Data mastermind maps most convenient route for America's ultimate road trip

Want to road trip across the United States but don't have much time to do it? Data mastermind Randy Olson says it's possible to visit the nation's lower 48 states in just 9 days! 

After the challenge was proposed by Discovery News' Tracy Staedter, Olson decided to set up an algorithm to find the most efficient way across the country.

Here were his requirements: 

  1. The trip must make at least one stop in all 48 states in the contiguous U.S.
  2. The trip would only make stops at National Natural Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Parks, or National Monuments.
  3. The trip must be taken by car and never leave the U.S.

With the help of Google Maps, Olson was able to find a path totaling just 13,699 miles. Sounds like a lot, right? But that's only 9.33 days with no traffic! 

As far as Cleveland's concerned, Olson says the only reason we are shown as a destination on the map is because otherwise the route would have to go through Canada to get to Michigan. 

"But really, Cleveland is a nice city to stop in (ranked #53 on TripAdvisor)," he wrote on his blog.

Not interested in visiting national landmarks? He also made a map that focused on visiting the top-ranked city in each state , according to Trip Advisor. 

Again, Cleveland is only on the map for convenience since Columbus is the highest ranking Ohio city on Trip Advisor.

Check out his process for creating the map here.

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