How many miles is it from Chicago to Miami? The answer is one I know pretty much by heart because I live in Chicago and as fall fades and winter beckons I long for a vacation visit with my parents in sunny Miami.
How can you find out the distance between two points on a map? It’s easy enough with Google or various travel calculations apps, but it can also be done the hard way and the easy way on the Maps app that’s installed with your Mac. Let me walk you through the basics.
From Here To Eternity
Open Google in your Mac browser. Enter something like “how many miles from chicago to miami” (I never give Google uppercase letters; somehow I think it speeds up the process). Google will return something like 20-hours, 27-minutes (how is it possible to be that accurate since the Dan Ryan Expressway can be clogged all hours of the day?), or 1,380.6 miles.
Google is kind enough to even display the exact Interstate route using Google Maps, but mapping the same Chicago-to-Miami route in Apple Maps gives you a second opinion and an alternate route. Just enter the Start city and the End city and Maps does the rest, including the directions.
Is there a better way? Or, is there an easier way to calculate the distance between two locations on Maps? Only if Siri comes to the Mac. For now there’s a cleverly designed and inexpensive Mac app called Map Distances which simply displays distances between pins you set on the Map.
Map Distances lets you setup pins at different locations, then maps the distance between the pins, and includes the attitude, longitude, and specific location on the Map. Apple’s Maps app on the Mac.
Here’s what it looks like.
Each pin you drop on the Map is also numbered for easier and quicker reference. Map Distances displays the distance between each pin on the map, and, of course, you can zoom into the map to make sure the pin goes into the correct location.
The map pin locations can be sent to Apple Maps, a screenshot of the map can be opened in Preview (and then shared online). One caveat inherent to Map Distances is that it measures straight line distance, not distance as measured on a highway, so that makes it useful in a different way than Google Maps or Apple Maps on your Mac. Map Distances is priced right at 99-cents.