R - Calculate distance between two points along a polyline


In R - I have imported a polyline shapefile that is not straight (represents a winding interstate highway) into the environment. I have read a .csv file that contains points (latitude/longitude in decimal degrees) into the environment. All of those points lie along the polyline.

If I take two random points I can calculate the "as the crow flies" distance between them using great circle distance calculation. But what is needed is distance traveled along the polyline. See reference image:

<a href="https://i.stack.imgur.com/zhorb.png" rel="nofollow">https://i.stack.imgur.com/zhorb.png</a>

Is anyone aware of an R package that can calculate the distance between two lat/lon points along a polyline?


Package PBSmapping has a calcLength function which directly calculates the length of a polyline or polygon (in what it terms a PolySet). The package can import ESRI shapefiles as well, if your shapefile is in that format.

Example of a simple polyline:

line = read.table(text = "X, Y, POS, PID 37.772, -122.214, 1, 1 21.291, -157.821, 2, 1 -18.142, 178.431, 3, 1 -27.467, 153.027, 4, 1", header = TRUE, sep = ",") library(PBSmapping) pline = as.PolySet(line, projection = 1) calcLength(pline) PID length 1 1 404.8539 plotLines(pline)

<a href="https://i.stack.imgur.com/ff5cZ.png" rel="nofollow"><img alt="enter image description here" class="b-lazy" data-src="https://i.stack.imgur.com/ff5cZ.png" data-original="https://i.stack.imgur.com/ff5cZ.png" src="https://etrip.eimg.top/images/2019/05/07/timg.gif" /></a>


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