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These are valid points. As you may know, global_planner is based off of nav_fn, and as a result, some of the bugs propagated forward.

1) This is a valid point. This error came from nav_fn. Both should be n+nx (as is on line 1029). A pull request with this for indigo and jade would be most welcome.

2) The current x position lies somewhere between stc%nx and (stc%nx)+1. Therefore we want to compute the gradient between stc and stc+1. Similarly in the y direction. Thus we get the four cells which make up the immediate neighborhood of the current position.

3) I think the answer has something to do with the row-order nature of the costmap, but I'm not certain.