Spherical geometry is the geometry of the two-dimensional surface of a sphere.

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37
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Why is the 'straight line' path across continent so curved?

This is the result of mapping the straight line path from a point in US to Poland using Distance Measurement Tool. Also, planes from Asia to US would travel almost over North Pole. Why is the path ...
32
votes
3answers
37k views

Algorithm for offsetting a latitude/longitude by some amount of meters

I'm looking for an algorithm which when given a latitude and longitude pair and a vector translation in meters in Cartesian coordinates (x,y) would give me a new coordinate. Sort of like a reverse ...
27
votes
2answers
2k views

How accurate is approximating the Earth as a sphere?

What level of error do I encounter when approximating the earth as a sphere? Specifically, when dealing with the location of points and, for example, the great circle distances between them. Are ...
22
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is law of cosines more preferable than haversine when calculating distance between two latitude-longitude points?

In fact, when Sinnott published the haversine formula, computational precision was limited. Nowadays, JavaScript (and most modern computers & languages) use IEEE 754 64-bit ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How to calculate the intersection of 2 Circles?

I'm trying to figure out how to mathematically derive the common points of two intersecting circles on earth's surface given a center Lat/Lon and a radius for each point. Ex. Given: Lat/Lon ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculate distortion outside a UTM zone

One of my colleagues is working with data that is spread across two UTM zone. The majority of the data is in one zone, with a few outliers in another zone. He would like to know what the area ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the approximate error of the Pythagorean Theorem vs. Haversine Formula in measuring distances on a sphere at various scales?

Many people when first trying to calculate distances between two longitude / latitude pairs ask if Pythagorean theorem works as an appropriate distance function. Most often people answer "no, the ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Lon/lat transformation

First I should clarify I don't have previous experience with the field, so I don't know the technical terminology. My question is as follows: I have two weather datasets: The first one has the ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Algorithm to find nearest point

I've a list of a few hundred cities with their latitude/longitude. Given another location (also in lat/long) I need to find the nearest city. As I don't use any GIS, by now the obvious algorithm is ...
11
votes
5answers
12k views

Calculating Lat/Lng X miles from point

I am wanting to find a latitude and longitude point given a bearing, a distance, and a starting latitude and longitude. This appears to be the opposite of this question (Distance between lat/long ...
10
votes
4answers
941 views

How to calculate the visible sky percentage

Hi I am writing a project and I am stuck: can anyone explain as simply as possible how to calculate the visible sky percentage? I have done a satellite survey and have worked out the height of ...
10
votes
1answer
677 views

Great-circle lines in Equirectangular projection

Just to check that I'm on the right track: Are all great-circles on the sphere and in equirectangular projection (i.e. latitude, longitude pairs) either: meridians (i.e. going pole to pole) of the ...
10
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1answer
620 views

How to visualize azimuthal data with uncertainties?

I am trying to make a figure showing azimuthal data with a different range of uncertainties at each point. This oldschool figure from a 1991 paper captures the "bowtie plot" idea that I'm aiming for: ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I find the most remote spot in Eastern United States?

I have this hunch that I could travel no more than 50 miles from the most remote spot in the Eastern United States (east of the Mississippi River), in the direction of the nearest road, and find a ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Mercator bias plot in Leaflet

I was inspired by this wikipedia image from the mercator projections page to hack around with leaflet. The idea was to interactively have your cursor move a continent and that it would be corrected ...
8
votes
1answer
909 views

Given a line on the earth's surface, how do I plot a line perpendicular to it?

Given a line on the earth's surface, how do I plot a line perpendicular to it? Apologies if this is a very simple question. I thought this would be a straightforward task, but it is proving ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Nearest point on a line ( Spherical / Mercator projection )

I have a line (Ax,Ay - Bx,By) over a mercator projection (google maps) and a random point (Cx,Cy) nearest to that line, i would to know the closest point (transparent blue on the image) over that line ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

How to find a point half way between two other points?

I'm working on implementing the OSM Mobile Binary format for map data, and because it uses a 16 bit delta for each point along a way, it cannot represent a way if there is a large distance between two ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculating a spherical polygon centroid

I'd like a general way to calculate centroids for polygons on a sphere. So far, the best online reference appears to be: Tools for Graphics and Shapes by Jeff Jenness. The method described ...
7
votes
3answers
449 views

Method to generate points in any projection

I am writing an application in ArcMap to generate a grid of points. These points have a very defined layout and I have worked out an algorithm that works great under a projected coordinate system. ...
7
votes
1answer
716 views

How does one calculate an angle in a geographic coordinate system?

Given three points on a line in a geographic coordinate system, how does one calculate the angle formed by these three points? Please, give a general solution but also include system specific ...
7
votes
2answers
298 views

How do different GIS systems determine a Polygon's interior?

I'm interested in understanding how real-world GIS systems and their data encode Polygons. Specifically, how do they resolve the ambiguity of a Polygon's interior on a sphere? Background: in 2D, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Find tangent point on circle furthest east or west

There are few ways of articulating my question. It starts with a known circle on a sphere, i.e. a point-radius, and one that does not cover a pole. I would like to calculate the point furthest west ...
6
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3answers
5k views

How to convert Distance, Azimuth, Dip to XYZ?

I have an excel spreadsheet with header and survey drill data. Header data contains hole ID, and location coordinates, and the survey data contains related downhole survey with Distance, Azimuth and ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Find Perpendicular Distance and Minimum Perpendicular Vector between a Point and a Line using GeoTools and JTS

I have a line formed by 2 lat/lon pairs, and the lat/lon of a point. I would like to find out the perpendicular distance between the line and the point on the Earth surface (can assume Earth as great ...
6
votes
2answers
433 views

how to find the point in a country furthest from a boundary

i'm trying to find the point in south africa furthest from the sea or a landward boundary. my method thus far: i obtained a first guess at the centre of the inscribed circle and the three segments ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

How do I represent the whole Earth as a Polygon?

