Sometimes it can be very handy to know the direct distance between two points on a map otherwise. This is often referred to the distance as the crow flies.
The updated official Maps app on Windows 10 integrates one of the big new features in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Inking, into its set of tools and one of those options is the ability to draw a line between two points and find out what that distance is.
This feature was very useful for me in the last 12 hours as I combined two of my hobbies, photography and watching rocket launches, and then wanted to know approximately how far away I was from the launch site at Cape Canaveral.
First let's take a look at how you use the Maps app to get the distance between two points.
After opening the Maps app, just search the Start Menu for Maps, look in the upper right hand corner of the app window for the toolbar.
1 - Select this icon to open the Windows Ink Toolbar.
2 - Select this icon to turn on the measure distance feature
3 - If you do not have a pen or stylus then select this icon to use your finger to draw on the map
At this point you just need to make sure the two points you want to measure the distance between are visible on the screen and then simply draw a direct line from Point A to Point B.
The Measure distance tool will then display the distance between those two points directly on the map next to the line you just drew.
As you can see it is also possible to measure the distance between more than one set of points on a map.
The reason I have those two sets of points in this example relates to doing photography and watching rocket launches as I mentioned earlier. Normally I watch launches from nearby my house which is about 150 miles, the left set of lines shown above, from the launch site at Cape Canaveral.
Well last night I watched a Delta IV launch from Cape Canaveral at a new location, the fishing pier in St. Augustine Beach, and I wanted to know how much closer I was than normal. That second set of points, the ones on the right, showed me I was about 120 miles away as the crow flies.
This is what a rocket launch looks like from about 120 miles away and I know that distance thanks to the Maps app in Windows 10.
Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.