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ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt

Geodesic operations

Sample Viewer View Sample on GitHub

Calculate a geodesic path between two points and measure its distance.

Use case

A geodesic distance provides an accurate, real-world distance between two points. Visualizing flight paths between cities is a common example of a geodesic operation since the flight path between two airports takes into account the curvature of the earth, rather than following the planar path between those points, which appears as a straight line on a projected map.

How to use the sample

Click anywhere on the map. A line graphic will display the geodesic line between the two points. In addition, text that indicates the geodesic distance between the two points will be updated. Click elsewhere and a new line will be created.

How it works

  1. A Point is created in New York City and displayed as a Graphic.
  2. When a click occurs on the MapView, a new Point is obtained from the mouse click. This Point is added as a Graphic.
  3. A Polyline is created with the two Point objects.
  4. GeometryEngine.densifyGeodetic is executed by passing in the Polyline object, and the returned Geometry is added as a Graphic.
  5. GeometryEngine.lengthGeodetic is executed by passing in the two Point objects, and the returned number is displayed on the screen.

Relevant API

  • GeometryEngine.densifyGeodetic
  • GeometryEngine.lengthGeodetic

About the data

The Imagery basemap provides the global context for the displayed geodesic line.


densify, distance, geodesic, geodetic

Sample Code

import QtQuick 2.6
import Esri.ArcGISRuntime 100.9

Rectangle {
    id: rootRectangle
    clip: true
    width: 800
    height: 600
    property string distanceText

    MapView {
        id: mapView
        anchors.fill: parent

        // create a graphics overlay
        GraphicsOverlay {

            // add a marker graphic for NYC
            Graphic {
                id: nycGraphic
                Point {
                    x: -73.7781
                    y: 40.6413
                    spatialReference: SpatialReference { wkid: 4326 }
                symbol: markerSymbol

            // add a graphic for the path
            Graphic {
                id: pathGraphic
                symbol: pathSymbol

            // add an end marker graphic
            Graphic {
                id: destinationGraphic
                symbol: markerSymbol

        // create a map with the imagery basemap
        Map {
            BasemapImagery {}

        // handle the mouse click
        onMouseClicked: {
            // re-project the point to match the NYC graphic
            const destination = GeometryEngine.project(mouse.mapPoint, nycGraphic.geometry.spatialReference);

            // update the destination graphic
            destinationGraphic.geometry = destination;

            // create line with start/end points
            const polylineBuilder = ArcGISRuntimeEnvironment.createObject("PolylineBuilder", {spatialReference: destination.spatialReference});
            polylineBuilder.addPoints([nycGraphic.geometry, destinationGraphic.geometry]);
            const polyline = polylineBuilder.geometry;

            // densify the path as a geodesic curve and show it with the path graphic
            const maxSegmentLength = 1;
            const unitOfMeasurement = ArcGISRuntimeEnvironment.createObject("LinearUnit", {linearUnitId: Enums.LinearUnitIdKilometers});
            const curveType = Enums.GeodeticCurveTypeGeodesic;
            const pathGeometry = GeometryEngine.densifyGeodetic(polyline, maxSegmentLength, unitOfMeasurement, curveType);

            // update the graphic
            pathGraphic.geometry = pathGeometry;

            // calculate the path's geodetic length
            distanceText = GeometryEngine.lengthGeodetic(pathGeometry, unitOfMeasurement, curveType).toFixed(2);

    // create a line symbol
    SimpleLineSymbol {
        id: pathSymbol
        color: "blue"
        width: 5
        style: Enums.SimpleLineSymbolStyleDash

    // create a marker symbol
    SimpleMarkerSymbol {
        id: markerSymbol
        color: "blue"
        style: Enums.SimpleMarkerSymbolStyleCircle
        size: 10

    // display text for geodesic length
    Text {
        anchors {
            left: parent.left
            margins: 10

        text: "%1 kilometers".arg(distanceText)
        visible: distanceText.length > 0
        font.pixelSize: 20
        color: "white"