How To Use A Google Maps Radius Tool
As someone who likes both, Google Maps and hiking, I wanted to find a way to draw a radius circle around a location in Google Maps to show a distance from that point in all directions. I was surprised that Google doesn’t offer such a nifty feature in the Maps Tool. If you are looking for a Google Maps radius tool as well, don’t worry, there is still a way to do this. It’s just not a supported feature, but there is a developer called Oliver Beattie who created a tool to draw circles of a given radius on top of the Google map, simply load this Map instead.
Attention! Google started to charge developers for Map API requests, which means the old script might not work very well anymore. But there is already an alternative radius tool that makes use of the Open Street Map API.
What You Need To Know About The Radius Tool
- The tool loads the map data from Google Maps, that means it’s just the same but with the radius ring feature added on top.
- You can not only draw one circle, you can draw several circles on the map.
- The site allows you to change the radius value.
- It supports different units, for example miles, nautical miles, kilometers, metres, feet, inches, yards and a few other units.
- You can enable a terrain mode for the standard map and you can disable the map labels when using the satellite map.
- A radius is simply added with a left-click, and removable with a right-click.
I hope this article was helpful enough and you like to use it too. Since hiking is probably not the only reason why someone would like to show radius around a point on the map, let me know in the comment section why you wanted to find a radius tool for Google Maps. I am curious, so drop a comment below! If you thought the article was helpful, you can also help me by sharing it!
115 thoughts on “How To Draw A Radius Around A Google Maps Location”
How can you save this map to use in the future?
I couldn’t find that feature. One possibility would be to give the developer feedback, you can find his email address and website details on his Github developer profile page: https://github.com/obeattie
Maybe he will add this feature, that would be great. He does also have a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/obeattie
For now the only possibility is to take a screenshot I think. But that’s probably not helping you.
Print as a PDF?
Yeah, or taking a screenshot of the area with the circles… but I guess he meant a feature so that he can edit it later again.
Using this feature to locate a home site within a given distance of a major city in Oregon.
BTW. Having trouble reloading the Beattie site. Worked fine the first time, then a few days later, would only show locations around London, UK
This tool helped me in my project where I had to find educational institutions falling in 5km radius from a particular point. Thank u so much for explaining this wonderful tool.
Awesome, I am glad this was helpful for you 🙂
I cannot find the ‘points of interest’ tool like you would have on googlemaps, so I can draw my radius circle but not get it to pick out the points I need to identify- local schools. Any pointers?
I think that is not working with this tool as you found out too… I wish the developer will add some more Google Maps features in the future.
It starts in London. Typing the address in the thing at at the top does nothing. I travelled around to by dragging around to Pennsylvania and clicked a blue circle came up but it was not accurately 35 miles. And if it was off by one or two I could live with that but it was off by 13 miles. We are trying to develop a tool for our customers to see if they are in our delivery “circle” and being off by 13 miles is fairly significant.
The map search bar works for me. Not sure why this is not working for you. I am not used to miles, but the kilometer radius seemed to be fairly accurate when I tested it. If you think you spotted some issues of bugs, you migth want to contact the developer of the tool, maybe there are some unknown bugs: https://twitter.com/obeattie
Honey bees fly up to 3km in search of pollen/nectar. Drew a 3km radius around the hive to see if they had good foraging area…. they do.
That’s very interesting, I didn’t know that they would fly up to 3km during search 🙂 I do enjoy to photograph them, we have lavender in the garden and the bees take pollen from it. There are also humble bees and in the afternoon they take that much that they get difficulties to fly 🙂
Getting details of tea manufacturing units in a 25 km radius prior to setting up a new unit. The government rules as such.
Interesting, wouldn’t have thought of this! 🙂
Identifying quarries within 30miles of a construction site
Really interesting to hear all those use cases. Wouldn’t have expected this one either 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Identifying houses within 500m of a controlled bedrock blast to check wells for damage as per ministry standards.
Interesting… Don’t want to be near the shockwave 😀
American Truckers have an exemption for logging their driving. No logging required if within 100 air miles of regular departure point. This works perfect to determine the exemption radius!
Awesome! It’s fun to hear all the real use cases. Cool that the radius tool was helpful for you too.
Using it when comparing eBikes to see what radius I could comfortably commute (listed range/2).
That’s also interesting. I still have an eBike on my wishlist too. Maybe I will buy one some day 🙂
Recently moved to a new city, looking for a job. Was looking for an easy way to see which suburbs were included in my preferred commuting range.
