Microsoft has added waypoint optimization to the Bing Maps Routing API, which allows developers to create routes between driving locations.
The API is ideal for delivery and transportation businesses, and the route optimization functionality is intended to address the traveling salesman problem, which refers to the challenge of planning the most efficient route for trips involving multiple waypoints, or stops. Inefficient routing can significantly increase travel time and costs.
The Bing Maps Routing API now allows developers to pass up to 25 waypoints and the API will return a route that is optimized to minimize travel time or actual road distance.
According to Microsoft, geographic objects such as rivers, lakes and divided highways can result in routes that are not optimal. The new waypoint optimization takes these into consideration and "will yield much more accurate results compared to algorithms that cut corners and use simple straight-line ‘crow flies’ distance between stops."
To utilize waypoint optimization, developers pass a flag with their requests to the Bing Maps Routing API. There is no additional fee for using route optimization.