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Project #1 - Distances and Headings to All Airfields


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#1 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 17:23

Hello everyone,

The first project I would like to work on is a comprehensive Chart, Database and Tool that gives the ROF user a way to quickly determine the Distance and Heading to ANY airfield and town on the big ROF map.

I was inspired by the thread WWGeezer posted at SimHQ.

I think such a comprehensive chart and database would be helpful to mission builders and flyers who like to navigate the hard way. I also think it would just be interesting to know this data.

The big ROF Western Front map is quite large and has over 300 airfields and towns historically placed. Yes, I know not all actual historical towns are there, this was done due to performance restraints, but that is not the point. Let's find out how to fly from one to the other and how far we need to go.

Imagine a mission where your orders are to fly to one town and redezvous with some bombers and then escort them to another town to bomb and then you have to fly home. What route do we take? Let's make an easier way to figure that out.

To start this project I have created a massive Excel spreadsheet that lists all points (airfields and town) on the ROF map. What I would like to fill in is the missing information i.e. the Distance, Heading and Opposite Heading.

http://www.777studio...es_Headings.zip" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.777studio...t/ROF_Utilities … adings.zip

The question is: HOW DO WE CALCULATE THIS INFORMATION? Let's discuss below.

Jason
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#2 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 17:35

Now I'm not a math whiz, but as Geezer and I have discussed we know that our printed ROF map uses a scale of 1cm=7km. With that in mind we can with any metric ruler and protractor determine the heading from one airfield to another and the distance. However, that is very time consuming for over 110,000 possible headings and distances.

So, what I have considered doing is using the center of the map as a "Bullseye" and then determining the angle and distance for each airfield or town relative to Bullseye. That means we only need to find 331 entries. From those angles and distances we can use some triangle geometry to determine the missing distance and then the relative heading from each point to another.

My problem is, I suck at math and I cannot figure out the forumla to determine the headings. If we could create a formula we could enter it into Excel and magically fill out the massive spreasheet. Then we could take the data in the spreadshet and make a program that could spit out the necessary heading and distance for any given combination of locations.

So who is good at match and formulas?

Jason
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#3 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 17:37

Sizzlor,

I deleted your post so I could move my post below my first post. Please repost your idea of the measuring tool in the Mission Editor here.

Jason
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#4 HotTom

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 17:49

Well, at first blush, I think Geezer has the right idea: Use a protractor that is calibrated to the scale of the map. That will give you both azimuth and range (distance).

The digital one he suggests looks very cool. In the Army (pre GPS :lol: ) we used clear plastic protractors you just plopped down on the map (often laminated or inside an acetate enevelope). Paper protractors will work, too.

The key isn't so much the scale of the map (although your protractor should be the same scale). What's important is using the grid lines.

I would also suggest numbering the grid lines as they do on military maps rather than the alpha-numeric designations they have now.

With 1,000-meter (1 km) squares (which is what I believe we have now), you can take a spot such as a bridge or aerodrome within a 1,000 meter square and easily determine its eight digit grid reference within a 10-meter square. (If you don't know how to do that, I can probably find a quick tutorial on line somewhere, maybe even a video of an old Army training film :shock: ).

In a broad sense, one of the things mission builders fail to do is use recognizable landmarks as waypoints. We just get a big red dot in the sky. If we want to eliminate the dot, we need something on the ground we can readily see. It could be a town or a bridge or a river junction.

If we have a map and a protractor, we can measure the distance between those waypoints and calculate fying times.

But an ability to print out the map and use a protractor of some sort is Step 1.
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#5 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 17:56

Tom,

Nothing is going to change no new grids are going to be made on the map. We simply need to apply math to the existing map to find the missing data as I have stated. And the goal here is not to print out any maps. The goal here is to find information then present in a chart or proggy. I'll leave it up to others to decide if they want to make some kind of new map. You can't do squat until we have the missing data.

Geezer's online protractor and ruler work as I have stated, but to find the information this way is WAY TOO cumbersome. There are over 110,000 possible combinations. We simply need the angles and distances for 333 items from Bullseye and a formula and voila we will have the data.

Then you can do whatever you want with it.