Awesome, I wish you fun in the new city and hope that you will find a good job that you like soon 🙂
My favourite dating site app tells you how far away a person is, but not what town/city specifically, just the distance. Using the Radius tool I plot the radius around my location and find what towns/cities fit that distance specifically. :p
Haha, cool idea! I think showing town and city should be a main feature of a dating app 😀 Good that you can nail it down with the Google maps radius tool 🙂
Used this tool to find a new city, new job, new life that was within 500 miles of my hometown (one day’s drive) to be close to family, but far enough away to be in a big city with all the big city conveniences I wanted. Really helped narrow down my choices. Thanks! 😀
That’s awesome! Hope you find your place to live. I am like you, I do enjoy to have my family close enough. I am glad this tool helps you during research, really a cool idea to work with the radius 🙂
Thank you for sharing! I needed to locate stores within a particular radius, and this worked wonderfully.
Cool 🙂 I am glad my suggestion was helpful 🙂
Simple. Showing an image with a drawn radius to illustrate how far and how inclusive the service area is. Business related. Thanks for the link!
Awesome 🙂 I am glad this was helpful!
I am a REALTOR and have clients asking about commute times. It would be great to be able to draw out a 30 min. commute radius . I can draw a radius map in my MLS but commute times would just be helpful tool.
Yeah would be cool, but don’t they know where they will commute? To me it sounds like A to B and the google maps destination tool does a great job there. This tool here however could be still helpful to tell your clients at least what’s within a kilometer or mile commute radius.
Anyway, you’re right, it would be cool if the developer would add some nifty new features. Even better if Google would add some more tools.
Thanks for posting this. I’m using it to help my daughter find certain types of stores and professionals within a reasonable radius of her new home.
That’s an awesome idea 🙂
My husband and I work in different towns. I would like to find somewhere for us to live that would be in both radius .
That’s a nice idea. I hope you find the ideal location for you both and the commuting. 🙂
Thank you so much for the link to this tool! I recently acquired a small business here in the United States near Chicago and wanted to map out a specific radius to implement my marketing plan. My business doesn’t have many competitors This tool was also helpful in identifying how many other small businesses provide similar services in a specific radius.
I have read a lot about marketing (although more about online marketing, less about offline or traditional marketing) since this is very useful for bloggers and webmasters too. I definitely see how the radius tool can be useful for the planning and marketing. That’s an awesome usecase! Good luck and success with your business! 🙂 Greetings from Germany! 🙂
I wanted to overlay a map with the ranges of various TV and radio stations, this was incredibly helpful and earned me brownie points with the boss. Thanks!! And give Oliver Beattie my regards!!!
That’s awesome! 🙂
I used this 5 days ago and it worked beautifully. Now, it’s not working. I have a Mac, and there have been some updates in the last few days. When I type my addresses into the field, and hit return, the map doesn’t recognize that i’ve input – nothing happens. I can’t get the map to drop a pin. Any thoughts?
I tried and it seems the search box doesn’t take input, yes. I am not the developer of the tool but told him on Twitter. If you have an account, you might want to do it too: https://twitter.com/obeattie I guess he will fix it if people tell him.
Worked great. Wanted to display aircraft range circles for comparison in a familiar format when briefing to non-aviators. Used the windows snipping tool to capture the images.
Interesting. I am glad this worked well for you 🙂
Facebook nearby friends shows a distance from you. Go to three different places, check the distance, note it down, then plot the points and radii. You should get a fair idea of where the person is located.
Does not allow me to enter .5 miles
it worked for me entering both 0.5 & just .5
Need five 20km+ paraglider flights for advanced rating.
That’s cool 🙂 Paragliding, one of the things on my bucket list!
Thanks for this, Dennis. I’m planning to do a pilgrimage in Spain this fall and wanted to figure-out a rough out-and-back distance for my training walks/hikes.
I do admire people that do or plan to hike super long distances. I saw pilgrimage documentaries and I especially liked the aspects to get away from technology, stress and to be on your own in the nature or on your path. Maybe one day I’d like to do that too. 🙂 So far my biggest hike was only about 24 miles. I hope you will see a lot of interesting things on your way 🙂
Thank you so much for this tool, I used it for some real estate planning.
I am glad it was useful for you too, but I just wrote an article about the tool, I am not the creator. 🙂
Map doesn’t work at all in Firefox. Frozen at some place west of London, UK. Put in my home town in Ohio; map doesn’t move.
