Convert polar coordinates to Cartesian

October 14, 2007

(This article was first published on Quantitative Ecology, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

When I want to calculate the coordinates of a location (e.g., a nest or burrow) based on distance and bearing from a grid point, this function helps me avoid writing down SOH-CAH-TOA every time. Just note that the bearing in this case is from the grid point (known location) to the unknown location.

## Translate Polar coordinates into Cartesian coordinates
## based on starting location, distance, and bearing
## as.deg indicates if the bearing is in degrees (T) or radians (F)

##if bearing is in degrees, convert to radians

newx<-x+dist*sin(bearing) ##X
newy<-y+dist*cos(bearing) ##Y


bearing=200 #degrees


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