Jason
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#6 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 18:04

If you know two locations on your grid, this uniquely determines the vector between one of those locations and the other. You don't need to complicate it by referring to the center of the map. The two grid references are enough to determine distance and direction because it is a square grid. The distance is simply the hypotenuse of the implied right triangle and can be easily calculated by the Pythagorean formula (as the square root of the sum of the squares of the two known sides). The angle A can be calculated from the tangent (opposite/adjacent) of the triangle, (i.e. find the arctan) but you then have to reference this to north, depending in which quarter the destination lies. There are only four possibilities, so there will be four formulas, one of which can be uniquely selected by the +/- values of the lengths. e.g. if the destination lies NE of the origin, the heading to the desination (in degrees) is (90 - A); if it is in the SE (90 +A); if in the SW, (180 +A); if in the NW, (270 +A). The reciprocal heading is simply the heading +/- 180.

From that someone who knows Excel (I don't) should be able to program it.

There may even be a function for it. In "C" atan2(y,x) will do the trick.
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#7 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 18:40

I've taken the time to do a few by hand. What we need is a clear forumula to determine these distances and headings. The red is the data I seek.

Again, I don't want a map with lines on it, I just want the data.

Image

Jason
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#8 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 18:47

What we need from you, Jason, is the x,y coordinates of each location (and a scale to convert coordinates into distances), not their grid references (which are less easily manipulated). What you are asking is for us to convert Cartesian coordinates into polar coordinates. That is not difficult, though Excel may not be able to do it so simply.

Or conversely, please provide an excel forumula for transforming a grid reference into Cartesian coordinates. :)
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#9 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 18:57

See I told you I suck at math guys. Although I did get an A in Geometry in 8th Grade. LOL. I'm a Liberal Arts guy! Even business math and financing is easy compared to this stuff in my mind. LOL.

Tushka - so I think you are proposing what Viks is telling me on Skype. We need a numbered grid based on the scale of the map which is 1cm=7km. My question is should we make a grid with X,Y of 0,0 in the bottom left hand corned or the middle of the map like I have it?

Jason
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#10 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 19:17

For the calculations it doesn't matter where the origin is, but the lower left corner is tradional.

Presumably the real map is already build on an underlying grid, so if there is some way of extracting from that the locations of the airfields and cities, that would be perfect. It doesn't matter what the scale is, just so you tell us what it is. :) We don't need a new map, we just need the "real" coordinates.
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#11 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 19:29

Tushka,

The ME gives the cordinates of stuff, but there is a big problem. Nothing is labeled so that would be extremely time consuming. You can't overlay the map graphic over the landscape to create a sort of Google Map in ROF ME.

What I CAN do is overaly a 1cm grid with each grid divided in 10 sections in Photoshop and then give you coordinates that way. And then we multiply each coordinate by 7 to give you the distance from 0. Would that work?

Jason
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#12 vonTrips

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 19:52

In the mission editor you get x,y,z coordinates for every target. The zero point is in the lower left corner.
So you have two datas to calculate the distance.
For example:
Attached File  Koordinaten.PNG   1.8MB   743 downloads

If i am correct I will create a exel formula for this

sorry, I can do better math than english :roll:
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#13 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 19:57

Good news. Viks just sent me a Wordpad document with all the coordinates of all the objects on the map. Just need to understand how to read it. I will post once I understand it.

Nice explanation VonTrips. We may be able to crack this quicker than I though.

Jason
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#14 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:06

Jason, of course that would work but the accuracy would be reduced by the coarseness of the grid. vonTrips' suggestion to get the locations from the Mission Planner is something that could be farmed out to multiple data collectors, but would require guidance. For example, do you want the location of the airfields themselves or of the nearby towns. I couldn't tell from your spread sheet. Perhaps the airfields should be marked as "location (af)".

However, stepping back from the problem a bit, what is this intended to solve? A table of 300+ distances/headings for destination pairs is going to be cumbersome to use. If the intent is to help mission planners, perhaps an extra tool or two like a compass grid overlay and a distance measuring tool in the mission planner or even in the mission description map may be more useful in the long run, permitting the determination of headings and distances to otherwise unmapped locations like bridges or geographic features (for navigation).
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#15 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:11

Ok so here are the extracted coordinates of all the items on the Map thanks to Viks.

http://www.777studio...s/citynames.eng" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.777studio...s/citynames.eng

Open in Wordpad

Here is an excerpt from my conversation with Viks. Sheds some light. Now what can we do with these coordinates to solve this puzzle?

