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How to Measure the Distance Between Two Addresses or Points

Every time you choose a restaurant based on its proximity, calculate the fuel required for a road trip or determine the ideal location for a new retail store, you’re relying on distance measurements.

Accurate distance measurement is the key to informed choices and optimized processes. It enables you to save time, money, and resources by making well-informed decisions.

Maptive’s Distance Calculator

To determine the distance between two addresses using Maptive’s distance calculator tool, simply click on the ruler icon located on the right side of the screen. Next, select the button “Single Point Distance Measurement (A to B),” and then use your mouse to select the first location, followed by clicking on the second.

Doing so will produce a dotted line connecting the two points on the map, and the precise distance between them will be prominently displayed.

Google Maps

A second method you might try is Google Maps. To do so, open Google Maps on your computer, then right-click on your starting point and select “Measure distance.”

Doing so, will give you a screen where the total distance in miles and/or kilometers is displayed at the bottom. If you need to adjust your points or remove any, simply click and drag them or click to delete.

If you don’t notice this functionality, it might be because you are accessing Google Maps in Lite mode, where distance measurement is not available.

Google Maps API

Before you can start using the Google Maps API for measuring distances between two addresses or points, you’ll need to obtain an API key from the Google Cloud Console. This key serves as your authentication and authorization token, allowing access to Google’s mapping services.

To get an API key, you will first need to sign in to Google Cloud Console, where you can create a new project. In the API Library, search for “Google Maps JavaScript API” and click on “Enable.” After enabling the API, navigate to “Credentials” and select “API key.”

With your API key in hand, you can now utilize the Google Maps API to programmatically measure distances between addresses or coordinates.

To do this, you’ll typically use the Distance Matrix service, which provides accurate travel distances and times based on different modes of transportation, a feature many find valuable when using the bus system.

Haversine Formula on Excel

For those that are mathematically inclined, you may try a calculation by the name of the haversine formula, which calculates distances between two points on the surface of a sphere, such as the Earth, taking into account its spherical shape rather than assuming a flat plane.

To calculate the distance, you will want to convert latitude and longitude coordinates from degrees to radians, then apply the formula to calculate the distance between both locations.

Conclusion

Accurate distance measurement serves as the key to avoiding poor decision making, whether in urban planning, logistics, outdoor adventures, or personal navigation. While we often take distance for granted in our daily lives, understanding the methods and tools available for accurate measurement can profoundly impact the way we interact with our surroundings.


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