# Excel.Tips.Net: Calculating the Distance between Points By Allen Wyatt for Excel.Tips.Net

Mike keeps track of a series of latitude and longitude values in an Excel worksheet. As these are essentially points on a grid, Mike would like to calculate the distance between any two given latitude/longitude pairs.

If the latitude and longitude pairs were really just points on a grid, then calculating the distance between them would be easy. The problem is that they are really points on a sphere, which means that you can’t use flat-grid calculations to determine distance. In addition, there are many ways that you can calculate distances: shortest surface distance, optimum flight path (“as the crow flies”), distance through the earth, driving distance, etc.

Obviously this could be a complicated question. In the space available, I’ll examine a couple of ways to determine the great circle distance (“as the crow flies”), and then provide some references for additional information on the other types of calculations.

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This post is excerpted with permission from Excel.Tips.Net