Once in a while I ponder on how sat navs devise routes; this pondering invariably coincides with my driving down single tracks.
Today I set off in search of a bookshop. A spur of the moment decision. 30 minutes into a 60 minute journey and I was trundling down a road entitled, (on the sat nav), ‘Unmarked’. Given that I live in a part of England where a B road constitutes a major highway, unmarked is truly a journey into the unknown.
Guess what? It was delightful. Gorgeous scenery, fantastic rural architecture, mixing it up with the cyclists and hackers. I sailed past little nuggets – stalls of farm gate sales, enticing inns, faded nurseries, quirky rural businesses. My route twisted and turned through unfamiliar villages, railway crossings and tight bridges.
Apparently sat nav route calculation involves a ‘heuristic approach’.
I did look it up and it seemed to involve fiddling about with vectors, a branch of mathematics I was never fond of, alongside algorithms some of which have lots of consonants in their name (e.g. Dijkstra), see http://boyetblog.s3.amazonaws.com/PCPlus/292.gps.pdf if you have trouble sleeping at night.
I arrived at my destination and time sped away. Thank you Aardvark Books. Oh, did I buy any books?
Yes I did.
Reading this week: Vita Sackville-West’s Sissinghurst: The Creation of a Garden by Vita Sackville-West & Sarah Raven