Version 1.0.0 - Initial release: Madrid
I, the programmer of this app, am an enthusiastic traveller: always looking for where to go, even though not all the dreams come through. I am also a programming enthusiast having few hobby projects ongoing side by side to my actual job - typically web, but these days more and more mobile or osx. One day I wanted to learn how to make an ios app. I started from something simple that is still useful for me. I only do software that I need and use - and I have done many of those. This is how this app, VIA, was eventually born. Hopitech oy (a limited privately owned company, registered in Finland Reg. No. 2443888-3), is a company through which I can work with projects like these.
When I travel, or dream about travelling, I want to plan my route. The idea for this app originated from this need coupled with the will to know how far away my US resident aunt lives from my Finland based home. From Finland one travels by plane to abroad. Period. Therefore, VIA considers distances between two locations in birds route. In flying via means a stop-over, sometimes you plan the stop-over or sometimes you plan a round-the-world trip. What could be better app to do that than an app where you can store your favorite locations and routes and automatically compute distances between them? Sometimes you have many places and you want to organize you route so that the total distance is minimized. VIA offers a tool for this too. My daughter also wanted to know what's on the other side of the Earth for a given place. Did you know that Madrid's (Spain) pal in this game is roughly Auckland (New Zealand). So I also included that to VIA.
Travelling salesman problem (TSP) is one of the most interesting common-public understandable problems in mathematics. The question goes, given a set of locations, what is the shortest route to go all of them through? One can also add attributes: if the route is cyclic, if the start and the end are fixed etc. This problem is so called NP-hard, meaning very resource expensive to solve, or the problem computation time scales very rapidly when the amount of locations increases. Therefore, many heuristic algorithms almost solving the problem have been developed. These typically find a local minimum, i.e. a path that cannot be made shorter with just some easily guessable changes to it. One of these algorithms is called 2-Opt, which compares distances between two different paths. If swapping of the ends of this two paths reduces the total distance, the algorithm does this and reverses all the locations in between. This is then done until no reduction is possible. VIA uses 2-Opt to find a local minimum of TSP.
This app does not send any data to the developer's servers - or to any other server that the developer has access to. Apple's servers are used for geocoding and map searches and other map related activities.
Feel free to enjoy this app, I will keep updating it when I need new features for it.
This software is provided as it is - with all its flaws, shortcomings and present functionality. The author takes no warranty that the software even works for the task it is designed to. Especially, the coordinates of the saved locations or built-in lists, as well as their names and other data, should be used only as a possible reference, not as the correct ones. The location search and reverse geocoding utilize external services (The Apple MapKit) and their output is not determined by this software. You should not use this software to plan your travelling or make any choices that include financial and personal decisions, always cross-check the results with a representative travel agency or authority. By using this software you accept this disclaimer.