How do I calculate the distance between two points?

If you put them into your GPS as waypoints/landmarks and add them to a route, your GPS will calculate the distance for you. Button pushing details are different for each GPS model, so that is left as an exercise for the reader.

If you have the points in UTM, and they are close enough together to ignore the curvature of the earth, you can work with them like XY Cartesian coordinates.

The old Pythagorean Theorem will let you calculate the distance like so
distance = sqrt( (X1-X2)**2 + (Y1-Y2)**2 )

Do a Google search on Pythagorean Theorem for prettier equations and pictures.


Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Lane Davis-Coury

    Good tips, David. I also found a "Pythagorean Calculator" online that does the map for those who don't quite remember how to use a scientific calculator.

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk