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 in your web browser.

  2. Find a place on the map that you want to start measuring from, 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 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.)

How to Add a Business to Google Maps

With so many people using Google Maps to find locations — and directions for getting to them — why not let them find their way to your local business?  Having your company or store show up on Google Maps, as well as several of Google's other services, can be a huge boost to your market visibility, considering how popular and widespread Google is nowadays.

In order to have your business appear on Google Maps, you will need to register it with another service run by Google, which is called "Google My Business".

NOTE: For this to work, you must either create a Google Account, or log into an existing one.  If you have an account on Gmail, it's the same thing as a Google Account.

How to Register with Google My Business

  1. Go to in your web browser and click Get on Google.

  2. You will be prompted to log into your Google Account.  Click in the box marked "Email" and enter your account-related email address, and then click the box marked "Password" and type in your account password (it will appear as bullet points to keep it hidden).  Then click Sign In.

    If you don't have a Google Account, click Create an Account, then follow the instructions and fill in your information as required.  The process is almost identical to creating an account with Gmail, so see our How to Create a Gmail Account tutorial if you need help.

  3. You will now be taken to a screen that looks very similar to Google Maps.  Click inside the search bar in the top-left corner and type in the name of your business and/or its address.  Don't worry if none of Google's suggestions match your business; we're trying to add it, after all!

    If you make a mistake and need to start over, click the "X" at the edge of the box.  Otherwise, click the search button ().

  4. Chances are that Google won't be able to find your business.  This is totally fine, because we're trying to add it to Google Maps.  Simply click I've Correctly Entered the Name and Address to continue.

  5. You'll now be asked to enter the details of your business, including:

    – its name
    – the country it is headquartered in
    – the street address at which it's located
    – the city it is headquartered in
    – the province/state/territory it is headquartered in
    – the mailing code for the area in which it's located
    – its phone number (optional; click the flag to select a country code)
    – what kind of business it is (you must select one of Google's suggestions)

    As you enter this information, the map view will change to reflect the details you've entered. 

    If you run a business that delivers products to customers — or where you go to customers' homes and perform your services — as opposed to having them come to your store, click the box labelled "I Deliver Goods and Services to My Customers at Their Location" to check it.

    When you're all done entering information, click Continue.

  6. If your business does not already have a page on Google Plus, you will be asked to make one.  Click the check box here to say that you manage this business (or have been given permission to do so) and that you accept Google's terms of service.  Then click Continue.

  7. You will now have to verify your business with Google via a special code.  Click Mail Me My Code to have Google send you a verification code via email within usually one or two weeks.

    NOTE: If you entered a phone number for your business, there will also be an option here for you to have Google call you at that number, so you can get your verification code much faster!

  8. Once you get your verification code, type it in at the appropriate spot on the "Dashboard" (main screen) of your business's Google Plus page.  That's it!  Your business should appear on Google Maps shortly!

How to Download Google Maps Offline

So, you've learned how to use the Google Maps interface, found directions to your next destination, and used the "Street View" function to scout the place out a bit, so that you know what to look for once you are there.  Great!

But what happens once you're actually out on the road?  You won't always have access to a computer or Internet connection, so you won't alwaysbe able to check Google Maps to see if you're on the right track.  Fortunately, there are a few ways to download maps from Google Maps

How to Print your Google Map

The easiest way to take your map with you, even when you're not using your computer, is simply to print it. 

Start by going to in your web browser, and navigate your map view to the area that you want to print.  See our How to Use Google Maps tutorial if you need help with using the Google Maps interface.

The method for printing a page from the Internet is a bit different depending on what web browser you use, so we'll show you how to do it for three of the most common ones: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome.

Printing in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Click the menu icon () in the top-right corner, and then click Print.

  2. Firefox will show you a preview of what your map will look like when it prints.  It will probably be useful to click Landscape so that your map prints down the page instead of across it (which prints it across 11 inches instead of 8.5 inches, making it slightly easier to read).  Then click Print.

  3. Every printer's options are slightly different, so set them the way that you want them, and then go ahead and print off your map.

Printing in Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Click the tools icon () in the top-right corner, move your mouse cursor over Print, and then click Print…

  2. Every printer's options are slightly different, so set them the way that you want them, and then go ahead and print off your map.

Printing in Google Chrome

  1. Click the customize and control icon () in the top-right corner, and click Print.

  2. Google Chrome will open its own special dialog box, where you can preview your map and quickly adjust your printer's settings.  You can click More Settings for more options, or click Print Using System Dialog to set up your printing by using your printer's unique options system.

    Whether you use Google Chrome's interface or your printer's, click Print when you're ready to print off your map.

Pro Tip: If you  want to get to the printing options faster, in each of the three cases, you can hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and press the "P" key as a shortcut. 

You can also print a map that has accompanying directions from Google Maps. 

Use Google Maps Saver

There are a number of computer programs made independently by computer-savvy people around the world (i.e. they don't work for Google) that will allow you to save map views in Google Maps as images on your computer.  This means that you don't have to be connected to the Internet to view these images.  One such program is called Google Maps Saver.

  1. Go to in your web browser and click the Download GMS button.  When the download prompt appears, click Save File.

  2. Choose where you want to save the file, and then go to that location and double-click on the file called GMS_V1_0_3.exe.  The program will run right away; you don't have to install anything.

    (NOTE: if a security warning pops up, don't panic; this program is safe.  Trust us… we tested it ourselves.  Just click Run.)

  3. When the program opens, simply click in the box marked "Location/P.O.I." and type in the place that you'd like to see.  Then click the GO! button.

    NOTE: If any error messages appear, it's no big deal.  Just click the Yes button at each of them.

  4. From here, you can navigate the main window like you would as if you were using the actual Google Maps website.

    NOTE: The interface used by this program is for the classic version of Google Maps, but it shouldn't be too different from the new version.

    Once you have the map view centered on the area that you'd like to save a map of, click the Save Capture As button.

  5. Use the file navigation window to find a spot where you'd like to save your map, then click in the box marked "File Name" and type in a name for your map (so you remember what it is), and then click Save.

  6. Now, simply find the file location where you saved your map, and double-click it to open a preview of it.

  7. Presto!  There's your map, ready for you to do whatever you want with it!  Draw on it!  Print it!  Take it with you wherever!  And you won't even need an Internet connection to get at it!

Now you know a couple of ways to get maps off Google Maps, so that you can use them even when you're offline!