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This "optimized" Michigan road trip will take you 40-50 hours to complete

Mar 23, 2015

Here's the "optimized" road trip.
Credit Google Maps

According to Randy Olson, 2,098 miles and 43 stops is the perfect road trip around Michigan.

Olson – who’s about to graduate from Michigan State University with a doctorate in computer science – used his computer magic to create what he calls, “Pure Michigan Road Trip, Optimized.”

“It all started with sort of picking out where exactly would be the best spots to stop in Michigan,” he said.

“So I started making my own list, you know the favorite spots I’ve been and the places I’ve heard about from my friends. But then I thought about, ‘Well, that’s pretty subjective. Why don’t I try to find some more objective criteria.’”

He looked to the Pure Michigan campaign and its most highly recommended points of interest.

“Once I had chosen those locations, it was just a matter of plugging it into my algorithm, which uses a combination of Google Maps and machine learning to try to find the shortest route to go around the entire state and hit all of those stops,” Olson said.

One of the most convenient parts of this road trip?

His algorithm allows the traveler to start anywhere in the state.

“It’s designed so it actually does a complete circle around the state, so you can just hop on at the nearest location to wherever you’re living and just do the complete circle from there,” he said.

Here's an interactive version of his road trip: