Google Maps Determine linear distance between two points
Google Maps Determine linear distance between two points

Online mapping tools are vital for travel planning, but many also provide supplementary tools. Google Maps can measure distance in an area or as the crow flies to help you with various decisions and sate your curiosity.

One good use of the tool is measure distance walked along footpaths, for example, or to determine the size of a property. Your software will automatically display the results in the units that are relevant to you.

We’re going to show you exactly use these features, but there’s one caveat. While some of the functionality is cross-platform, Google Maps for Android or iOS can only measure the distance between two points. You’ll need a PC for area work, and it would be our first choice for either due to ease of use.

Google Maps: Measure Distance in your Web Browser

Go to maps.google.com. In the map view, right-click on the desired starting point and select “Measure Distance”.

Google Maps Browser - Measure Distance
Google Maps Browser – Choose starting point

To measure the distance to another location on the map as the crow flies, simply click on it with the mouse. Google Maps will show you the exact distance in kilometers and meters as well as miles in an info box.

Google Maps Browser - Measure Distance - Select end point
Google Maps Browser –  Select end point

You can also extend the measuring path with additional points to follow the course of a road. This can be used to measure the distance of a route.

Google Maps Browser - Measure Distance - Odd distance
Google Maps Browser – Add distance

Google Maps: Measure Area on the Web

To calculate a surface, simply use the ruler function to set the points along the outer boundaries of the desired surface until the end-point corresponds to the starting point.

Google Maps Browser - Measure Distance - Measuring areas
Google Maps Browser – Measure Distance – Measuring areas

With the satellite view, this works especially well for properties. The total area appears like the measured distance in the info box.

How to Measure Distance with Google Maps for Android

You can also measure a distance as the crow flies with the Google Maps app for Android and iOS. Tap the starting point on the map to select it with a red marker, then tap on the name of the location below to open the details.

Google Maps Android - Measure Distance - Select Starting Point
Google Maps Android – Select Starting Point

You’ll then see an option to measure distance. Tap it.

Google Maps App - Location Details - Measure Distance
Google Maps Android – Location Details – Measure Distance

You can move the map and select your destination, at which point the distance will be displayed below.

Google Maps App - Measure Distance - Select Destination
Google Maps App – Measure Distance – Select Destination

You can use the blue plus button to add more points on the route for use in more complex calculations.