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Hey, Taxi!

Peggy House 

February 2005


When we talk about the distance from one place to another, we generally speak of "as the crow flies", the minimum straight-line distance concept from Euclidean geometry. Finding the shortest distance from point A to point B takes on a new dimension when viewed through the lens of "taxicab geometry", a non-Euclidean geometry created by the Russian mathematician Hermann Minkowski. In taxicab geometry, we want to know the minimal distance that a taxi travels by driving only north-south or east-west along gridlines.

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