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Routes

G4L tracking system provides an opportunity to track a unit being on route and supposed to visit definite check points in predefined or arbitrary order, at definite time or without any strict schedule.

To understand how routes work, three notions are important: route, schedule, and round.

Route is a set of check points, each characterized by its location on map. The number of check points in a route is unlimited.

Schedule is a timetable which holds time of visit for each point. One route can have many schedules attached to it.

Round is a route, its schedule and assigned unit put together.

So, to configure a route, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a route itself, i.e., mark check point on map.
  2. Create one or more schedules for this route.
  3. Assign rounds manually or adjust automatic creation of rounds.
:!:Note that in order routes to be displayed on the map you should check if the corresponding layer icon

in the main menu is active.

When everything is configured properly, you can analyze unit performance on route by various means:

  1. In a specially designed online timeline.
  2. In reports.
  3. Get notifications about progress during rounds.

To open the Routes panel, choose a corresponding name in the top panel or click on the necessary item in the main menu customizer. Here you can configure routes and observe the progress of active rounds.

Creating a Route

To create a new route, press the New Route button.

Input a name for route (at least four characters), give description (optional), and choose color which will be used to display the route on the map and in the timeline.

A route consists of check points that are supposed to be visited. Check points can be added by various means: directly from the map, from geofences, and from moving units.

Adding Check Points

Click on the corresponding icon to add check points using one of the four methods:

  • From map/address: Either enter address or simply double-click on the map to indicate a place for a check point. The usage of the Address tool was described above. When necessary point is found, add it to the route by clicking Add as check point. Before adding, edit point name (the Address field) if necessary, because it will be impossible later.
  • From geofences: If you click on this icon, the list of geofences will be displayed. To the left of a geofence name, you can see its type (circle, line, polygon). Click on geofences to add them as check points. To quickly find a needed one, use the dynamic filter on the top. On the right there is a button to move to a geofence on the map, however, it will be visible only if this geofence is marked to be displayed on the map in the Geofences panel (the similar is with units). If you have more than 100 geofences, they will be divided into pages, and to view them all you will need to use navigation buttons on the bottom of the list.
  • From units: A check point may have no fixed coordinates, that is to be a moving unit. In this case, to visit this point will mean to approach within indicated radius. To add a unit as a check point, click on it in the list.

When points are added, you can edit their radius (except geofences) and place them in desired order, remove points or add more if necessary. To change points sequence order, just drag points up and down holding them at blue arrow-shaped icons. Radius for geofences is not specified because their shape and size are taken as they are. And check points cannot be renamed.

Remember that copies of geofences are created in the route, so route check points created from them lose connection with their predecessors completely when the route is created. You can then edit or delete those original geofences, and it will not affect the route in any way. Meanwhile, units as check points are different because their IDs are stored in the route. So, the connection with the unit is always maintained unless the unit is deleted.

When finished, press Save. The route will appear on the list. To see it on the map, click on its name. It is strongly recommended to estimate the result visually and double check all points before proceeding because afterwards, when the route has schedules, it is impossible to edit it.

:!: Attention! When a route has schedules, it becomes impossible to edit its check points (add, delete, set sequence order). If you need to alter such a route, make a copy of it and make all necessary changes there. Then delete the original route. However, in this case you must configure schedules and rounds for this route again.

Optimization

Whichever method you choose to add check points to a route, you can afterwards apply the function of optimization to those points. The program will automatically detect the shortest way to visit all the points. The shortest route can be built considering existing roads, or avoiding highways, or by foot, etc. — these additional parameters depend on map provider selected. The default cartographical sources is G4L Maps. Though, Google Maps, Yandex Maps, Visicom, and HERE Maps can also be chosen from the dropdown list.

To apply optimization, press the Optimize button. See the route distance before and after optimization below. To restore the initial route, press Cancel near the button of optimization.

Schedule

A schedule is a list of route check points with times of their intended visit. One route can have unlimited number of schedules. Different schedules can be applied in odd and even days, at weekends and weekdays, in different months, etc.

To create a schedule for a route, press the Add schedule button against this route and adjust required parameters.

General parameters

  • Automatically create rounds for this schedule: Rounds can be created automatically without any assistance of a dispatcher. When the time draws near the first point visit, the round is activated and the system starts to track it. This option works only with Relative to day schedule type. Besides, one or more units should be selected on the Units tab of the same dialog.
  • Expiration time (DD:HH:MM): This is time after which the round (if not finished) will be finished forcibly and obtain the Aborted status.
  • Schedule name: You can use automatically generated name for the schedule. It is composed of first point time and last point time or it can be 'Copy of …' if the schedule is created using the copying method. However, you can give schedule any desired name if you put the checkbox before its name.
  • Remove finished rounds from the timeline: It is advisable to leave this option checked. Otherwise, finished rounds will remain on the timeline and soon will become too numerous and difficult to navigate through them.

