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Analytics for the Internet of Things (IoT) by Andrew Minteer

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The Earth is not a ball

The world is not a perfect sphere. It is an ellipsoid and like a middle-aged man, it bulges in the center. This means that using simple geometry calculations for a sphere on geospatial data will not be entirely accurate.

Using methods for calculating distance across a sphere, such as the haversine formula for great circle distance calculation, will become more and more inaccurate as the distance between two points increases. You can still use the haversine method for calculating short distances without much loss in accuracy, but avoid it for longer distances.

The haversine formula. Source: Wikipedia.org

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