Google Maps Distance Tool

Have you ever wondered how far you actually travel between two points, such as on your daily commute or when you fly to your favourite vacation destination?  Or maybe you’re curious about how far you just ran in your morning run? Google Maps can tell you with its "Distance Tool" feature.

How to use the Google Maps Distance Tool

  1. Go to www.google.com/maps in your web browser.

  2. Find a place on the map that you want to start measuring from (see our How to Use Google Maps and Google Maps Search tutorials if you need help using the controls or searching in Google Maps), right-click on it, and then left-click Measure Distance.

  3. You should now see a small white circle with a black outline.  This is going to be one of your markers.  As the tip in the screenshot below says, you can click and hold down your mouse button on this marker and drag it to a new spot, or you can just click once on it to get rid of it.

  4. Now, find a place that you want to measure the distance to (again, use our How to Use Google Maps and Google Maps Search tutorials if you need help using the controls or searching in Google Maps), and left-click on it.  A line will connect the two points and tell you the distance between them.

  5. You can also find and left-click on another location on the map to measure the distance between your original marker, any subsequent end markers, and your new end marker.

  6. A final trick is that you can click and hold down your mouse button at any point on any distance line connecting two markers, and then drag your mouse to another spot to create another marker at that spot.  This feature is useful if you're planning a trip and know your start and end point, but you want to test out different routes to see which one is shortest.

And those are some of the different ways that you can use the Google Maps Distance Tool!

How to measure traveling distance between two locations

Okay, so the Google Maps Distance Tool allows you to measure the distance between two (or more) points in the world using more-or-less straight lines.  But transportation routes are rarely straight lines, so how do you figure out how far it ACTUALLY is between two points, when you factor in those routes?  Fear not; when you use the Google Maps Directions feature and select a route, it will show you the actual distance you will travel along that route.

(NOTE: traveling distances are only available for driving, walking, and bicycling routes.)

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