The main Google Maps page now has a distance measuring tool. It’s not turned on by default, so you’ll have to click on the green beaker at upper right (the Google Labs symbol for experimental features):
Then enable the Distance Measurement Tool in the window that pops up:
A ruler icon will now appear in the lower-left of the maps; clicking on that will put you into measurement mode. Clicking on the map will now draw a line:
And the pane at left gives you the total distance (metric or English):
The entire Labs section is worth a look, as it offers several other useful options (as well as some useless ones, like adding the “Beta” title back to Google Maps).
- A “Drag N Zoom” button that lets you select an area to zoom to (finally!).
- LatLng Tooltip brings a little pop-up window near your cursor that always displays the latitude/longitude.
LatLng Marker lets you right-click on a point, and place a marker there with latitude/longitude. You can select the coordinate text with your cursor, copy the coordinates directly off the marker, then paste them elsewhere to save them.