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This Guy Planned The Perfect U.S. Road Trip So You Don’t Have To

The hardest part of any adventure-driving trip is the planning, right?

It’s easy enough dream about that cross-country drive, wonderful to take it – but all those details before you hit the road, ugh!

Related: How Far Will $50 Of Gas Take You?

What if some mapped out an entire trip for you? Created an amazing journey that would give you stories to tell for years? That’s exactly what a college grad student has done for you by creating a State Capitals Tour that allows you to take a pic at every capital building in the lower 48 in just 8.5 days!


University of Pennsylvania post-doctoral candidate Randy Olson used Google Maps to determine the shortest distance by car between the 48 state capitals. That task, which required looking up 2,256 directions in Google Maps, proved easy compared to determining the most efficient route to visit all those cities.

Instead of evaluating all 1.24 x 1061 possible routes, a task that would take a home computer billions of years, Olson accepted a good enough from an algorithm used in biological research to mimic the process of natural selection.

The result is a route that can be joined at any point and allows drivers to snap 48 capital selfies in just over a week. Amazing. Who says you never use math after graduation?

Olson should now apply his magic to create a similar tour of Major League ballparks or the best diners in every state.

Those are drives I’d make!

Related: This Tech Millionaire Sold Everything To Travel The World With His Family

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