Journal of Geodesy

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Algorithms for geodesics

  • Charles F. F. KarneyEmail author
Open Access
Original Article


Algorithms for the computation of geodesics on an ellipsoid of revolution are given. These provide accurate, robust, and fast solutions to the direct and inverse geodesic problems and they allow differential and integral properties of geodesics to be computed.


Geometrical geodesy Geodesics Polygonal areas Gnomonic projection Numerical methods 



I would like to thank Rod Deakin, John Nolton, Peter Osborne, and the referees of this paper for their helpful comments.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SRI InternationalPrincetonUSA

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