MATLAB Examples


The disthist function creates a histogram of distances between geolocated waypoints assuming a great circle path along the WGS84 ellipsoid.



n = disthist(...)
[n,xout] = hist(...)


disthist(lat,lon) without output arguments produces a histogram plot of the output of distances between points given by geographic coordinates lat and lon. disthist distributes the bins along the x-axis between the minimum and maximum values of distances between points in meters.

disthist(lat,lon,distances_or_nbins) specifies an array of distances between points (equivalent to x in the hist function) or the scalar number of bins. By default distances_or_nbins = 10.

n = disthist(...) does not produces a histogram plot, but only returns the number of elements in each bin as described above.

[n,xout] = hist(...) returns vectors n and xout containing the frequency counts and the bin locations. You can use bar(xout,n) to plot the histogram.

Example 1: Distances between GPS measurements along a route

This example uses the built-in sample_route.gpx route.

route = gpxread('sample_route.gpx'); % some sample data
lat = route.Latitude;
lon = route.Longitude;

% Create a map of the route:
usamap([min(lat) max(lat)],[min(lon) max(lon)])

% See the distribution of distances between measured GPS points:
box off; axis tight;
xlabel('distances between waypoints (meters)')

Example 2: A linear path from Copenhagen to Shanghai

Meridians converge at the poles, so a grid that is regular in lat/lon space will not be regular in xy space. Similarly, a path interpolated to equal spacing in lat/lon space will consist of points that are not equally spaced in terms of distance.

copenhagen = [55.7 12.6]; % Geographic coordinates of Copenhagen
shanghai =  [31.2 121.5]; % Geographic coordinates of Shanghai

% Interpolate a path from Rio to Shanghai at ~1/1000 degree spacing:
[lats,lons] = interpm([copenhagen(1) shanghai(1)],[copenhagen(2) shanghai(2)],.001);

box off; axis tight
xlabel('distances between waypoints (meters)')

Additional Information

Chad Greene created this on June 17 2014. Requires the Mapping Toolbox.

See also hist and distance.