Postman's Problem

Runners are neglecting their cities, many avoiding the bustling streets and heading to parks and trails. Postman’s Problem transforms the relationship that runners have with their cities by aiding runners in completing every single street. It’s a way for runners to fall in love with their city, by understanding every inch of it.

“The simple act of running puts you in contact with people you’re not normally in contact with,” he said. “We have these conceptions about our neighbors—you’re never in the bad town, the bad town is always one town over. As runners, we have the ability, we’re on foot and can move around. So long as we have curiosity and ideally a smile, we can be a great conduit for empathy and meeting other people in our communities.”

Rickey Gates

The Mapping Algorithm

Those previously attempting to run every street would draw a route by hand, and not take the pen off the paper until they get back to the start point and visited every street. This inaccurate method resulted in doubled-up miles. I developed an algorithm that could find the fastest way to navigate every street in a city.

It all starts with a road network, which is trimmed to a city’s bounds. For a Brighton and Hove sector, it looks like the two images above. The nodal points of a specific area can then be run along the network of roads within the city to calculate the fastest route to take. The nodal points mark the start and end points of the road, and act the same way that the vertices act in the mathematical model of the Chinese Postman problem.

Notes

Designed in Figma

Prototyped in Protopie

Video in After Effects