Jason Williams: .eng?
Viks: yep - open it by notepad
Viks: and ignore 1st number (its ID)
Jason Williams: Which number is coordinates than?
Jason Williams: 10;235812.000000;39102.000000;Auchel
Viks: 20;>168964.000000< (X);>59192.000000< (Z);Cappy South
Viks: you can check it by import all the objects on map in editor (base for trunc and base no trunk files from templates folder) and then right click on map - move camera to - and set these coordinates
Jason Williams: So that is meters from 0,0 which is lower left?
Jason Williams: So divide by 1000 to get km?
Viks: yup
Jason Williams: So Cappy South is 168.964 km East of 0,0 and 59.192 km North of 0,0?
Viks: yup
Viks: err -
Jason Williams wrote:
<<< So Cappy South is 168.964 km East of 0,0 and 59.192 km North of 0,0?
168km N and 59 km E
Viks: as X+ =>N and Z+ =>E
Jason Williams: Sorry I had is backwards.

Jason
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#16 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:21

Jason, of course that would work but the accuracy would be reduced by the coarseness of the grid. vonTrips' suggestion to get the locations from the Mission Planner is something that could be farmed out to multiple data collectors, but would require guidance. For example, do you want the location of the airfields themselves or of the nearby towns. I couldn't tell from your spread sheet. Perhaps the airfields should be marked as "location (af)".

However, stepping back from the problem a bit, what is this intended to solve? A table of 300+ distances/headings for destination pairs is going to be cumbersome to use. If the intent is to help mission planners, perhaps an extra tool or two like a compass grid overlay and a distance measuring tool in the mission planner or even in the mission description map may be more useful in the long run, permitting the determination of headings and distances to otherwise unmapped locations like bridges or geographic features (for navigation).

Tushka,

We're getting ahead of ourselves. Don't expect any of this to end up in game or in the ME. Let's apply this to stuff that is outside the game. It can still be useful.

As I mentioned, we start with a table and then see how to maybe apply it to a sepcial 3rd Party tool that can be used by flyers or mission builders.

The document I posted includes ALL objects on the map with a name. Which are airfields and which are towns I don't know.

Jason
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#17 vonTrips

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:24

Please note, you need the x and z coordinates. Y coordinate is the height.
important is the dimension of the numbers from ME. Is it pixel? If yes, how many pixel is a meter?

edit: thx Jason, was writing my post during your message :D
edit2: great list, i will export it to exel and then…
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#18 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:39

Sorting Vik's spreadsheet by name I see that many names are duplicated, but they have different ID numbers, so some key to the ID numbers would be helpful… or at least an indication of which ID(s) refer(s) to airfields so we can differentiate them from towns and can list vectors from airfield to target. Assuming all flights start at an airfield should reduce the size of the table a bit.
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#19 ZaltysZ

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:46

Look here:

http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php

This is tool created for flight planning in IL2. It could be easily adopted for RoF too, because it is easy to create custom. Map consists from 3 things:

1) Image of map (it will be displayed as background in tool)
2) Image of height map (it will allow to get height of any point - useful for bombers)
3) XML file describing map size, locations of airfields, various labels.

It was possible to generate height map in older versions of RoF mission editor, however currently it does not work. Maybe Jason could get it from devs?
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#20 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 20:47

Sorting Vik's spreadsheet by name I see that many names are duplicated, but they have different ID numbers, so some key to the ID numbers would be helpful… or at least an indication of which ID(s) refer(s) to airfields so we can differentiate them from towns and can list vectors from airfield to target. Assuming all flights start at an airfield should reduce the size of the table a bit.

Yes, I have sorted them. The ID number is what we need to decifer next. What do IDs 10,20,50.51 mean?

http://www.777studio...es_Exported.xls" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.777studio...t/ROF_Utilities … ported.xls

My guess is 10=Small Airfield 20=Regular Airfield 50=Major City 51=Town. Viks is not sure as these codes were set up a long time ago. Can someone look in the ME at the coordinates and determine which is which? I can't look in the ME at the moment.

Jason
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#21 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 21:04

Look here:

http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php

This is tool created for flight planning in IL2. It could be easily adopted for RoF too, because it is easy to create custom. Map consists from 3 things:

1) Image of map (it will be displayed as background in tool)
2) Image of height map (it will allow to get height of any point - useful for bombers)
3) XML file describing map size, locations of airfields, various labels.

It was possible to generate height map in older versions of RoF mission editor, however currently it does not work. Maybe Jason could get it from devs?

I'll ask, but I don't know if this is possible.

Jason
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#22 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 21:26

Your guesses about the meanings of the ID codes seem to be on the mark, so far as I can see with a limited number of checks, adding 52 = village.
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#23 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 21:54

Your guesses about the meanings of the ID codes seem to be on the mark, so far as I can see with a limited number of checks, adding 52 = village.

Roger that Tushka.

Ok so how do we get the headings based on these corrdinates? We can apparently get the distances easy enough.