This is related to determining the interior of a Polygon. My difficulty is that if I specify a Polygon covering the Earth going from East to West, it will still have a boundary along the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Converting Longitude and Latitude Coordinates to Square Miles?

I have a set of Long and Lat co-ordinates making up a five point polygon which I have converted in excel using the following formula: ...
5
votes
2answers
715 views

Quick way to determine if facing a given lat/lon pair with a heading

I'm looking for a fast way, preferably without trigonometric operations (just multiply, divide, add, sqrt and subtract) to determine if a point is visible. E.g. say I am facing 0 degrees N, I am at ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Distortion of equally sized world tiles

My question is related to this: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7927863/location-data-format-for-adehabitat-package I have a relational database with 'world tiles'. Each tile has a side length of ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

What is a delta in lat/lon called?

What is the delta between two lat/lon pairs called? Delta degrees? Arcs? Is it some quantity of distance but what is its unit of measurement? And related: Can we use pythagoras to calculate this ...
5
votes
2answers
792 views

Identify the latitudinal and longitudinal point directly beneath an object in space

Given the azimuth and altitude / latitude and longitude from the observer to the satellite, how can I accurately find the latitude and longitude of the point of intersection directly under the ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

Does the Chamberlin trimetric projection map (some) great circles to straight lines?

I know that, in general, the Chamberlin trimetric projection maps most great circles on the sphere to some sort of non-straight curve on the flat map. But what about the 3 special great circles ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Intermediate points on a small circle

I need to interpolate lat/lon points along a small circle, with a given centre and radius. I've successfully used these formulas for great circles. What is the equivalent for small circles?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I find the intersections of 2 circles on earths surface?

I have the circles' center in lat & long, as well as the radius in meters. How do I find the circles intersections? Edit: EXAMPLE: Circle 1: Center on Earth's surface (43.564627,-116.220524) ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to calculate area of 1 x 1 degree cells in a raster

I have a simple array (not geo-referenced in any way) in Matlab (which is not a language I know a huge amount about...so I can export it to other languages if needed) which has the dimensions 180 x ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Calculate midpoint from a series of latitude and longitude coordinates

I've got a series of longitude and latitude coordinates which represent a building outline e.g. -0.5485381346101759,53.2285150736142 -0.5482220594232723,53.22842450827133 ...
4
votes
1answer
862 views

How to do stereographic projection conversion (w.r.t. changing point of projection)?

Given a stereographic point P1 projected from point P, and given another point Q, I would like to know how to transform P1's coordinates to that of a stereographic point Q1 projected from point Q. ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

What information is needed to determine the section of the earth's surface visible in a photograph?

What information (either provided by a user or taken from sensor readings) would be required to determine the geographic area encompassed by a photograph? It seems like the area visible from a ...
4
votes
1answer
880 views

Line intersection with circle on a sphere (globe or earth)

How can I find the intersection point of a line and a circle on a sphere (on earth) Please, if any one knows a good solution help. Thanks in response :)
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Point sampling along a pole-wrapping coastline with PostGIS

I am working on a task that requires me to get sample points every 1000KM along coastlines, and have run into a problem with Antarctica. From what I can tell, it seems to be an issue with the use of ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

Compute visibility graph on sphere

I have a PostGIS table with some polygons (stored using the geography data type). They represent regions on a spherical earth. For each pair of vertices chosen from among all the polygons, I want to ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

ST_Distance versus ST_Distance_Spheroid?

As my client software uses lat/lon coordinates when communicating with my (spherical mercator) postgis database i decided to ST_Transform every geometry to WGS-84. However i noticed that ST_Distance ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

How do I figure out the longitude and latitude coordinates necessary to create a circular 1 mile radius around one location?

How do I figure out the longitude and latitude coordinates necessary to create a circular 1 mile radius around one location? I don't mind how many coordinates that takes. For instance: Latitude = ...
3
votes
2answers
709 views

How do I find the points of intersection between a small circle and a great circle?

I only actually need to intersect a great circle arc i.e. the shortest path between two points, with a given small circle. I found this tutorial for intersecting two great circle arcs, but ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Lat/Lon/Alt to spherical or cartesian coordinates

On my previous question, it was advised I convert lat/lon/altitude to spherical or Cartesian coordinates. I'm not working near the poles and it would be safe to assume a spherical earth. What would be ...
3
votes
2answers
292 views

Is there a world projection that looks like a 3D globe?

I would like to try and show data such that it appears as if it was on google earth. For example, in this case, the view of the earth is circular-like and the data shown curves around. Are there any ...
3
votes
3answers
375 views

Formula for coordinates (lat, lon), azimuth and distance.

I would like to know how to find a set of coordinates on a small circle some distance from another point. For example, lets say A = (39.73, -104.98) #Denver B = (39.83, -106.06) #point ...
3
votes
2answers
981 views

Finding the minimum and maximum distance between an observer and a lat/lon bounding box

I have three points in geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude, altitude). One of the points represents an observer, above the Earth. The other two points define a bounding box. I'd like a ...
3
votes
1answer
909 views

How to calculate midpoint given north/south latitude and east/west longitude?

First, sorry if this questions sound very simple. I am very new to GIS. Given four values of north/south latitude, east/west longitude how to calculate the center point that is correct for all cases ...