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How to store multiple values in a PHP array, find the lowest 3 values then display

neilsav asked
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
What I am trying to do:
My website is a public golf course review website - thelocalgolfer.com -
I have a single page for each golf course, on the page I would like to display the closest 5 courses mileage wise on the course display page.  All of the course pages are built dynamically so what happens is I pass a course # to the page, it queries a mysql dbase and grabs all pertinent course information - e.g. course name, latitude, longitude, etc..

I then have another query that pulls the latitude and longitude of a bunch of courses that are near based on region - I then pass each of those latitude and longitude #'s in to a distance function that calculates the mileage distance away from the course that I am displaying on the page.  I store all of the distances in a an array, but I don't know what to do next.  Here is the code so far:

//This function will compare the course and the courses in the same region as that course and return a distance in mileage
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;

//The array that stores the mileage away from the course that I am displaying
$course_distance= array();
//grabbing all returned records from database comparing the lat and lon vs. the course displayed on the page
while ($z < $nummile) {
//The course id needed for the hyperlink



echo $course_name . " ";
echo distance($lat, $lon, $latC, $lonC, "m") . " miles<br>";
$distanceq=distance($lat, $lon, $latC, $lonC, "m");

$course_distance[] = $distanceq;


//This will get the course closest, but it doesn't get the three closest and doesn't return coursename or courseid
echo min($course_distance);

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I want to take 3 variables- the mileage of the closest course (which comes as an output from the distance function, the course name, and the course id (which I need for the hyperlink).  I then want to display this information.

I am familiar with php, but not so familiar with array's and multidimensional arrays. I do not want to store these values in a dbase, or flatfile, I would like to do all of the calculations on the page itself.  Also, maybe arrays is not the best way, I am open to any other way to accomplish the goal of displaying the 5 closest courses to the subject course.  If you want to see the type of  page that I will display this information check it out here:  http://www.thelocalgolfer.com/course_info_display-course-7.html
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