Schedule type

  • Relative to activation: Scheduled time of point visit will refer to time from round beginning. Such schedule can be used at any time.
  • Relative to day: Scheduled time of point visit will refer to time of day. Such schedule can be used in different days (once in a day).
  • Absolute: Scheduled time of point visit includes also a date. Such schedule can be used only once.

Check points order

This parameter is extremely important for route control.

  • Strict: All check points are supposed to be visited in the sequence order they are places in the route. No skipping is allowed. It means, while we are waiting for the arrival to the Point #3, any visits to other check points are ignored if they happen. The route is considered as finished when unit (after visiting all points) enters the last check point.
  • Skipping possible: Check points are supposed to be visited in the default order, however, it is possible that unit would visit not all of them. If after the visit to the Point #2 the unit gets to the Point #4, then the Point #3 is considered as skipped (even if visited later). The round is estimated as finished when a unit enters the last check point, and it does not matter how many of other points it has visited.
  • Arbitrary: Check points can be visited in any order but only when all of them are visited, the routes finishes.

Schedule grid

Here you see the list of all check points contained in the route and times of their visit. Visit time can indicate only arrival or both arrival and departure. Besides, you can set variation time to give unit some degree of freedom to visit the point (like plus or minus 5 minutes). Time format here is hh:mm.

Enter arrival time for each check point. To indicate departure time as well, tick this option to activate it. Variation time can be set automatically. Enter value into the appropriate box and press Apply.

If time is set 00:00, then any visit of the point at any time will be considered as perfectly in accordance with the schedule (not late, not early).

If a route is going to have arbitrary points order, you can indicate time interval within which each check point should be visited. It is especially convenient for delivery services and the like. For example, a point should be visited between 18:00 and 20:00. Then write 18:00 as arrival time and 20:00 as departure time. At that, time variations should be zero.

Time limitation

Time limitations can be applied to schedule to restrict its operation to certain time intervals, days of the week, days of the month or months. For example, you can select only event or odd days or only working hours of weekdays, etc. Note that this option does not work with Absolute schedule type.

Units

Choose unit(s) to be assigned to this schedule and thus create rounds. If rounds are created automatically, then units must be indicated. If rounds are created manually, then a unit can be assigned at that time. If several units are chosen, then the first that begins the round will be assigned to it. Required access right is Use unit in retranslators, jobs, and notifications.

Switch to the tab 'Units'. Here you can see two lists. The units to be assigned are situated in the left one, the right one contains already chosen units. The left list contains not all the units available to you, but those situated in the monitoring panel work list. In case the work list is empty (when dynamic work list is used or when units have been deleted from the work list manually), the units to which you possess enough rights will be displayed.

Round name

Here you can set name that will be applied to rounds created based on this schedule do differentiate it from other rounds. Special tags can be used to form the name:

Round Name Screenshot




  • %ROUTE% — route name;
  • %SCHEDULE% — schedule name;
  • %FIRSTPOINT% — first check point name;
  • %LASTPOINT% — last check point name;
  • %DATE% — date of round creation;
  • %TIME% — time of round creation.

When you have configured the first schedule, others can be easily created by copying and shifting. Press the Copy schedule button against necessary schedule and alter some parameters. Enter shifting time (hh:mm) and press up or down icon (shift schedule upwards or backwards in time). Besides, you may want to change schedule name.

Rounds

Round is a route, its schedule and assigned unit put together. Unit performs a route (visits route's check points) according predefined schedule.

Rides can be created manually or automatically.

Manual Round Creation

To create a round manually, press Create manual round button against a needed schedule.

At the top, you can see the name of chosen route and schedule. Underneath you can see two lists. The units to be assigned are situated in the left one, the right one contains already chosen units. The left list contains not all the units available to you, but those situated in the monitoring panel work list. In case the work list is empty (when dynamic work list is used or when units have been deleted from the work list manually), the units to which you possess enough rights will be displayed. Afterwards enter round name and description, decide upon points order, expiration time, and other parameters (see Schedule for details). New parameter here is Activation time.

This is date and time to start the control. Activation time is especially important for schedules of Relative to activation type. The round then will be tracked from this time on. Activation time can be omitted — in this case we consider that the route starts when unit enters the first check point (if points order is Strict) or any check point (in other points orders).

At the end, press Create a round.

Automatic Round Creation

Automatic creation of rounds is adjusted in schedule properties — set the option Automatically create rounds for this schedule.

Besides, automatic creation of rounds can be enabled straight from the Routes panel — using the corresponding switch button before each schedule name.

Another way to create a route automatically is through notifications. You can create a notification with trigger action to assign a new route after the previous one is finished.

