GREATCIRCLE and LOXODROME: "As the crow flies" and rhumb lin

Computes "As the crow flies" path coordinates, distance and bearing on Earth along great circle or rhumb line.


Updated 28 May 2019

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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.

Cite As

François Beauducel (2023). GREATCIRCLE and LOXODROME: "As the crow flies" and rhumb lin (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2019a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired: pathdist

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Version Published Release Notes

- greatcircle: fixes the singularity when LON1 and LON2 have 180° of difference (thanks to Patrick Hew's comment)

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

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

- add loxodrome function
- improve input argument checking