Interesction of haversine formula and latitude/longitude in PHP

To over simplify (good for this project), we need to find how much time it takes for a plane to fly from point A to point B, taking into account the different wind speeds in the path. We can do most of it, but we struggle with one specific part of it, which is explained under 'TASK Description'.

Data available:

*Starting coordinates of the plane

*End coordinates of the plane

*Wind speeds are given by coordinates with 0.25 decimal degree accuracy - this is a bit more explained right below.

Wind speeds for certain locations are given with accuracy of 0.25 decimal degrees. Valid examples are (numbers are in decimal degrees. first is latitude, second is longitude, third is speed):

'59.50, 16.50, 15m/s'

'59.75, 16.50, 13m/s'

'59.75, 16.75, 17m/s'

'60.00, 17.00, 12m/s'

And so on.

Imagine the wind speeds to be in the form of 'box. Taking from the examples above, first 'box' would be calculated in the following way (assuming we are on the north-east side):

$boxDelta = 0.25/2

$leftTopPoint = array('lat' => 59.50 - $boxDelta, 'lng' => 16.50 + $boxDelta)

$rightTopPoint = array('lat' => 59.50 + $boxDelta, 'lng' => 16.50 + $boxDelta)

$leftBottomPoint = array('lat' => 59.50 - $boxDelta, 'lng' => 16.50 - $boxDelta)

$rightBottomPoint = array('lat' => 59.50 + $boxDelta, 'lng' => 16.50 - $boxDelta)

Top line of the 'box' would be a line between $leftTopPoint and $rightTopPoint, right side between $rightTopPoint and $rightBottomPoint etc...

So each box contains a certain wind speed, for the 'box' example above it would be 15m/s for the whole box.

TASK Description:

Sample assignment the function should be able to solve:

Now we have the box. Lets start from coordinate latitude 59.47, longitude 16.1 and move to latitude 59.58, longitude 17.00. At which coordinates does our flight path intersect with the example 'box' from above?

We need two sets of coordinates, one going in the box and the other going out the box (to simplify for the purpose of this task we will not take into account the box we started from). After that we can get a new box and and do this process again and again and again until we reach destination.

Overly simplified function should look something like this:

function boxInteresectCoordinates($startLat, $startLong, $endLat, $endLong, $leftTopPoint, $rightTopPoint, $leftBottomPoint, $rightBottomPoint, $altitude) {

// Do magic

return array($inBoxLat, $inBoxLong, $outBoxLat, $outBoxLong, $distanceTraveledInsideBoxInKM);


As a visual guide, I added an image (heavily out of proportion), where red line represents the flight path, grid represents the longitude/latitude and blue X represent the coordinates we need to find. - Use it only to get a rough overview of the assignment, the image is quite inaccurate in many ways.

Side notes:

*If one can a recommend solution which is better/faster/more accurate - it would be well welcomed.

*Usages of all libraries is allowed, but in the end the code that we will use has to be in PHP.

I think I have explained the task well. In case of questions, please feel free to ask!

Taidot: Matematiikka, PHP

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