The Open Source Routing Machine is a great example of what can be accomplished with open tools and open data, and we were glad we could provide it as a free public service for those who didn’t want to set up their own servers or cross the streams.
After working with OSRM, we soon realized that routing with open source data could be made even better by embedding road characteristics and connectivity information in tiles, along with providing dynamic, run-time costing for custom transportation modes. In under six months, the Valhalla development team came on board and created a open source, world-class routing and navigation tool using OpenStreetMap road network data.
Some of the benefits of Valhalla include narrative directions, collapsed maneuvers, simplified transitions at intersections, and better exit information. And that’s not all: in the future we plan on tile downloading and multimodal routing.
We already have more users and routes generated on Valhalla than our OSRM service – Remix (formerly TransitMix) switched with no difficulty soon after Valhalla API was released in June.
How easy is it to switch? Queries to the API are formatted in JSON rather than as arguments, and the output format is slightly different, but these are all explained in the Valhalla API documentation.
GaiaGPS was able to quickly build an GPS trail finder using Valhalla, which is proving popular in the hiking community:
@gaiagps So much better than any existing route planner for hiking, and was quick to build using open open services & open data.— Jesse Crocker (@DataMongers) July 10, 2015
npm install lrm-valhalla
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.