Advanced user guide

Measuring distances and areas


Certain features outlined in this article are available to Google Earth Pro and Google Earth EC customers only.


Google Earth offers a number of tools that you can use to measure distances and estimate sizes. Depending upon which version of Google Earth you're using, you might have access to the following measuring tools:

  1. Measuring length on the ground with a line or path (all versions of Google Earth)
  2. Measuring circumference and area with a polygon or circle (Google Earth Pro & EC only)
  3. Measuring 3D buildings with a path or polygon (Google Earth Pro & EC only)

Using the Measuring Tool

To measure length, area, and circumference, you have two options:


  • Click the Ruler icon in the toolbar (Tools > Ruler), check the Mouse Navigation box if it's not already checked, and click in the 3D viewer to start measuring. You can select different tabs within the measuring tool to change the shape (Path, Polygon, Circle) that you’re measuring with. The measurements will appear in the dialog box as you draw. Click Save to save your measurement as a KML file.
  • Click the Polygon or Path icon in the toolbar (Add > Path/Polygon), select the Measurement tab within the dialog box, and click in the 3D viewer to start drawing. To see measurements for existing shapes, right-click the shape in the Places panel and click Properties (PC) or Get info (Mac) to open the dialog box and select the Measurement tab. The measurements appear in the dialog box.