Round List

To see the list of rounds created or planned for a certain schedule of a certain route, press the button .

Choose period (Hour, Today, Yesterday, Week) or set your custom interval. For intervals like 'Today' or 'Yesterday', it is convenient to slightly extend the period by some more hours (+hh:mm) if the working shift ends after midnight.

You can observe either all rounds or rounds of a certain status: in progress, pending, finished, estimated. When all parameters have been set, press the Apply button to display rounds you need. Besides, in the header of the table, you can choose a route to show rounds for, or you can request a list of rounds for all tour routes.

In the table, you see the round beginning time, name, state (finished, aborted, estimated, in progress, history), points order (arbitrary, strict, skipping possible), and unit(s) bound to this round. Finished and aborted (finished forcibly due to expiration) rounds can be deleted. It means they disappear from the timeline and get the status 'History'. Yet, all information about them is stored and can be reached through reports.

Route Control

There are several methods of tracking units on routes and you can choose what suits you better.

Online Control

Active rounds are displayed in the timeline which is situated in the right lower part of the screen. Here you see all rounds which are in the progress currentlyas well as all manually created rounds.

If there are many rounds, you can filter them per adjusted parameters: by route name, by schedule, round, unit. A criterion is chosen in the dropdown list, and in the text field on the right you enter name mask of a route/schedule/round/unit. You can also specify a time interval to show rounds for. To apply adjusted filtration parameters, press .

Additionally, you can apply grouping to this list of rounds . Then each row on the list will be dedicated to one route/schedule/round/unit. The name of such a row will contain the number of items it holds (in brackets).

Timeline scale is adjustable — it can display a period equal to a fortnight or just a minute. In some scales, point names can overlap and become partly hidden. That is why there are several possibilities in displaying captions for check point:

do not show point names at all;

show names for 'hot' check points i.e., points where units are located currently or points awaiting arrival at;

show captions for all check points.

You can move the timeline right and left by simple dragging. Besides, it can move by itself in such a way to maintain the current moment in focus — press 'Lick current time' for this. While this button is pressed, the timeline cannot be moved manually.

On the timeline, a route is represented by a horizontal line of such colour that was assigned to it. Check points are represented as vertical sections on this line and they are situated in the places where the arrival to a check point is expected per the schedule. A check point can be also displayed as a rectangle if not only arrival but departure time as well are indicated in the schedule. Besides, check points which contain only arrival time can be expanded to rectangles at the expense of deviation time (if specified). For this, apply the option 'Mark deviation time' .

Online Route Control Screenshot

Until a point is visited, it is displayed on the timeline as an empty rectangle; when visited, this rectangle obtains a filling of the color assigned to the route. In addition, you can enable contours highlighting schedule violations:

yellow — late visit (delay);

pink — early visit (outrunning).

If a point has been visited in accordance to schedule, no contour will be applied. If a point has been skipped, it will obtain a red contour and a red filling regardless appointed route color.

Apply 'In fact' option to see how a unit visited the points — time of real visit will be shown above the planned line.

Notifications about Routes

While a unit is performing a round, you can receive notifications about how it is going. To do this, create a notification of the Route control type and adjust it properly depending on your needs. You can be notified when a round has started or finished, if a check point has been skipped, and in some other cases. These notifications can be sent by e-mail or SMS, shown online in a popup window, stored in unit history as events or violations, etc. See Notifications for details.

Reports on Routes

All events connected with units' performance on routes are stored in the system automatically. This data can be used to generate the following types of reports:

  • Rounds (for unit)
  • Check Points
  • Rounds (for route)

Routes Management

Routes in the panel are listed in the alphabetical order. To quickly find a definite route, use the dynamic filter situated above the list. Enter route name or its part and observe the results.

In the dropdown list above the list, you can choose how routes are displayed:

  • Routes: the simplest list of routes without any sublevels.
  • Schedules: routes and their schedules.
  • Check points: routes and their check points.
  • Active units: routes and units which are currently performing them.

The following icons are used in the panel:

— edit route i.e., change its name, description, color, and check points radius;

— add a new schedule for this route;

— see the list of rounds for this route (finished, in progress, pending);

— create a round for this manually;

— copy a route (i.e., create a new route based on chosen one) or a schedule;

— delete a route or a schedule;

— automatic creation of rounds for this schedule is enabled (click to disable);

— automatic creation of rounds for this schedule is disabled (click to enable);

— automatic creation of rounds for this schedule is impossible because the schedule type is not 'Relative to day'.

To see a route on the map, enable the checkbox before its name. Click on route's name to center the map on this route. Note that check points' names are displayed on the map by default. Uncheck the corresponding box in user settings dialog in order the names not to be displayed.