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Which Way Is Jerusalem? Navigating on a Spheroid

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Abstract:

Given two points on a spheroidal planet, what is the direction from the first to the second? The answer depends, of course, on what path you take. This paper compares two paths which suggest themselves, namely, the loxodrome, which is the path in which the direction stays constant, and the geodesic, which is the shortest path. The geodesic does surprising things when the eccentricity of the rotated ellipse is large.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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