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

Konrad Hinsen hinsen at cnrs-orleans.fr
Fri Jun 29 15:08:29 CEST 2001


"Alex Martelli" <aleaxit at yahoo.com> writes:

> to 'population centers'.  Of course I could get different
> centers by choosing different weighing factors (country GNP
> rather than country population, for example).

Or by Python expertise ;-)

> Hmmm, if the coordinates were on a plane, finding the weighed center
> would be trivial, but offhand I can't think of how to do it on a
> sphere's surface -- I guess there must be some way more suitable
> than just solving a generalized extremization problem -- can anybody
> suggest one...?

What's so bad about it? Searching for a global minimum in two
variables is not so difficult. All the more within finite coordinate
intervals. Of course there might be no global minimum at all.

Konrad.
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