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There are several distance metrics you might use. Consider each of these:
1. As-the-crow-flies geographical distance
2. Time estimate for travel between locations
3. Distance estimate for travel between two locations via surface transportation
4. Cost estimate for travel between locations via public transportation
Metric 1 may be unsuitable if the geography of the area is
irregular, e.g. if you have a territory where there are lakes,
rivers, mountains, or other features that dominate. You'd
want e.g. the distance between Milwaukee, WI and Grand
Rapids, MI to reflect the presence of Lake Michigan.
Consider quantizing any or all of these metrics, so that rather
than measuring across a continuous scale you group similar
distances into a common bucket. 10 minutes away is close
enough for an ad hoc in person conversation, but at 1 hour away
you won't bump into each other at the grocery store, and at
3 hours away travel needs to be planned and scheduled.
If the territory is large enough, you might also have time zone
differences, and clustering based on common time of day may
generate an interesting simplification.
On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 8:11 AM, <Roberto Dandi> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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> Hi all,
> I have collected data about advice relationships among few hundreds primary care physicians whose offices are distributed across a territory. Based on the addresses of the physician offices, which I have, I would like to create also a geographical distance network, where the generic cell "i" shows the miles / kilometres between the generic pair of physicians.
> I know a way to do this manually (pair by pair) on Google Maps. Is there an automatic (and hopefully free of charge) way to do this?
> Thanks a lot
> Roberto Dandi, PhD
> LUISS Guido Carli
> LUISS Business School
> Via Alberoni, 7 - 00198 - Roma, Italy
> Tel: +39 0685222-356 (office) +39 3332421253 (mobile)
> Fax: +39 0685222-400
> Luiss University: http://docenti.luiss.it/dandi/
> Personal website: http://sites.google.com/site/robertodandi/
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