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  • Home >> How-To >> Find Shortest Distance Between Any Two Locations On Earth – Using Google Maps or Google Earth

    Find Shortest Distance Between Any Two Locations On Earth – Using Google Maps or Google Earth


    Today, I am going to tell you how to find the shortest distance in kilometers between any two points on the globe. You can also check the shortest line drawn on the Google map between the two points after calculating the distance.

    After you read this post, you will be able to find the shortest possible distance between any two places on the earth. But the shortest distance can be traveled by a bird to fly alone and not by an aircraft because of No-fly zones.

    Before we start, we need to get our basics right. Hope all of you have heard of Latitude and Longitude.

    Earth is divided into Latitude and Longitude imaginary lines. Using these two lines, you can pin point any location on earth.

    Latitude at equator is 0 and 90 N at north pole and 90 S at south pole. It ranges between 0 to 90 N or S. It can be donated as +0 to +90 as N and 0 to -90 as S.

    Longitude is between 0 to 180 E or 0 to 180 W or 0 to +180 as E and 0 to -180 as W.

    Tip: Always Latitude comes first followed by Longitude.

    Take an example :

    Charminar at Hyderabad, India : +17° 21′ 41″ N, +78° 28′ 28″ E

    Tokyo Tower at Tokyo, Japan : +35° 39? 31? N, +139° 44? 44? E

    Below is the shortest distance in kilometers and the map between charminar at Hyderabad and Tokyo tower at Tokyo:
    Shortest Distance between any two points on the earth

    If you want the similar kind of map generated for any two places of your choice then use this Demo Page, but before that read the below instructions then go to the Demo Page.

    You must be definitely excited to find out the distance between the two places of your choice !

    First decide the two places for which you want to find the shortest distance. You don’t know their Latitude and Longitude locations. No problem!!

    To find out the Longitude and Latitude points for the two places, follow the below steps:

    If you are using Google Earth:

    • Locate or Pinpoint your place on the map.
    • Once you find the place, move the mouse pointer on that place.
    • Check the at the left bottom of the map. It shows pointer followed by Latitude and Longitude.
    • Make a note of it and put that in Latitude 1 and Longitude 1 Text boxes in the Demo Page
    • Repeat the above steps for the second place and put that in Latitude 2 and Longitude 2 Text boxes
    • Use the Demo Page to fill-in the latitude and longitude and click on Calculate distance button. After that click on Map link below the result to get the Map. Gotta!!!!!

    If you are using Google Maps:

    • Open Google Maps
    • Locate or Pinpoint your place on the map.
    • Once you find the place, right click on that location and select “Center map here”
    • Above step will center the map, so that your place will be exactly on the center.
    • Copy and paste the below code into the location or address bar of your browser and press Enter: javascript:void(prompt(”,gApplication.getMap().getCenter()));
    • A little dialog box will pop up displaying the coordinates.
    • Copy the first coordinate and paste it in the Latitude 1 text box in the Demo page
    • Copy the second coordinate and paste it in the Longitude 1 text box in the Demo page
    • Repeat the above steps for the second place and copy and paste the coordinates in Latitude 2 and Longitude 2 text box
    • Click on the below link and input the latitudes and longitudes of both places and click on calculate distance button. After it shows up the distance. click on Map to get the shortest line plotted between the two places on a Google Earth Map as above.

      Click this for Demo

    But the above distance calculated doesn’t take mountains that come in the way between your first place and second place. so, the distance isn’t accurate but it is the shortest distance that we can calculate 🙂

    Hope you were able to find the shortest distance…

    Any suggestions/queries/idea/corrections, do leave a comment below.

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    9 Comments

    1. Nice find! But I guess only Superman needs this info unless if you can fly through mountains or without a chance of getting shot at 😀

    2. Naveen Thomas says:

      This is helpful but with the latest Google earth there is an option called “ruler” which gives you the distance between two points. This is not only needed by superman but you need it for line of sight distance and we use it in digital image processing. Thanx..

    3. Nihar says:

      @Mike, Yep you are right. need to be either superman or a bird to fly like that.

      @Naveen, I know but when i wrote the post, i think google earth didn’t had the option give you the distance between two points.

    4. Rohit says:

      Hey, this feature is required on Google maps by default but you discovered it via JS script. Nice share.

    5. Nihar says:

      Rohit,

      I know there is a feature now. but it wasn’t there before.

    6. mits says:

      this is the very fantastic & useful software by using them u can easily find the distance between any two places..

    7. Nice Post ..
      Got information about Latitude, Longitude , Google Earth ruler …
      Keep writing…

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