Steven Hammons Steven Hammons - 2 years ago 84
PHP Question

How to input multiple variables into an array in PHP?

Here is a example i'm using to load read values from a JSON file to provide Latitude, Longitude, Address, and more. I'm using min() to return the lowest value in the array $cart and cannot figure out how to input and grab other values from the array. It shows the closest distance as needed but I would like to grab the latitude and longitude of the closest distance as well.


function distance($lat1, $lon1, $lat2, $lon2, $unit) {

$theta = $lon1 - $lon2;
$dist = sin(deg2rad($lat1)) * sin(deg2rad($lat2)) + cos(deg2rad($lat1)) * cos(deg2rad($lat2)) * cos(deg2rad($theta));
$dist = acos($dist);
$dist = rad2deg($dist);
$miles = $dist * 60 * 1.1515;
$unit = strtoupper($unit);

if ($unit == "K") {
return ($miles * 1.609344);
} else if ($unit == "N") {
return ($miles * 0.8684);
} else {
return $miles;

$cart = array();

foreach ($json_a as $pos_name => $pos_a) {
echo "['" . $pos_a['name'] . "', " . $pos_a['latlng'][0] . ", " . $pos_a['latlng'][1] . ", '" . $pos_a['address'] . "', 0],";
array_push($cart, distance($lat, $lon, $pos_a['latlng'][0], $pos_a['latlng'][1], "M") . "");

echo min($cart);

Answer Source

The question is very unclear. However, I'll try to pretend I understand that you have the coordinates of a fixed point ($lat, $long) and a list ($json_a) of other points identified by their coordinates and you want to find the point from this list that is the closest to the fixed point mentioned above.

Obviously, you should keep both the distance and the coordinates of each point in the $cart array. To make the things simple, I will index the $cart array using the distance:

$cart = array();
foreach ($json_a as $pos_name => $pos_a) {
    // Compute the distance
    $distance = distance($lat, $lon, $pos_a['latlng'][0], $pos_a['latlng'][1], "M");
    // Store point info and the distance in $pos, index by distance
    $cart[$distance] = array(
        'name' => $pos_a['name'],
        'lat'  => $pos_a['latlng'][0],
        'long' => $pos_a['latlng'][1],
        'dist' => $distance,

// Get the minimum distance
$distance = min(array_keys($cart));
// Get the position corresponding to the minimum distance
$position = $cart['distance'];

The code above contains a logic error. Put the mouse over the yellow area below to learn about it or, better, exercise your brain and discover it yourself.

If there are two or more locations at the same distance from the point, only the last one is stored in the array. This doesn't affect the processing in any way if the distance is not the smallest one.

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