the center of the world (was Re: Check out O'Reilly's Open Source Convention Highlights)

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 29 16:40:47 CEST 2001


"Konrad Hinsen" <hinsen at cnrs-orleans.fr> wrote in message
news:m33d8j8j2j.fsf at chinon.cnrs-orleans.fr...
> markus at kepler.ibp.de writes:
>
> > Then find first the weighted average as a point in three-dimensional
> > space, i.e. as (an approximation to) the center of gravity of the
> > human population. This will be some point deep in the interior of the
> > Earth, which you could the project back to the surface.
>
> But that doesn't minimize the distance on the surface.

Doesn't it (in terms of great-circle distance)?  I can't prove
it in my head either way, but trying to visualize a few cases
does suggest the requested surfacepoint IS obtained this way.

> Actually, we should
> minimize something even more pragmatic, such as travel cost, travel time,
> or some weighted combination.

You could presumably get enough data to estimate travel
costs and time between any two large cities from databases
available on the net.  But then for pragmatism one should
count frequent-flyer miles as a bonus, shouldn't one?


Alex





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