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compass bearing between two points in Python
def calculate_initial_compass_bearing(pointA, pointB):
Calculates the bearing between two points.
The formulae used is the following:
θ = atan2(sin(Δlong).cos(lat2),
cos(lat1).sin(lat2) − sin(lat1).cos(lat2).cos(Δlong))
- `pointA: The tuple representing the latitude/longitude for the
first point. Latitude and longitude must be in decimal degrees
- `pointB: The tuple representing the latitude/longitude for the
second point. Latitude and longitude must be in decimal degrees
The bearing in degrees
:Returns Type:
if (type(pointA) != tuple) or (type(pointB) != tuple):
raise TypeError("Only tuples are supported as arguments")
lat1 = math.radians(pointA[0])
lat2 = math.radians(pointB[0])
diffLong = math.radians(pointB[1] - pointA[1])
x = math.sin(diffLong) * math.cos(lat2)
y = math.cos(lat1) * math.sin(lat2) - (math.sin(lat1)
* math.cos(lat2) * math.cos(diffLong))
initial_bearing = math.atan2(x, y)
# Now we have the initial bearing but math.atan2 return values
# from -180° to + 180° which is not what we want for a compass bearing
# The solution is to normalize the initial bearing as shown below
initial_bearing = math.degrees(initial_bearing)
compass_bearing = (initial_bearing + 360) % 360
return compass_bearing

Exactly what I was looking for. Nice work.

ehippy commented Mar 9, 2014

Likewise! This was perfect!

Thanks. This is perfect for my pet project.

sgzu commented May 5, 2015

Thank you!

I was wondering why my ships in ksp were never exactly on target, this is great!

thanks -- this is much better than what I was using before!

jligeza commented Apr 13, 2016

At last an algorithm that just works. Thank you.

Great {Pro}

This works great! Thank you.


quieterkali commented Apr 17, 2017

Thank you very much 🥇

What is the license for this code, @jeromer?

up !

Very nice, especially all the explanation. Thank you!

dali5 commented Jul 19, 2017

thank you

Thank you for sharing!

minderx commented Aug 25, 2017



awesome work man

ocean86 commented Nov 20, 2017


Holy shit bro , this code is fucking awesome. Thx a lot man !

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