It does work for me with Firefox. Maybe you have some addons installed like NoScript? You might want to check if any addon is interfering with the map tool.
Unfortunately the search tool didn’t work for me, I tried by postcode and by name of village. I was trying to use it to write a business plan for a small business and wanted to work out populations near me….nothing happened when i typed it in the search box.
I saw similar reports a few times now. For me it’s working on Firefox and Chrome. I could imagine that those who don’t get it to run have any addons installed in the browser that prevent the tool to work. I hope someone else will find out what it is.
Would like to travel by bike within a 2mi radius of home – used this tool to find locations and just where that can still take me!
Cool, that’s what I did for hiking too 🙂
I’m planning to use it to narrow down neighborhoods to look for a home when I retire, based on my particular criteria – Certain distances from an airport, big grocery store, medical facilities , etc. I’ll plot a bunch of these circles and see where there are intersections.
That is also a very smart use case 🙂 I hope you find a very good place to live 🙂
Find a lost dog, get a sense of how far it might have gone.
Aww, that’s sad. 😥 I hope you will find your dog!
Looking to move back to the Atlanta-area soon, but not wanting to be in the middle of the city. Since I can work remote, I wanted to plot a 2-hour radius around the city to use for house searches. Thank you for the information!!
Awesome! I hope you find a good one and that you will enjoy your new place 🙂
Great tool. Using it to identify safe flying zone for drone (legal minimum distance from aerodrome).
Cool! That makes sense! I have read about the legal aspects of drone flying. I find drones pretty interesting. Maybe some day I will buy one too 🙂
Looking at making a big move but my husband wants to stay within a certain distance of where we currently live. The radius shows me where all I look to transfer and hopefully stay within his comfort zone.
Nice! I hope you both find a good place 🙂
Really nice, just what I was looking for. I wanted to plan a treasure hunt for my motorbike Club in the Alps. I had a target of a round trip of about 250 km, so I set the circle to 70 and had a good visual idea of interesting roads in one direction, I then tried to find further roads following rougly the circumfirence and finaly back to the start. Your app made it possible to quickly see the Options in various directions. Once I found something interesting, I had to plan furher manualy and finally drive the route a number of times.
Treasure hunt for motorbike club? That sounds fun! Very cool idea!
But I need to correct you, it’s not my app. I didn’t develop it. I am just blogger and write about the things that I find interesting. As you I needed a radius tool because I was at a new interesting location at that time with lots of nature. I hike, so I looked for a tool to draw a circle because I know how much I can hike. Then I found that tool and it made clear where I can get to without using trains or cars.
After using the tool, I thought hiking would probably not be the only activity where a radius tool on maps could be handy. That’s how blogpost ideas are born 🙂 But I didn’t expect that the post would get so popular. Already 73 comments with tons of different reasons why people wanted to use a radius tool… really cool to see all the different reasons in my comment section. 🙂
Anyone else still having trouble with the search bar? I can’t seem to get it to work in Edge or Chrome.
It’s still working for me and I don’t know how to reproduce the issue. Not sure why it’s not working in your case. Could it be that any browser extension is interfering?
Using the tool to locate sites for restaurant development. Works great on the screen, but I can’t figure out how to print the output. Can you help?
You will laugh, but I don’t have a printer 😀 I always go to the family that lives around the corner if I want to have something printed. In Firefox you can print things with Control+P but I am not sure how the outcome would be with a map. As said, I have no clue about printing 😀 Sorry.
Thanks for sharing this. After I put in my address I just bookmarked it so it doesn’t go to the default. This is exactly what I was searching for and it’s fairly accurate.
Awesome! I am glad my suggestion helped you 🙂
Nice, thanks! Reserved hotel for family vacation which says things like “.5 mile from public transport, easy walk!”. Looking for radius map from home to share with kids to prove walking to the train is closer than walking to their friends’ houses. 🙂
Facts are always the best. I’m sure you will convince them 🙂 I hope your vacations will be awesome. Have a good time there!
Used the feature to ascertain within what geographical radius my 8 great-grandparents were born.
Family research seems to be interesting, I always ask my grandparents stuff to understand the origin of my family.
Used to find suburbs/areas I can live in conditional for a university scholarship. Nifty, google maps has a straight line distance tool but having to click between the university and a new location to check prospective areas is frustrating. This is a much better way to check all potential areas on the boundaries.
