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Great Circle Mapper

Great Circle Mapper | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Great Circle Mapper displays maps and computes distances along a geodesic path. It includes an extensive, searchable database of airports and other locations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line…well, that depends on your map projection.  A flat map always distorts something when representing our three-dimensional Earth—whether it is distance, direction, shape or area—something gets distorted on our maps.  A great circle is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, so that’s going to be the quickest travel route between points (which is why so many airline routes seem to arc).  This website Great Circle Mapper generates great circles that show the shortest distance between two points on many map projects will be an arc.  Why does this particular route arc ‘bend’ north for a while and then south?  Get out a globe for added perspective.   

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YEC Geo's curator insight, January 15, 2014 8:31 AM

Cool tool.

matthias brendler's curator insight, January 16, 2014 10:34 AM

Maps Monster am I!

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, January 28, 2014 12:59 PM

Because this route from JFK Airport to SYD AUS Airport is not a straight route there are many factors that need to be taken in account because of the overwhelming idea of trade winds and how that affects flight plans and routing for different airways/airlanes.  The plane has to fight against the trafe winds in order to create a specific ETA for the passenger and the flight crue among the plane. This is all dependent upon the trade winds (prevailing and other kinds) transmitting against the plane.

Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon