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Find point on XYZ line with Distance

  1. May 8, 2015 #1
    The situation: I have a line represented in 3D space with XYZ coordinates. The line also has a M value for the distance from the start point in 3D. I have another data set that has "events" that I would like to find on my line. They have a distance (M) for the start and stop of the event; therefore, each event will be a line. So, I need to find all of the XYZ values for the vertexes of this new line. I plan on using python for the task.

    What I am thinking is -- in pseudo code is:

    for each M value in the line starting from 0:
    if the M of the event is more then the M of the vertex:
    move to the next vert
    find the point on the line between vertexes​

    add vertexes to my new event line as needed​

    So, I can find the distance between points no problem with:

    d = ((x1 - x2)^2 + (y1 - y2)^2 + (z1 - z2)^2)^(1/2)

    But I am not sure how to find the event points with just the M along the line. Can someone please point me to the right path?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Your question isn't very clearly stated. For the line in space, do you know the coordinates of the vertices? If you know a given vertex, the distance from the starting point, which you're calling M, can be calculated fairly easily.

    Using "M" for both the vertex (i.e., point on the line) and for the event is confusing. It would be better to use a different variable for these, or maybe include a subscript to distinguish M for a vertex (say, MV) from M for an event (say, ME).

    You say "each event will be a line." Actually, each event is represented by a line segment. Do these event line segments lie along the line or do they radiate out in some other direction? If they are along the main line, you could write the line in parametric form in terms of a direction vector. Starting from a given point on the line, you could calculate the coordinates of another point at the end of a line segment of known length.
  4. Aug 5, 2015 #3
    public GeoPoint GetPointAt3D(double distance3D)
    double distanceLengthRatio = distance3D / this.Length3D;
    double x = this.FromPoint.X + ((this.ToPoint.X - this.FromPoint.X) * distanceLengthRatio);
    double y = this.FromPoint.Y + ((this.ToPoint.Y - this.FromPoint.Y) * distanceLengthRatio);
    double z = this.FromPoint.Z + ((this.ToPoint.Z - this.FromPoint.Z) * distanceLengthRatio);

    return new GeoPoint(this.WKID, x, y, z);
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