NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Follow this link to skip to the main content

BEACON eSpace at Jet Propulsion Laboratory >
JPL Technical Report Server >
JPL TRS 1992+ >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

Title: Some algorithms for polygons on a sphere.
Authors: Chamberlain, Robert G.
Duquette, William H.
Keywords: GIS
spherical geometry
Issue Date: 17-Apr-2007
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007.
Citation: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, April 17-21, 2007.
Abstract: A limited search for polygon algorithms for use in a new military training simulation that interfaces with several others produced only planar algorithms. To avoid having to implement several different sophisticated map projections to guarantee compatibility with all the other simulations, we opted to develop algorithms that work directly on a sphere. The first is an algorithm to compute the area of a polygon whose edges are segments of great circles. Since our model represents certain object locations as mathematical points, the second topic is whether a specified point is inside a specified polygon. Possibly pathological cases are identified and eliminated. When we realized that most political boundaries are actually rhumb lines, use of the Mercator projection equations seemed unavoidable. We then reasoned that if all the edges were short enough, lat-lon lines, great circle segments, and rhumb lines would be close enough to being identical that we could use whichever was most convenient. Thence, we looked at the relationship between the maximum distances between great circle segments and rhumb lines and between lat-lon lines and rhumb lines as functions of length, azimuth, and latitude. The final algorithm finds the area overlapped by two polygons. Again, potentially pathological cases are identified and eliminated.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
07-0286.pdf1.24 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, but are furnished with U.S. government purpose use rights.


Privacy/Copyright Image Policy Beacon Home Contact Us
NASA Home Page + Div 27
+ JPL Space
Site last updated on December 5, 2014.
If you have any comments or suggestions for this web site, please e-mail Robert Powers.