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> Your concern is that an application will receive the position data, do
> calculations on it to generate the distance, and in so doing may end up
> with a value of something other than 590 (e.g., 585), due to things like
> rounding errors and differing algorithms.
Heh, when you start talking about lat/long you better brush up on ellipsoid
trigonometry. The world's not a circle. Distance calculation formulae have
numerous issues, the close up calculations fail on distance and the distance
ones are somewhat off closer.
And when you get into positioning, there's a hundred different ways (or very
nearly) to express a point on the globe. The various geodetic surveys are
slightly different. To say nothing of the map or grid based ones.
Your point about using location vs distance is relevant, if not fraught with
it's own hassles.