Coordinate Problem Tips

Hi everyone. So I first USACO contest last April and failed pretty miserably (possibly because it was the US Open). However, I have been practicing since then and I feel ok about most topics. However, one topic I don’t have a clear way to approach is coordinate problems. If the input size is small enough I just simulate the whole process in a 2D array otherwise I think of some ad hoc solution. Sometimes I use a hash map to relate the coordinates with some other piece of information I have, like the stuck in a rut problem where I kept track of the impacted cows.

Do you guys have any tips on how to approach these problems, and if I can possible store the data in a different way. (If it matters, I am coding in python).

There are many, many types of problems that involve coordinates. There isn’t really some catch-all approach that works for all of them.