# Looking for an on-line distance-measurerJuly 24, 2004 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Online maps... I run along a weird path and around a lake, and I have no idea how far I'm going. Is there an online map that'll allow me to trace my route and gauge the distance?
posted by ph00dz to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)

hows about one of them pedometers? I think thats probably a little more feasible than getting a map of a lake and plotting distances.
posted by bob sarabia at 11:29 PM on July 24, 2004

I believe a good GPS unit can do this.
posted by weston at 12:31 AM on July 25, 2004

I dunno about online, but you can do it with a physical map with a printed scale. You could make the physical scale by printing out the appropriate lowest-scale maps from mapquest and putting them together.

Trace out your route with string. Then straighten out the string and compare it to the scale (or measure the scale and the string) to come up with the total distance.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:12 AM on July 25, 2004

breadcrumbs
posted by ac at 2:32 AM on July 25, 2004

Or, use a bike with one of those little trip computers on it, if it's a bikeable path.
posted by LairBob at 6:13 AM on July 25, 2004

If the road isn't included in the surveying of an online map just do the calculations te old fashioned way. Just don't poke your laptop screen with a compass.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:23 AM on July 25, 2004

Here's a rolling ruler that is made for just this - you normally use it on a paper map but there's no reason you couldn't use it the screen if you get the scale right.
posted by nicwolff at 6:52 AM on July 25, 2004

The GPS stuff is really cool, but I don't really want to spend any real money on this, as I really only have to do it once... The string idea seems like it'll work just fine -- I actually have a paper map I can use.

For what it's worth though, Space Coyote, what is "the old fashioned way?" I've got a compass, a ruler, and a map...
posted by ph00dz at 12:38 PM on July 25, 2004

One old fashioned way is to take the compass, and set it at a multiple of the scale distance in the bottom. If the scale at the bottom is, say, 1" per 1/4 mile, you could set the compass at 1/2" (1/8 mile) and "walk the compass end over end, counting the number of times you rotated the compass, and multiplying by 1/8 mile. Or, as mentioned above, use string. I'd put the map on some cork or something, and put pins every 1/2" or so on your route, and "wrap" the string around the pins, then measure the string. It's all pretty straightforward, particularly compared to getting a computer to cough up the answer.

Pedometer is probably simplest, though, if it's a flat level trail.
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2004

Not much use to you as it only covers Europe, but for the record, Map 24 allows you to do what you're asking. It's not so good with off road stuff though as it is intended as a street map.
posted by chill at 3:54 PM on July 25, 2004

Actually, I was wrong, there is a US version.
posted by chill at 3:56 PM on July 25, 2004

Sweet! That was exactly what I needed, chill.
posted by ph00dz at 6:35 PM on July 25, 2004

chill - I've been looking to measure out some running routes and that's exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks!
posted by brettski at 3:32 AM on July 26, 2004

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