Jason
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#24 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 21:58

Look here:

http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://jgr124.ru/teh/maptools.php

This is tool created for flight planning in IL2. It could be easily adopted for RoF too, because it is easy to create custom. Map consists from 3 things:

1) Image of map (it will be displayed as background in tool)
2) Image of height map (it will allow to get height of any point - useful for bombers)
3) XML file describing map size, locations of airfields, various labels.

It was possible to generate height map in older versions of RoF mission editor, however currently it does not work. Maybe Jason could get it from devs?

I'll ask, but I don't know if this is possible.

Jason

ZaltysZ,

The reason you do not have the .bmp height map anymore is because they changed the graphic based system to a binary system to make it render faster and use less memory. It is not broken in the ME just removed.

Jason
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#25 Sensenmann

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 22:13

Distances can be determined from the coordinates by applying the Pythagorean theorem (A squared + B squared = C squared)

To put it another way: say you want the distance between aerodrome X and aerodrome Y. Aerodrome X is at the coordinates of 111, 222 and aerodrome Y is at 333, 444. You get your first measurement by finding the difference between the first coordinates (333-111 = 222) and like wise for the second coordinate (444-222 = 222).

Then you get the sum of the two differences squared (222 squared = 49284) and find the square root of that sum (49284+49284 = 98568) the square root of which is 313.96

I will need to brush up on my Geometry (been a looong time since I did that back in high school :oops: ) to get the angle (heading), but I do know it has something to do with tangents or some such :?

Once I get back to you with that I can also put it all together in a formula or two for Excel, but the rest of the data input/programming I will have to leave up to you…
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#26 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 22:27

Distances can be determined from the coordinates by applying the Pythagorean theorem (A squared + B squared = C squared)

To put it another way: say you want the distance between aerodrome X and aerodrome Y. Aerodrome X is at the coordinates of 111, 222 and aerodrome Y is at 333, 444. You get your first measurement by finding the difference between the first coordinates (333-111 = 222) and like wise for the second coordinate (444-222 = 222).

Then you get the sum of the two differences squared (222 squared = 49284) and find the square root of that sum (49284+49284 = 98568) the square root of which is 313.96

I will need to brush up on my Geometry (been a looong time since I did that back in high school :oops: ) to get the angle (heading), but I do know it has something to do with tangents or some such :?

Once I get back to you with that I can also put it all together in a formula or two for Excel, but the rest of the data input/programming I will have to leave up to you…

Ya I was trying to do it the hard way, but now that we have cordinates it is a lot easier to find distance. The heading formula seems to be tougher.

Jason
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#27 vonTrips

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 22:45

@Sensenmann: look at the formula in my attachement, it is ready to transform to exel.
You did not need an angle
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#28 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 23:00

@Sensenmann: look at the formula in my attachement, it is ready to transform to exel.
You did not need an angle

For distance that is.

On the heading can't we determine the angle since this cordinate system uses Right Trianges to determine the distance (therefore we know all sides) and can't we use the Side-Side-Side method to determine the angles?

Jason
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#29 Sensenmann

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 23:03

Yep, turns out it is a bit complicated, but not too bad:

For simplicty I will start with this again and change the nomenclature…

point A will use coordinates xA and yA

point B will use coordinates xB and yB

the differences will be Dx = xA - xB, and Dy = yA - yB




…so for distance the formula is:

distance^2 = (Dx + Dy)^2

for this formula you want to make sure that you are dealing in positive numbers for Dx and Dy so the Absolute function must be used… this will be different for the heading calculation…



…for bearing/heading the formula is the arc-tangent of Dx/Dy, or:

heading = ATan(Dx/Dy)


The complicated bit comes in that positive and negative sums for Dx and Dy require additional math:

If Dx and Dy are positive your heading calculation is good as is.

If Dx is positive and Dy is negative add 180 degrees to the heading.

If both Dx and Dy are negative add 180 degrees to heading.

If Dx is negative and Dy is Positive add 360 degrees to heading.


