latlongdistance(
LATITUDE1
,
LONGITUDE1
,
LATITUDE2
,
LONGITUDE2
,
UNITS/RADIUS
)

The latlongdistance( function calculates the distance between two points on the earth (or any other sphere).


Parameters

This function has five parameters:

latitude1 – the latitude of the first point, expressed in decimal degrees (for example 34.1614).

longitude1 – the longitude of the first point, expressed in decimal degrees (for example –118.0054).

latitude2 – the latitude of the second point.

longitude2 – the longitude of the second point.

units/radius – the units for this calculation. This parameter is optional – if omitted, the default is miles. The distance can be calulated in miles, kilometers or nautical miles (and the abbreviations mile, kilo, km and nm are also accepted). This parameter can also be used to spedify the radius of the earth or any other sphere.


Description

This function calculates the distance between two points on the earth (or any other sphere). The points -118,34 and -118,35 are about 32 miles apart.

latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35) ☞ 32.439030

The distance is normally calculated in miles, but you can also specify kilometers or nautical miles.

latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35,"miles") ☞ 32.439030
latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35,"kilometers") ☞ 52.202339
latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35,"nm") ☞ 28.186477

The final parameter can also be used to specify the radius of the earch (or other sphere). In that case, the units can be whatever you want – the results will be in the same units. This example calculates a distance between two objects on the earth in meters (as noted below, this calculation isn’t really accurate to the meter, much less a fraction of a millimeter).

latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35,6378100) ☞ 52260.515018

This example calculates a distance on the moon in kilometers (the radius of the moon is 1,737 km).

latlongdistance(-118,34,-118,35,1737) ☞ 14.232532

Accuracy

This function uses the Haversine formula to calculate distances, which is well conditioned for all distances except for those close to 180° (see Great Circle Distance). The function does assume that the Earth is a perfect sphere.


See Also


History

VersionStatusNotes
10.0NewNew in this version.