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How to Measure Distances in Google Maps for Running, Biking, and Hiking


By Craig Lloyd on June 29th, 2017

Getting directions in Google Maps lets you easily see how far away the destination is. However, if you want to know the distance between point A and point B on a hiking or running trail, here’s how to do that in Google Maps.

Keep in mind that this only works on the web interface on a computer—the mobile app doesn’t let you do this, nor does the web interface on a mobile browser. With that said, let’s begin.

In my case, I’m going to be measuring the distance of a big trail loop that goes around the local YMCA. Go to maps.google.com in any web browser on your computer and begin by right-clicking on the starting point where you want the distance measurement to begin. Then choose “Measure Distance”.

I have the Satellite layer enabled, but you can do this in any layer you want.

From there, follow the trail and click on it wherever it curves so that the measuring markers follow the trail’s path exactly.

You can zoom in and out as much as you’d like during the process in order to be as accurate or rough as you want.

Throughout the process, you can see the total distance so far at the bottom, as well as the total square footage of the area if you making a complete circuit.

To delete a point, simply just click on it to remove it. You can also add points anywhere along the line and drag them around to change the path.

If you’re drawing a circuit of some kind (instead of a point A to point B measurement), you can click on the first point you made to complete the circuit—this will not remove that point, unlike others.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He’s also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.


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