A few weeks ago we reposted this tip by Dave Helgeson, which explained an easy way to use Google Earth to measure a campsite before arriving—making sure your RV, car, toys, etc., will fit.
Well, here’s an updated tip from reader Terry K., who wrote in and said:
“Dave Helgeson mentioned using Google Earth scale to measure a campsite. Just wanted to pass along an even better feature in Google Earth. The Ruler function. It allows you to actually measure the site by placing two points where you want them. Works in both desktop and mobile versions. Photo is of a site at Charles Mears SP in Michigan.”
A few of our other readers mentioned the ruler feature in the comments of Dave’s post, but since we hadn’t heard of it before we wanted to test it out for ourselves.
Go to Google Earth (earth.google.com), type in a place and zoom in. For this example, we typed in “Grand Canyon” and zoomed in on the “Grand Canyon Village.”
Once you find the spot you’d like to measure, whether it’s a campsite, a boondocking location, a parking lot, etc., click on the small ruler icon in the left sidebar.
Zoom in even closer and follow the prompts from the ruler icon. It will say, “Select a starting point.” Click on the starting point of the space you’d like to measure, drag your cursor to the end of the space you’d like to measure and, voila, it will tell you the exact distance in feet, meters, yards, miles, centimeters, kilometers… it does it all!
In the photo above, I can see that the parking spaces in one of the parking lots at the Grand Canyon Village are 24 feet long.
You can even select an entire area and see how many square feet, square miles, nautical miles, acres, etc., it is.
Here, I can see that that same parking lot is about 0.83 acres.
As Dave also pointed out, you can determine an area’s slope by “zooming in on the site and looking at the elevation. By moving the cursor on your computer from end of the campsite to the other end and noting the change in elevation, if any, you can determine how level the site is.”
This feature could be incredibly handy for RVers. Try it out and let us know what you find most useful about it. Plus, it’s just fun to play around with!
Thanks for letting us know about this, Terry! It’s a game-changer!