n-vector

Normal vector and distance for a sphere

n-vector

Stability: 1 - Experimental

Normal vector and a distance function to determine central angle between normal vectors.

npm install n-vector
npm test
npm run sketch
var NVector = require('n-vector');
 
var position1 = NVector.fromLatLon(31.565665, -96.811523);
var position2 = NVector.fromLatLon(31.465952, -97.026443);
var centralAngle = NVector.distance(position1, position2);
// 0.0036406600953623955 
var greatCircleDistanceInKm = centralAngle * 6371; // Earth radius ~6371km 
// 23.194645467553823 km 
var greatCircleDistanceInMi = centralAngle * 3959; // Earth radius ~3959mi 
// 14.413373317539724 mi 

The normal vector to the Earth ellipsoid (called n-vector) is a non-singular position representation that turns out to be very convenient for practical position calculations.

source: A Non-singular Horizontal Position Representation

The non-singular aspect of n-vector makes the calculations required simple and without special cases to consider that are present when dealing with crossing prime meridian and at the Earth poles. For a deeper and more precise explanation see A Non-singular Horizontal Position Representation.

Public API

  • a: NVector First normal vector.
  • b: NVector Second normal vector.
  • Return: Number Central angle between a and b (multiply by sphere radius to determine the great circle distance).

Returns a central angle between two instances of NVector. To get actual distance, multiply the central angle by the estimate of Earth's radius (if it was a perfect sphere), 6371km or 3959mi.

  • latitude: Number Latitude in decimal degrees (ex: 31.565665).
  • longitude: Number Longitude in decimal degrees (ex: -96.811523).
  • Return: NVector Normal vector corresponding to given latitude and longitude.

Creates a new NVector instance from given latitude and longitude.

  • x: Number NVector "x" component.
  • y: Number NVector "y" component.
  • z: Number NVector "z" component.
  • Return: NVector Normal vector with x, y, and z components.

Creates a new NVector instance.

The implementation has been sourced from: