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Whats the differance between Nautical Miles and Statute miles?

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Thanks to Michelle d'Aoust for a very precise and detailed answer on how to convert to/from nautical miles:

A statute mile is 5,280 feet in length.
A nautical mile is 6,076.11549... feet in length.

To convert from statute to nautical miles a factor of 1.15 is generally used, even though it is not precise.

(5,280 feet X 1.15) = 6,072 feet (4.11549...feet less than 1 nautical mile).You could add 4.1 feet for each statute mile to be converted. So the new formula would be: {(5280 feet x 1.15)+ 4.1 feet} divided by 6,076.1 feet = 1 nautical mile.

To convert from nautical to statute miles: The factor 1.15 may be used, but again, it is not precise.

(6076.1 divided by 1.15) = 5,283 feet (3.565..feet more than 1 statute mile). Using a precomputed table (such as Bowditch's Table 20) will result in the more precise answers

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The difference between the two is in the areas they are both used which differ. The statute mile is used as an imperial measurement primarily in the USA and UK for land based distances. On the other hand the nautical mile is the predominant unit of measurement which is used in the maritime world like sea travel.

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