How to calculate distances between two points on the Google map

We can easily calculate distances between two points on the Google maps. Although Google’s star service is its search engine, another of the most important is Google Maps. With this application you can make various calculations, for example, the distance between two points on the planet. We explain how.

This is the most comprehensive map service on the market right now, and it’s free. It offers us all kinds of information. Starting with the most basic, we can see all the addresses, roads, landscape elements and municipalities on the planet. If we choose the satellite view we will see from the sky any corner of the planet. And if we choose Google Street View we will walk directly through the streets of any city or town. The latter thanks to the 360º images taken by Google vehicles.

One of the most useful operations that we can perform with Maps is the straight-line calculation between two chosen points on the map, along with the calculation of road routes.

Calculate distances in a straight line

From the computer

Once we are located on the map of the Google Maps web, the first thing we will do is click with the right button of the mouse on the point of origin and click on Measure the distance. Then we just have to click on the destination point. Immediately a line will be drawn between the two points with the total distance. You can continue clicking on different points on the map and the entire “route” that you are tracing will be drawn with the click of the mouse.

As a curiosity, do not be alarmed if you see that the lines are not straight but curved, this is due to the spherical shape of the planet. Even depending on the position on the globe, you will see how the line drawn is totally straight or, on the contrary, even more curved than those you see in the images.

From the phone

Calculate distance between two points in Google maps
Google Maps

In the mobile version it is even simpler. In this case we show you how to measure the distance between two points on the map from an iPhone. The first thing we have to do is click on the part of the map that you are going to take as the origin, so that the red Google pin appears. Scroll down the location tab and click on Measure distance. You will automatically see an icon of a crosshair on the map so that you can move it and fix it on the destination point. The distance between the two points appears directly. If you want to add more points to your route, click on the + that you have in the lower right part of the image.

How to calculate road routes

Calculating distances between two points on the map is an option that is only useful for a few cases. For professional use or to satisfy the curiosity of the human mind mostly. The related section that may be more useful globally is the calculation of road routes, both by car and on foot. This application should be considered mandatory for road travelers and freight transport professionals.

From the computer

In the online application of Google Maps, the icon of the route calculation tool is the white arrow on a blue background. By clicking on it we will access the form for calculating routes. It’s really simple, you just have to indicate the place of departure and destination . The application itself will suggest places as you type, click on the right place and that’s it. You will see the route drawn on the map, the distance and the time it would take, along with alternative routes for other slightly longer or slower itineraries. All time calculations are made based on the safety limits established in each area.

In the route options you can configure some aspects such as choosing if you want to avoid motorways, tolls or ferries. You can also choose the unit of distance between miles or kilometers. In this case, the default route is by car. If you want to calculate this route on foot you must click on the icon of the “human” silhouette. It’s always curious to know how long it would take you to walk from Madrid to Barcelona, ​​right? Although this is really useful when you have to move on foot between two places in a city that you do not know.

From the phone

Calculate road routes
Google Maps

In the case of the iOS version, as in Android, we must click on the same icon with the white arrow on a blue background. We indicate which are the starting and destination points. Just by clicking on the suggestion that the application itself offers you for the destination, the route drawn on the map will appear with all the information. In the mobile version, by default, your location appears in real time as the point of origin, but you can also manually add the starting point.

As you can see in the image, in the mobile version the information is more complete, since the route times for the different possibilities appear directly.

How to calculate routes in public transport

From the computer

To know the possibilities we have of making a route by public transport we have to click on the train icon. Train routes will not necessarily appear exclusively. Actually, Google will offer us the most useful and fastest options for us of all the types of public transport available: bus, train, plane, Ferry …

It will even appear, if applicable, the sections that we will have to do on foot to connect between two different public transport. We will know exactly the distance and time that each section will take us, both the one we do by train, for example, and the ones we do on foot to catch another bus. You will be amazed at the accuracy of all time and distance calculations. In the options section we can choose the types of public transport that interest us.

From the phone

As is often the case in these cases, in the mobile version the operation is simpler. Once we click on the train icon, which is the one that represents all public transport in general in Google Maps, we will calculate the distances and times of the routes automatically. In the image you can see different options that I have to go to Madrid with public transport. Sections on foot are combined with the Hernani buses, in this example, with train sections to go to the center of Madrid.

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