Taxicab metric on the sphere!
Taxicab metric on the sphere! Install via
pip install seafarer
This library calculates the "seafarer distance" between two points on Earth: Travel parallel to latitude and longitude instead of "as the crow flies" – like in the old days...
Calculate the distance between Schwerin and Helsinki:
from seafarer import seafarer_metric schwerin = (53.629722, 11.414722) # (lat, lon) helsinki = (60.170278, 24.952222) seafarer_metric(schwerin, helsinki) # 1474.7398906623202 kilometres
You can also obtain the result in different units:
seafarer_metric(schwerin, helsinki, unit="mi") # 916.3608837507956 miles seafarer_metric(schwerin, helsinki, unit="ft") # 4838385.468052049 feet
Seafarer is using the haversine library
under the hood and you can use their
from haversine import Unit seafarer_metric(schwerin, helsinki, unit=Unit.NAUTICAL_MILES) # 796.2958366185961 nautical miles
What is this? Why Seafarer?
On a 2-dimensional plane, the metric obtained when travelling along the axes is known as taxicab, Manhattan, or L1 metric. What is the equivalent on a 3-dimensional sphere?
We calculate the distance when travelling along the grid of longitudinal and latitudinal lines. When travelling from Schwerin (53°N 11°E) to Helsinki (60°N 24°E) in the example above, there are two possiblities: travel via 53°N 24°E or 60°N 11°E. Unlike the 2D case, these two distances are (generally) different, so we use the short one.
Before navigation improved to a sufficient degree, this is how ships were sailing: parallel to the equator until they hit the target meridian, then North or South to their final destination. Hence seafarer metric! ⛵
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