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Geodesic Lines Along a Surface

Question asked by drewgis on Apr 17, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 17, 2018 by Dan_Patterson

I'm working on creating a large number of flight routes, constrained by ETOPS. I've been using the Cost Connectivity tool using costs rasters that represent the ETOPS constraints. I then run the resulting routes through the Geodetic Densify tool, which works great for routes with mid-line vertices that indicate flight path changes. However, straight-line routes go well outside the constraint boundaries. This is not unexpected, but what I'm wondering is, is there a way to create geodesic line features that are constrained by a raster or polygon?


If not, is there an ideal projection for this sort of global analysis? I've been playing with World Azimuthal Equidistant and Sphere Two Point Equidistant. Both have their own sets of issues, not the least of which is wildly inaccurate distances. However, consistency is a greater concern than accuracy. 


ETA: I'm aware of the ability to calculate geodesic length using Field Calculator, and that's probably where I'll end up. I'd like to fine-tune the route creation, and honestly, I like the visual that the great circle routes provide.