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Measure distances and areas in Google Earth

Use lines and shapes to check distances and estimate sizes of different features on Earth.

Find out what you can measure

In computer versions of Google Earth & Earth Pro, you can measure the length of the ground with a line or path.

In Earth Pro, you can also measure:

  • Circumferences using circles
  • Other areas using polygons
  • 3D buildings

Take a measurement

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Navigate to a spot on the globe.
  3. In the menu bar, click Tools>Ruler. A box will appear.
  4. In the bottom left corner of the Ruler box, make sure that Mouse Navigation is checked.
  5. Click the tab for what you want to measure:
    • In Google Earth, you can measure:
      • Line: the distance between two points on the map
      • Path: the distance between multiple points on the ground
    • In Google Earth Pro, you can also measure:
      • Polygon: the distance or area of a geometric shape on the ground
      • Circle: measure the circumference of a circle on the ground
      • 3D path: the distance between a building and various places on the ground
      • 3D polygon: the height, width, and area of 3D buildings
  6. On the map, click a starting point for your measurement.
  7. Click an end point.
  8. You’ll see a line or shape on the globe that shows what you’re measuring. The measurements will show up in the “Ruler” box.

Save your measurement

Once you’ve taken a measurement, you can save it:

  1. In the “Ruler” box, click Save.
  2. In the “Name” field, type a name for what you measured.
  3. In the bottom right corner, click OK. Google Earth will add your measurement under “Places” in the left-hand panel.

Add more details to your measurements

  1. In the “Ruler” box, click Save.
  2. In the “Name” field, you can change the name from the default.
  3. Click among the different tabs to fill in any extra details you want to include, like a description or altitude. You can also change the color and style.
  4. In the bottom right corner, click OK. Google Earth will add your measurement under “Places” in the left-hand panel.

See previous measurements

To see measurements you’ve taken before:

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. In the left-hand panel under “Places,” you will see a list of previous measurements.
  3. Check the box next to the one you want to see.
  4. Double click the name of the measurement. Earth will navigate to that measurement and show you the shape on the map.
  5. To see measurement details, position the cursor over the shape and right-click.
  6. Click Properties. The measurements box will open.