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Using Distance Calculators

Distance calculators are tools that calculate the distance that lies between at least two points on the map. You can decide on the distance unit you want to use, whether kilometers, meters or miles. Usually, you can just type in the names of the places whose distance from each other you’d like to know, and then click some button to show results. Postcodes and addresses may be used as well.

How Distance Calculators Work

Once you click the search button, a search will be performed to look for the place you have indicated. First, a search will be done on an internal list of common locations. If this isn’t fruitful, a search will be done using Google Maps API GlocalSearch. If still unproductive, you will be requested to indicate the exact location of the area by clicking on the map. This will let you see the distance between the two points, and the location will be entered into the internal database so that it will be found the next time someone searches for it.
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The moment a result is displayed, you can get the URL so you can go back to it for your own reference, or the reference of a friend or relative who might need it.
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How Distance Is Determined

The distance between any two points is defined as the shortest separation in between them, where the two are closest to each other. This logic is utilized by any distance-calculating geoprocessing tool.

If input data is in an equidistance projected coordinate system, distance measurements can be most accurate. Although distance calculations can always be done no matter the coordinate system used, the results can be inaccurate or even insignificant when data is in a geographic coordinate system or a wrongly selected projected coordinate system.

Significant Considerations

Several features can be equally closest to another feature. In this case, any of the equally closest features will be picked randomly as the closest. A feature that contains or is contained another feature has a distance of zero. A distance of zero is calculated in a scenario where there is at least one x,y coordinate shared between them.

Hence, with two features intersecting, overlapping, crossing, or touching, distance is zero. Distance is always measured to the boundary of a polygon feature, rather than to the center. As earlier noted, if a feature is contained inside a polygon, the distance between the feature and the containing polygon is calculated as zero. Whichever of two features (of any kind) is being measured to and from, their distance is always the same.

Basic Distance-finding Operations

Determining distance relies on the geometry type of the features, and also on other factors such as coordinate system. But there are three core rules for determining how distance is to be calculated. First, the distance between two points is the straight line that connects the points. Second, distance from one point to one line can be the perpendicular vertex or the closest vertex. Third and last, segment vertices determine the distance between polylines.