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I need to normalize the Haversine distance.

What's the maximum Haversine distance ? The Earth circumference I guess ? how much is it ?


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Halversine formula itself is agnostic about the distance: it just expects a radius r, assuming a perfect sphere, for its calculations. It usually is given with the earth radius as 6371 km, or the mean radius, but others can be used. With that, the Halversine formula will return half the circumference (20,020 km) as the maximum distance between locations.

Because the earth is slightly elongated, and 'lumpy' to boot, if you're trying to be more precise, you could instead use something like Vincenty's formulae.

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Logically it would be half the circumference if you're pointing out the distance between two points on a sphere.

But if you want to express the traveled distance of a flight around the world it would be the earth's circumference of course.

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How much is the numerical value used for normalization ? – Patrick Mar 23 '11 at 10:30

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