How to calculate the distance between 2 locations using Java

In this tutorial, we will show you how to calculate the distance between two locations geolocated by using latitude and longitude in Java. This distance calculation uses the Spherical Law of Cosines, which uses trigonometry to measure the curvature of the earth, to accurately measure the distances on the Earth.

import java.util.*;
import java.lang.*;

class DistanceCalculator
	public static void main (String[] args) throws java.lang.Exception
		System.out.println(distance(32.9697, -96.80322, 29.46786, -98.53506, "M") + " Miles\n");
		System.out.println(distance(32.9697, -96.80322, 29.46786, -98.53506, "K") + " Kilometers\n");
		System.out.println(distance(32.9697, -96.80322, 29.46786, -98.53506, "N") + " Nautical Miles\n");

	private static double distance(double lat1, double lon1, double lat2, double lon2, String unit) {
		if ((lat1 == lat2) && (lon1 == lon2)) {
			return 0;
		else {
			double theta = lon1 - lon2;
			double dist = Math.sin(Math.toRadians(lat1)) * Math.sin(Math.toRadians(lat2)) + Math.cos(Math.toRadians(lat1)) * Math.cos(Math.toRadians(lat2)) * Math.cos(Math.toRadians(theta));
			dist = Math.acos(dist);
			dist = Math.toDegrees(dist);
			dist = dist * 60 * 1.1515;
			if (unit.equals("K")) {
				dist = dist * 1.609344;
			} else if (unit.equals("N")) {
				dist = dist * 0.8684;
			return (dist);

The code above creates the function named distance to calculate the distance between two locations. It implies the simple spherical law of cosines that gives well-conditioned results down to distances as small as a few meters on the Earth’s surface. The distance function makes use of the spherical law of cosines formula cos c = cos a cos b + sin a sin b cos C and derived into the distance calculation.

Parameters that are passed to the distance function are:
lat1, lon1 = Latitude and Longitude of point 1 in decimal degrees
lat2, lon2 = Latitude and Longitude of point 2 in decimal degrees
unit = the unit you desire for results where ‘M’ is the statute miles (default), ‘K’ is kilometers and ‘N’ is nautical miles

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