Keep in mind I am a bit rusty on all this, so please feel free to double check my math here
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#30 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 23:16

As proof of concept I've done distances between the A's (using only the airfield where both an airfield and village are listed making 16 origins in all) and all remaining destinations (649 at the moment). I did this in Open Office, but will post it exported to Excel format (which maintains the formulas). It is a bit tedious, but the remainder is just a matter of slogging through it. :)

I haven't tackled the heading problem yet. One thing at a time. :)

Attached File  A.map.distances.xls.zip   212.3KB   40 downloads
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#31 Sensenmann

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 23:49

:oops: Missed your earlier post (in my quick run through the thread), Tushka, and basically restated everything you already noted… guess it just confirms that we right… or maybe we are both wrong :shock: :lol:
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#32 Jason_Williams

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 23:51

As proof of concept I've done distances between the A's (using only the airfield where both an airfield and village are listed making 16 origins in all) and all remaining destinations (649 at the moment). I did this in Open Office, but will post it exported to Excel format (which maintains the formulas). It is a bit tedious, but the remainder is just a matter of slogging through it. :)

I haven't tackled the heading problem yet. One thing at a time. :)

Alright! Now we're getting somewhere. Good work Tushka. I checked against the printed map with a ruler and it's very close. The printed map may actually be more like 1cm = 7.5km scale.

If you can crank out the rest of these distances I'll kick you a plane of your choice.

Same thing for anyone who wants to do the heading.

Very interesting stuff! I like it!

Jason
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#33 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 02:37

Well, I hope we can get some others to contribute to this distance calculation… it is a lot of work. I'll work on the "B"s next. If anyone else wants to help out, please post which letter you are currently working on so we don't duplicate efforts. This is much like the aces list… tedious work rather than creative work, but it must be done, and sharing it makes it more fun.

Yes, Sensemann, great minds think alike. :)
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#34 Jason_Williams

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:11

Well, I hope we can get some others to contribute to this distance calculation… it is a lot of work. I'll work on the "B"s next. If anyone else wants to help out, please post which letter you are currently working on so we don't duplicate efforts. This is much like the aces list… tedious work rather than creative work, but it must be done, and sharing it makes it more fun.

Yes, Sensemann, great minds think alike. :)

Tushka,

I can do it. Just need to create the top row of all the items and then insert the formula and then calculate the formula downward. I know a few tricks to speed this up.

We need to get the heading formula sorted in Excel. It's ok if some of the headings are negative numbers. There has to be a way to do some kind of find and replace to fix that issue. Or maybe we just leave them negative for now. I'm open to ideas.

Jason
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#35 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:15

I couldn't figure out a way to make columns into rows. If you can, then this will be much easier. As it is, I am copying the x,z data and name into the header and rebuilding the formula for each row by hand… and adding "AF" for each airfield (and deleting corresponding villages) as I go. I'm thinking it would probably have been easier to program this in "C" and debug the program, but you asked for Excel, and I don't know Excel. :)

I figure once I have all the header data in, doing the headings should be easier.
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#36 Jason_Williams

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:24

I couldn't figure out a way to make columns into rows. If you can, then this will be much easier. As it is, I am copying the x,z data and name into the header and rebuilding the formula for each row by hand… and adding "AF" for each airfield (and deleting corresponding villages) as I go. I'm thinking it would probably have been easier to program this in "C" and debug the program, but you asked for Excel, and I don't know Excel. :)

I figure once I have all the header data in, doing the headings should be easier.


Don't delete the corresponding villages. I want all the data. I'm copying over the data horizontally, but it breaks the formula for some reason. It just takes a second to fix the formula, then double click to apply downward. Will take a little while, but doable.

Work on the headings if you can. I got the distances covered now.

Jason
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#37 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:38

I've got the B's done, and more of the cleanup (that you apparently don't want done) done. :)

I've also improved the formula for the B's… it now doesn't need any adjusting to move over a column.

I'll next work on headings which seems to be a tougher problem, but have to get some real work done tomorrow, so it may be awhile before I can get to it.

I think when you see how close the villages are to the airfields you'll see why it is not necessary to include both of them. Generally airfields are origins, and villages are not targets.

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#38 Jason_Williams

Jason_Williams
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Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:44

How did you improve the formula for the B's to not have that problem?

As far as the cleanup goes I'm just a perfectionist and like complete data then we can remove unwanted entries later.

Jason
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#39 =69.GIAP=TUSHKA

=69.GIAP=TUSHKA
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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:12

Two more dollar signs. :) Compare the formulas in the A and B examples to see them.

I was recently working on nested IF's to help work out the headings, but it is time to get some shuteye.
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#40 Jason_Williams

Jason_Williams
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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:43

Two more dollar signs. :) Compare the formulas in the A and B examples to see them.

I was recently working on nested IF's to help work out the headings, but it is time to get some shuteye.

There is no difference in my Excel betwen A and B formulas. I can't drag the formula to the horizontal without it breaking. But it still works in the vetical. It changes the B to a C and a C to a D in the formula when I drag it horizontal.

Jason
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