# Issue

I have a GPX file with a GPS track. Now I want to calculate the distance I covered with this track.

What's the best way to calculate this?

# Solution

The traditional way of calculating the distance between two points (each pair of waypoints in your GPX file) is with the Haversine formula.

I have a SQL Server function that implements the algorithm. This should be easy to translate into other languages:

```
create function dbo.udf_Haversine(@lat1 float, @long1 float,
@lat2 float, @long2 float) returns float begin
declare @dlon float, @dlat float, @rlat1 float,
@rlat2 float, @rlong1 float, @rlong2 float,
@a float, @c float, @R float, @d float, @DtoR float
select @DtoR = 0.017453293
select @R = 3959 -- Earth radius
select
@rlat1 = @lat1 * @DtoR,
@rlong1 = @long1 * @DtoR,
@rlat2 = @lat2 * @DtoR,
@rlong2 = @long2 * @DtoR
select
@dlon = @rlong1 - @rlong2,
@dlat = @rlat1 - @rlat2
select @a = power(sin(@dlat/2), 2) + cos(@rlat1) *
cos(@rlat2) * power(sin(@dlon/2), 2)
select @c = 2 * atn2(sqrt(@a), sqrt(1-@a))
select @d = @R * @c
return @d
end
```

This returns the distance in Miles. For kilometers, replace the earth radius with it's km equivalent.

Here is a more in-depth explanation.

Edit: This function is fast enough and accurate enough for doing radius searches with a ZIP code database. It has been doing a great job on this site for years (but it no longer does, as the link is broken now).

Answered By - cdonner Answer Checked By - Terry (PHPFixing Volunteer)

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