What is the Geographic Distance Matrix Generator?
The Geographic Distance Matrix Generator is a platform-independent Java application that implements the same powerful suite of spherical functions as the Perpendicular Distance Calculator
to compute all pair wise distances from a simple list of geographic coordinates.
Why is the Geographic Distance Matrix Generator useful?
In the fields of phylogeography and landscape genetics, biologists attempt to detect patterns in the distribution of genetic variation across different spatial scales. The most commonly known process is isolation by distance (IBD), under which genetic similarity decreases with geographic distance. Barriers to migration of organisms can hinder gene flow, thus increasing genetic distance, even if populations are not far apart. With the increasing availability of mobile GPS technology, every scientist can obtain latitude-longitude coordinates for target organisms, which can later be used in regression analyses in conjunction with genetic distances, or matrix associations with permutations for statistical testing, as well as multiple matrix correlations when testing for more complex biogeographic and ecological scenarios (Mantel and partial Mantel tests, respectively).The Geographic Distance Matrix Generator can be used to easily generate distance matrices needed for these types of analyses.
Why use spherical functions?
The Geographic Distance Matrix Generator implements methods founded in spherical geometry because calculations can be performed directly with geographic coordinates, i.e., latitude and longitude, saving researchers time and money by eliminating the need for complex, expensive spatial software.
What are the hardware requirements?
Since the Geographic Distance Matrix Generator is written in Java, it will run on any operating system (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Unix, Linux) that has a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. You can get the latest JRE from Sun Microsystems at java.com
How much does it cost?
Absolutely nothing! The Geographic Distance Matrix Generator is an open source initiative and distributed free of charge with no warranty as stipulated in the GNU General Public License
. The application and/or the source code for the spherical functions can be obtained from the download page
and instructions for the obtaining the source code can be found on our trac site