But really, this algorithm works just as well when you’re planning a smaller trip within your state as when you’re planning a larger trip spanning the entire world. This blog is my labor of love, and I've spent hundreds of hours working on the projects that you'll read about here.

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If you’ve ever used Google Maps to get the directions between two addresses, that’s basically what we had to do here.

Except this time, we needed to look up 2,450 directions to get the “true” distance between all 50 landmarks — a monumental task if we had to do it by hand.

Out of the top 400 recommended cities to visit on Trip Advisor, none were from North Dakota, Vermont, nor West Virginia.

This is especially interesting because Trip Advisor reviewers recommend cities like Flint, MI — the 7th most crime-ridden city in the U. — over any city in North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.

With 50 landmarks to put in order, we would have to exhaustively evaluate 3 x 10 years — long after the Sun has entered its red giant phase and devoured the Earth.

This complication is why Google Map’s route optimization service only optimizes routes of up 10 waypoints, and the best free route optimization service only optimizes 20 waypoints unless you pay them a lot of money to dedicate some bigger computers to it.

With the list of landmarks in hand, the next step was to find the “true” distance between all of the landmarks by car.

Since we can’t just drive a straight line between every landmark — driving by car has this pesky limitation of having to stay on roads — we needed to find the shortest route between every landmark.

This group's loyalties were far more sharply divided, with 92 doning Confederate gray and 102 putting on the blue of the Union Army. With the Southern slave states declaring secession from the Union, and with this drastic shortage of men in the army, President Abraham Lincoln called on the states to raise a force of 75,000 men for three months to put down the insurrection.

When the American Civil War began in April 1861, there were only 16,367 men in the U. In addition, almost 200 West Point graduates who had previously left the Army, including Grant, Sherman, and Bragg, would return to service at the outbreak of the war. Army consisted of ten regiments of infantry, four of artillery, two of cavalry, two of dragoons, and three of mounted infantry. Of the 197 companies in the army, 179 occupied 79 isolated posts in the West, and the remaining 18 manned garrisons east of the Mississippi River, mostly along the Canada–United States border and on the Atlantic coast.

During the war 2,672,341 enlistments were signed with the Union Army and Navy.