Yeah, I think Google Maps has already some cool features, but they should definitely integrate a radius tool. But for now, this workaround here works. I’m surprised about al the comments the article got… First I thought there could be like two or three more reasons aside hiking and why people would need a radius tool… but all the comments made clear, there are a ton of different reasons. It’s kinda cool to hear why people use the tool.
using to site a new gas station and one reason being there’s not one within a 5 mile radius
Cool, that’s another good purpose!
I’m looking for a lost operational base for a WWII auxiliary (resistance) unit and am narrowing down potential sites of interest to do a ground survey.
That sounds super interesting, because I like history documentary.
Oliver, this is AWESOME! Just used this tool to draw a circle for a 15 mile radius for my in-laws looking for land. MAN I wish I could develop software like that. And I’m a web developer. LOL.
I’m not Oliver 🙂 I’m Dennis, just a blogger writing about Oliver’s tool 🙂
But I agree with you, I wish I could develop like that too! But then again, I’, just a blogger 🙂
I don’t know if you’re still monitoring this site, but there are two reasons I’ve used radii (usually on paper maps): First, to make sure I bought a house within 1 mile of a train station, grocery store and library. Second, to find a vacation ideas within a certain driving distance.
These are all good reasons 🙂
I need to find out the hospitals and villages at 30km radius from a particular point. I hope this helps me out.
Good luck! I hope the tool will help you 🙂
I found your post through searching for a radius tool, and I see people are still commenting on this. I had a look at Oliver Beattie’s tool and saw that he has had to pull it back a little because of Google API charges – however looking at his Twitter account he has had a few people suggesting Open Street Maps instead and someone has even branched his tool to use it:
It works really well with OSM and has the added bonus of not relying on Google!
Everyone’s a winner.
Thanks for your blog post – it really helped me out even this long after you posted it.
That’s both, sad and awesome. Sad that Google does now charge for API access, awesome that there is already an alternative and that you came here to tell me.
But I think that should work fairly well as an alternative. I wrote a short article about the Open Street Map radius tool so that people learn about this method as well if they are looking for something like this: https://diaryofdennis.com/2018/10/06/how-to-draw-a-radius-with-open-street-map/
Thanks for the information!
I use this tool to track where my bees get their pollen and nectar. Really helps to visualize it!
That’s another cool usecase! I totally love to hear the reasons of people. And I thank you for your service! I am a great fan of honey! 🙂
Searching for colleges for my teenager. She specified, not too close, not too far… 🙂 So I wanted to draw two circles (min distance, max distance) around home so we could see what schools fell between the two!
That’s awesome 🙂 A very good use case! I hope you find a good college 🙂
using for travel ‘tween points A-B to determine distance can travel on tank of gas using cheapest pricing and when to stop for fill-ups
Pretty good idea. That makes sense 🙂
Thanks for the tool tip. I was looking for houses in a rural area with xx distance of the local phone company central (because xDSL has distance restrictions). Even though the phone cables are not as-the-crow-flies it did give me a general area to restrict myself to, if I wanted xDSL service!
That’s a smart use case too!
Would like to be able to import a .csv file of addresses to post to a radius map. I’m looking for a way to determine the proximity of church attenders in a particular radius.
That would be a super cool feature and handy for a lot of things.
I have a friend who is suffering from severe depression like myself, and I’m always worried about the “inside voice” – we’re the kind of people that others describe as the life of the party and yet we’re both hopelessly in pain – suicidal. There are 1 or 2 apps we’re on that shows distance apart and so when i feel like I need to check in with him physically it would be awesome to have a radius tool so I can quickly assess the most likely location he’s gonna be…I’m no computer genius, I’ve just got more heart than brains
Hey, in the past I suffered from anxiety disease but also from depression (probably wasn’t severe like in your case but based on the fact that the other disease prevented me to go outside for a long time, which basically lead to depression back then).
So, I feel with you. Can’t say much but hope you find ways out of it. Take my virtual hug… and take care of yourself and I am happy you take care of your friend! Hugs!
To find a convenient place for 4 people in different locations to meet up
That’s a nice usecase too 🙂
Great tool, many thanks! Used it today after France has announced it will relax the Covid-19 restrictions on May for movements within a 100km radius from home. Good to know what’s out of bounds. Cheers
Good to know that you can discover the world again 🙂 Our restrictions are relaxed step by step too in Germany.