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Algorithms & Applications Group
Campus Navigator: Web-Based Route Planner for Texas A&M Campus Area

Project Personnel:Nancy Amato

In this project, we incorporate roadmap-based path planning techniques to a web-based route planner that covers the Texas A&M campus. The goal is to allow users to quickly find directions to all TAMU buildings, departments, and major services. Transportation information (e.g. bus routes and parking lots) is incorporated to provide meaningful answers to users questions such as "How do I get from the Bright building to Reed Arena, taking an on-campus bus." We use a layered roadmap approach to compose multiple transportation methods into a single queryable roadmap. The user interface is implemented using Google Maps API.

Demo Campus Navigator v1.0

The system is organized into five main modules. The client side interface is implemented using Google Maps API written in Java Script. It communicates to the webserver using AJAX. The webserver runs Apache and is the main coordinator of the server side modules. The path planner is written in C++ and computes paths and other displayable information using a modified version of Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm on a hand made layered roadmap. All roadmap and landmark information is stored in the database. The visualizer is Google Maps, which provides satellite, map level, and a hybrid view of campus that is given to the client and overlaid with paths and other queried information.

System organization - major modules are web interface, path generator, and database.

The roadmap contains all the valid paths in the campus, represented by the places and the transportation methods, it is stored in a layered roamdap. Each layer represents an independent mode of transportation (e.g. Car, Bus, Walk, Handicapped). There are transition constraints that bridge the layers which correspond to physical places transportation changing is allowed (e.g. bus stop, parking lot).

Some examples of our the system are shown below. Users are allowed to select their start and destination through a variety of means. After selecting their locations, they may specify the mode of transportation and then query the system. The results are overlaid on the Google Maps with lines to represent the paths and pop-up notification when more details are needed (e.g. building or bus stop names).

Start and goal positions can be specified by one of the three methods - writing name, clicking on the map, or choosing from a list. Landmark information can be displayed to the user as a pop-up notify marker overlaid onto the Google Maps.

Start and goal positions can be specified by one of the three methods - writing name, clicking on the map, or choosing from a list. Landmark information can be displayed to the user as a pop-up notify marker overlaid onto the Google Maps.

An example of a query where the bus system is used. The query was from the Bright building to Reed Arena, and the system told the user to take the Bush School bus route and board at the Fish Pond bus stop.

Supporting Path Planning Queries Incorporating Multiple Modes of Transportation using Layered Roadmaps, Roger Pearce, Bryan Boyd, Xinyu Tang, Darla Haigler, Akhil Patel, Nancy M. Amato, Technical Report, TR06-014, Parasol Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Texas A&M University, Oct 2006.


Project Alumni:Bryan Boyd,Nick Downing,Aimée Vargas E.,Darla Haigler,Jinsuck Kim,Jyh-Ming Lien,Akhil Patel,Roger Pearce,Bharatinder Sandhu,Xinyu Tang