Using the Distance Formula with Angular

getRadarStationClosest(observationStations: {}, lat: string, long: string): string {
  const radarStations = <any> observationStations;
  let closestStation = '';
  let firstTime = true;
  let minDistance = 0;

  const x1: number = parseFloat(long);
  const y1: number = parseFloat(lat);

  radarStations.forEach((element) => {
    // when calculating distance use the distance formula
    // sqrt of (x2-x1)^2 + (y2-y1)^2
    // long = x
    // lat = y
    const x2: number = parseFloat(element['geometry']['coordinates'][0]);
    const y2: number = parseFloat(element['geometry']['coordinates'][1]);
    const xSquared: number = (x2 - x1) * (x2 - x1);
    const ySquared: number = (y2 - y1) * (y2 - y1);
    const distance = Math.sqrt(xSquared + ySquared);

    if (firstTime) {
      firstTime = false;
      minDistance = distance;
      closestStation = element['id'];
    } else {
      if (distance < minDistance) {
        minDistance = distance;
        closestStation = element['id'];

  return closestStation;

When I was working on my Angular weather app I recently had to use the distance formula from Algebra and wanted to share it here.

The reason I was using it was to find the nearest radar station given coordinates (latitude and longitude). I was using an endpoint that gave me a set of radar stations for an area, and I needed to identify the closest one.

After some testing, I found out that the NOAA APIs that I was using actually provided more accurate readings with a different endpoint that didn’t require me to do this math.

I thought using the distance formula was still cool, and just wanted to post it here for future reference. Also checkout the following video on how to use the distance formula.

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