I have this function in Python that calculate distance from a point with bearing. Problem is the latitude part is generating the wrong answer and i cannot figure out where i went wrong:

def add_distance(self, lat, lon, bearing, distance):

    d = distance/6371
    x = sin(lat) * cos(d) + cos(lat) * sin(d) * cos(bearing)

    new_lat = asin( float(x) )
    new_lon = lon + atan2(sin(bearing)*sin(distance/6371)*cos(lat),
    print '\tNew Lat:%s' % (new_lat )
    print '\tNew Lon:%s' % new_lon
    return ''
  • 3
    Can you show the test case? If not, can you confirm that the values you are putting in (and your interpretation of the results) are in radians? – BradHards Jan 9 '15 at 2:48
  • Indeed, since the result print statements do not convert radians back to degrees, it seems unlikely that you converted the inputs to radians to start. – Vince Jan 9 '15 at 12:19

Here is ready to go code to find new latitude and longitude for given parameters (lat, long, bearing, distance). Hope that this will help.

# required import
import math

# standard earth radius
EARTH_RADIUS = 6371.00

def add_distance(self, lat, lon, bearing, distance):
    # convert Latitude and Longitude
    # into radians for calculation
    latitude = math.radians(lat)
    longitute = math.radians(lon)

    # calculate next latitude
    next_latitude = math.asin(math.sin(latitude) *
                    math.cos(distance/EARTH_RADIUS) +
                    math.cos(latitude) *
                    math.sin(distance/EARTH_RADIUS) *

    # calculate next longitude
    next_longitude = longitute + (math.atan2(math.sin(math.radians(bearing)) *
                                             math.sin(distance/EARTH_RADIUS) *
                                             math.cos(distance/EARTH_RADIUS) -
                                             math.sin(latitude) *

    # convert points into decimal degrees
    new_lat = math.degrees(next_latitude)
    new_lon = math.degrees(next_longitude)

    # print new latitude and longitude
    print '\tNew Lat:{0}'.format(new_lat )
    print '\tNew Lon:{0}'.format(new_lon)


  • Very nice code! Just wondering why you called the fun add_distance when you're "adding" a bearing and distance. – Martin F Sep 25 '15 at 2:54
  • @MartinF: In original question above (tauren.kristich) had this function name already written. So, I don't want to confuse the user with other function name. – Surya Sep 26 '15 at 15:05

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