Bearing and Destination

phpgeo can be used to calculate the bearing between two points and to get a destination point for a given start point together with a bearing angle and a distance.

Multiple calculation algorithms are supported. Currently phpgeo provides methods for calculations with a spherical earth model and with an ellipsoidal model. The spherical calculations are very fast, compared to the ellipsoidal methods. The ellipsoidal algorithms are a bit more precise on the other hand.

Bearing between two points

Given two points, it's possible to calculate the bearing angled between those points.

phpgeo can calculate the initial bearing (bearing as seen from the first point) and the final bearing (bearing as seen approaching the destination point).

Calculation with a spherical earth model

<?php

use Location\Bearing\BearingSpherical;
use Location\Coordinate;

$berlin = new Coordinate(52.5, 13.5);
$london = new Coordinate(51.5, -0.12);

$bearingCalculator = new BearingSpherical();

$startTime = microtime(true);
var_dump($bearingCalculator->calculateBearing($berlin, $london));
var_dump($bearingCalculator->calculateFinalBearing($berlin, $london));
$endTime = microtime(true);
printf("Time elapsed: %0.6f s\n", ($endTime - $startTime));

The code above will produce the following output:

double(268.60722336693)
double(257.85494586285)
Time elapsed: 0.000285 s

Calculation with an ellipsoidal earth model

<?php

use Location\Bearing\BearingEllipsoidal;
use Location\Coordinate;

$berlin = new Coordinate(52.5, 13.5);
$london = new Coordinate(51.5, -0.12);

$bearingCalculator = new BearingEllipsoidal();

$startTime = microtime(true);
var_dump($bearingCalculator->calculateBearing($berlin, $london));
var_dump($bearingCalculator->calculateFinalBearing($berlin, $london));
$endTime = microtime(true);
printf("Time elapsed: %0.6f s\n", ($endTime - $startTime));

The code above will produce the following output:

double(268.62436347111)
double(257.87203657292)
Time elapsed: 0.000304 s

Both calculations finish in roughly the same time. One would expect the second calculation to be clearly slower than the first one. It seems the exit condition for the iteration is reached quite fast. There might exist other conditions where the ellipsoidal calculation is noticeable slower.

Destination point for given bearing and distance

As an example, starting from Berlin, calculate the destination point in 56.1 km distance with an initial bearing of 153 degrees:

<?php
use Location\Bearing\BearingEllipsoidal;
use Location\Bearing\BearingSpherical;
use Location\Coordinate;
use Location\Formatter\Coordinate\DecimalDegrees;

$berlin = new Coordinate(52.5, 13.5);

$bearingSpherical = new BearingSpherical();
$bearingEllipsoidal = new BearingEllipsoidal();

$destination1 = $BearingSpherical->calculateDestination($berlin, 153, 56100);
$destination2 = $bearingEllipsoidal->calculateDestination($berlin, 153, 56100);

echo "Spherical:   " . $destination1->format(new DecimalDegrees()) . PHP_EOL;
echo "Ellipsoidal: " . $destination2->format(new DecimalDegrees()) . PHP_EOL;

The code above will produce the output below:

Spherical:   52.04988 13.87628
Ellipsoidal: 52.05020 13.87126

Oh, look, what a beautiful spot on earth it is. ;-)

Final Bearing for a calculated destination

phpgeo can calculate the final bearing angle for a given starting point, an initial bearing, and the distance to the destination.

<?php
use Location\Bearing\BearingEllipsoidal;
use Location\Coordinate;
use Location\Formatter\Coordinate\DecimalDegrees;

$berlin = new Coordinate(52.5, 13.5);

$bearingEllipsoidal = new BearingEllipsoidal();

$finalBearing = $bearingEllipsoidal->calculateDestinationFinalBearing($berlin, 153, 56100);

var_dump($finalBearing);

The code above will produce the output below:

float(153.29365182147)