[R] GIS Help: distance calculation based on ZIP Code

Mike Marchywka marchywka at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 8 21:49:45 CET 2010

> Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 19:25:09 +0000
> Subject: Re: [R] GIS Help: distance calculation based on ZIP Code
> From: b.rowlingson at lancaster.ac.uk
> To: lihawaii at gmail.com
> CC: marchywka at hotmail.com; r-help at r-project.org
> On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM, XINLI LI  wrote:
> > Thank you very much, I will look into it.
> If it really is only 200 then I'd start typing them into Google's
> direction finder and typing in the distance/time given. Even if you
> only do one per minute they'll all be done in half a day easily. Job
> done.
> If it is going to be 20,000 then you either need a small army or some
> way of automating the process. I could give you my python code that
> scripted the process to both Google's Routing and an OpenStreetMap
> routing service (made for some interesting comparisons), but I just
> tried them again and they are both broken - probably because you're
> not supposed to script these things anyway.
> Small armies are available for hire via Amazon's "Mechanical Turk"
> service. Or find some grad students willing to do it for food.

I got our whole office ( IP address ) kicked off of yahoo one day but
luckily it was a saturday. Probably just a "sleep" or something in 
a bash script would work, goog doesn't seem to like wget as a UA LOL however.
While you have me started and the beer is still active, I would point
out that even some govt sites,  the USTPO PAIR portal ( not the main site ),
use catptcha checks ( http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair ) 
for what should be freely available data. 

I guess my point is that many sites are predicated on interactive usage,
no one would actually use a computer to automate data processing,
and if you want to download your own DB of information that others have
often it does make sense. There is nothing worse than having to scrape data
out of html or pdf.

> Barry

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