I have compared some distance calculations between geopy and PostGIS ST_Distance_Sphere, and it seems that PostGIS ST_Distance uses a calculation that is similar to the great circle distance rather than Vincenty.

Geopy Vincenty (Most accurate) using geopy

>>> from geopy.distance import great_circle, vincenty
>>> p1=(32.083659,34.806480)
>>> p2=(32.0843373,34.8065365)
>>> vincenty_distance = vincenty(p1, p2).meters
>>> print vincenty_distance

Great Circle (less accurate) using geopy

>>> great_circle_distance = great_circle(p1, p2).meters
>>> print great_circle_distance

PostGIS ST_Distance_Sphere, Unknown Algorithm:

=> SELECT ST_Distance_Sphere(
          ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(34.806480, 32.083659), 4326),
          ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(34.8065365, 32.0843373), 4326));
(1 row)

Does PostGIS have a Vincenty Distance calculation?

1 Answer 1


Yes, use ST_Distance_Spheroid, or use a cast to the geography type

SELECT ST_Distance('POINT(34.806480 32.083659)'::geography, 
                   'POINT(34.8065365 32.0843373)'::geography);

Hard to tell from the coordinates you are using, but make sure the longitude comes first, the latitude comes second in the POINT syntax.

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