floors together. A normal node has a white fill, but when a node is configured as a portal, it will have a blue fill.
There are two ways to create portals. You can use the portal menu to define the portals ahead of time or you can create the portal directly from the routing node edit screen. Also, after you've linked your portal to multiple nodes, the sidebar will show you which floors your portal is connected to.
Whereas a segment is always bi-directional, a portal has the option to be configured as bi-directional or one-way. All elevators and stairs are bi-directional by nature, but doors and escalators may be set as one-way only. For example, an escalator can be set to go up a floor but not down, or an exit door cannot be used to enter.
IMPORTANT: The same portal must exist on all floors where egress/ingress is required.
To make the change from bi-directional to one-way, the portal has an option to enable Set as Exit. When this option is enabled it will use the portal to exit the floor. If this option is not enabled, the portal will not be used to exit the floor. For example, if the escalator only allows the user to go from the first floor to the second but not the reverse, enable Set as Exit on the first floor, but do not enable it on the second floor.
Each portal can then be customized further using the following parameters:
- Fixed Seconds. This is the duration of time before the service can be made available.
- Per Floor Seconds. This is the duration of time it takes to move from one floor to the next.
- Accessible. This option is to indicate if the portal can be used by someone that is walking and not using wheelchair.
These duration of time values are important because it helps the Meridian system to determine the optimal portal to use for the turn-by-turn directions. Let's take an example where the user has to go from floor 1 to floor 2 and the elevator, stairs and escalators are all options along the way to get there.
The default values for the portals are shown in the table below along with the calculations for the amount of time it takes use each of the portals:
|Type||Fixed Seconds||Per Floor Seconds||Accessible||Example to go from FL 1 to FL 2|
|Elevator||30||3||x||30 s + (3 s/fl x 1 fl) = 33 s|
|Escalator||0||20||0 s + (20 s/fl x 1 fl) = 20 s|
|Stairs||0||25||0 s + (25 s/fl x 1 fl) = 25 s|
In this example if the user was walking, the algorithm would select the escalator as the portal of choice because it takes the least amount of time. But if the user was using a wheelchair, the algorithm would select the elevator as the portal of choice.
Notifying user about turns
The route shows the user how to get to where they are going, but along the way, the user is notified when to make adjustments based on their location. Right turns and left turns are straight forward, however, sometimes there are slight and subtle turns that may or may not warrant a notification for the user. Meridian handles this by setting specific thresholds on the angle of a turn to quantify when to notify the user. Below is a table that shows what message the user will receive:
|Turn Angle||Routing Message|
|0° to 44°||Slight Right|
|45° to 109°||Turn Right|
|110° to 178°||Sharp Right|
|179° to 180°||Turn Around|
|181° to 249°||Sharp Left|
|250° to 314°||Turn Left|
|315° to 360°||Slight Left|
Routing segments are the straight lines that connect the nodes to create a route. All segments are bi-directional so the admin only has to create one route from the user's location to get them to and from the points of interest.
The default segments have specific values that Meridian uses to determine the optimal path from the user's location the the target destination. These values help Meridian to determine the shortest route or the preferred route to display to the user. Segments can also be configured to customize which route to present the the user.
Segment marked as preferred, give them higher priority over other segments. Segments can also be marked as non-accessible, meaning they represent a non-ADA compliant path (such as stairs or ledges).
Tips and Tricks
Want to gently nudge a node? If you select a node and use the arrow keys, you can move one pixel at a time.
You can undo and redo routing graph changes (except for creating portals).
|Redo (Mac)||Command+Shift+Z or
Simulating a Location on the map