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GREATCIRCLE and LOXODROME: "As the crow flies" and rhumb line path, distance and bearing

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GREATCIRCLE and LOXODROME: "As the crow flies" and rhumb line path, distance and bearing



30 Jul 2012 (Updated )

Computes path coordinates, distance and bearing on Earth along great circle or rhumb line.

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The function GREATCIRCLE computes the shortest path along the great circle ("as the crow flies") between two points defined by their geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude). With one output argument it returns distance or vector of distances, with two or more output arguments it returns path coordinates and optional vector of distances and bearing angles along the path.

The function LOXODROME computes the path with a constant bearing, crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle. It returns also a vector of distances and the bearing angle.

Loxodrome path (also known as "rhumb line") is longer than great circle one, but still used in navigation as it is easier to follow with a compass.

Type "doc greatcircle" or "doc loxodrome" for syntax, help and examples.


This file inspired Pathdist.

Required Products MATLAB
MATLAB release MATLAB 6.5 (R13)
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Comments and Ratings (1)
09 Nov 2012 François Beauducel

Note: update on Nov. 9, 2012 concerns only the loxodrome function: now it uses an exact calculation of bearing angle (using the Gudermann function).

Comment only
30 Oct 2012 1.1

- add loxodrome function
- improve input argument checking

09 Nov 2012 1.2

BUG CORRECTION: bearing angle (and distances) are now with correct values.

26 Dec 2012 1.3

- greatcircle: two possible syntaxes (output distances or path way)
- loxodrome: bug correction

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