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July 10, 2014

Distance Measurement in the New Google Maps

You can now measure distances in the new desktop interface for Google Maps, just like in the Labs feature from the classic Google Maps. "You can measure the distance between two or more points on the map using Google Maps. For example, measure the distance between two cities," explains Google.

Right-click the map where you want to start measuring, select "Measure distance" and click the map to add new places to your path.

Google Maps shows distances on the map in kilometres or miles, but you can't switch between metric and imperial units.

You can adjust the path using drag and drop: drag a point to move it, click a point to remove it.

There's a "measure distance" card that shows the exact distance. Right-click the map and select "clear measurement" to remove your path or click "x" in the sidebar card.

The new distance measurement tool is better than the old feature:

* it's a standard feature, it's not hidden in Google Maps Labs
* it's easier to find: use the contextual menu instead of clicking the small ruler icon
* it's more flexible: you can drag any point to move it, click it to remove it
* it shows more information on the map

{ via +Google Maps }


  1. How do you get it to show in miles instead of feet?

  2. It is imperative we get to choose units. Suppose I live in a culture that uses miles; I want to visit a country that uses metres. I am planning a trip and want to find the distance between two cities. I want this in MY units, i.e. miles, because that's what I think in spatially. C'mon Google, love you loads but let ME choose - don't be a dictator.

  3. I'm in Australia where we use metric units, but maps is showing miles - which makes this feature pretty much useless.

  4. I need yards for golf courses, not meters! Any way to change it?

  5. I need yards for golf courses, not meters! Any way to change it?

  6. I would like to up-vote the request for different measurement units - some sort of context-sensitive menu, or a preference setting.

  7. Agreed. I would like this for Golf. Yards Please (more annoying.. you're giving me feet and Meters.. Yes I know I can divide by 300... But I'm lazy.

  8. i am a pilot i want it in nautical miles :)

  9. I'd like yards like we had in the old maps for golf.

  10. I'd like yards like we had in the old maps for golf.

  11. Also need miles as opposed to km

    And the comment from the person in Australia who gets miles, but wants km, seems like things are the wrong way round

  12. Distance Measurement tool in imperial will show "feet" until the measurement becomes longer than 1 "mile". When in metric, anything below 1 "kilometer" will be in "meters". In the Google Maps (browser) version - to toggle units between imperial (ft/mi) and metric (m/km) CLICK ON THE DISTANCE SCALE at the bottom right corner of the map.

  13. Nautical miles anyone? Distances over sea are awkward and hard to work with in statutory miles.


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