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Challenge #100: Find Ned!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Happy New Year, and welcome back to Weekly Challenge!  Here's to another year of stretching our skills, exploring new tools and encouraging each other to be the best Alteryx-ers we can be! 


Today is a day that so many of you have awaited:  Challenge #100!  Not only do you earn bragging rights for completing 100 Challenges but this Challenge also gets you another shiny badge to add to your collection!  We have 8 Challengers who are neck and neck with 99 completed Challenges, with a couple more contenders not too far behind.  Check out the updated Weekly Challenge Index to see the current standings.  Ready to get started?  We're off to the races! 


After a very busy 2017, @Ned really needed to get away from it all.  So, he did what any of us would do: he set up his tent in the farthest location from any road in the state of Colorado.  But, now it’s 2018 and we’re all ready to get back to work on completing the newest course of Interactive Lessons, passing the Advanced Designer Certification exam and preparing for Inspire 2018.  All of us…except for Ned.  Where exactly is Ned?  And how quickly can we find him?    Well, that's what you need to figure out! 


You are provided with two Input datasets: ColoradoRoads.yxdb, which contains spatial data of all the roads in Colorado, and Colorado.yxdb, the administrative boundary of the state.  Using these two files, you need to not only find the location of Ned's tent (within 100 meters of the correct answer) but also locate him the fastest you possibly can.    You'll notice that the start file for this Challenge does not include the solution!  To check the accuracy of your solution, plug your final coordinates into the app called "HowCloseIsNed", which is attached to this post.  Not within 100 meters of Ned's tent?  Can’t find him within a few minutes?  Optimize your process, and try again!  Share your results for distance and run time when you post your solution.


 Due to file size limitations we can not attach the files to the post,please download by selecting: challenge_100_start_file.yxzp and HowCloseIsNed.yxwz 





Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

I'd help people, but there is no internet access all the way out here...  ;-)

17 - Castor
17 - Castor

My method isn't fool proof, but I got within 100 meters of @Ned (even if it happened to be a happy accident!)

I just set up a really big grid, used the find nearest against the roads, and then chose an arbitrary cutoff of 8 km which got me down to 5 grids. I further split those grids down to 100 meters and ran the find nearest again.  The winning grid had a centroid only 17m from Ned! It took exactly 1 minute to run.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Reply from Ned received via carrier pigeon. 


2018-01-08 at 1.25 PM.png


9 - Comet

@patrick_digan oh wow, that was quick! 


I feel that I am going down the rabbit hole trying to work out yxwv, batch and run the app
12 - Quasar

When @jdunkerley79 says its hard then you look up from your work and pay attention. Took a little while to work out the best method, but I left it and came back for a second go before bed. Runs in 2mins 4 seconds.


I won't give away my full method but I used a grid to work outwards from the roads (I wanted to use buffer but it took an age on my PC, I'm sure it works with polylines), then inverted them against the state polygon to create islands of likely locations. Then I narrowed down the options by building two sets of grids, one at 1km and one at 0.1km narrowing the options after the first.



10 - Fireball

This is eerily reminiscent of a Grand Prix challenge around 7 years ago...it stumped me then but did not this time.  My point was just under 22 meters from Ned. 


Runs in around 2 minutes. 




15 - Aurora

Congrats to @patrick_digan for being the first to get to 100 challenges!


I'm not sure how I managed to get an answer as towards the end I was just throwing tools onto the canvas and hoping for the best...anyway I'm done, it's late and I'm going to bed.



Same principle as Patrick & Chris...

-I chopped the roads up into a number of grids and then looked for the most "empty" one.
-I then cut that one up into smaller grids and looked for a grid that was the furthest away from a road

I managed to get within 55 meters and it took 1:01 to run

Weekly Challenge 100.png


16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

Great challenge. There are few that get you to have to think about optimising.


My solution finds Ned to within 34.5 metres in 46.5 seconds.


challenge_100 - Snip.PNG
12 - Quasar

Went through several iterations, but...

Congrats, you got within 10.2 meters of Ned. Look to the S


challenge 100.PNG