caseylott

Calculating rhumb-line and great circle distances between paired points in batches

Discussion created by caseylott on Jun 22, 2011
I have several spreadsheets with multiple records where I would like to do the same calculations.

For each record, I would like to calculate distances between paired points two different ways (both in kilometers): 1) rhumb line distance; 2) great circle distance.

Each record has a unique ID, 2 fields that represent the first point (1_Lat, 1_long) and 2 fields that represent the second point (2_lat, 2 long). Coordinates are in decimal degrees.

I can't seem to do this with a Spatial Join, since I want distances between paired points, not to all points or a nearest point. Plus, I'm not sure that Join can calculate rhumbline distances.
 
I tried using the XYtoLine tool in the data management/features part of the toolbox in ArcGIS10. This tool drew lines between paired points, but did not report distances for these lines. When I tried to add a field to the attribute table for this new line file, and use "calculate geometry" to calculate line lengths, the "length" property said "disabled". Does anyone know a way around this?

I have heard that this kind of calculation can be done in Military Analyst, which I just downloaded and haven't messed around with yet. It's fairly counter-intuitive to me. If anyone can outline how to perform this operation in Military Analyst I'd be grateful.

Someone told me I could do this with production tools, but I only have an ArcView license and don't want to upgrade (and lose functionality with my existing extensions) just to do this one task.

Any ideas?

Outcomes