I wonder whether there exists a convenient way to view the shortest distance between two islands. For example, can some of the commonly used online mapping resources, and if so, how? Ideally, I'd prefer a precise, fast, fully automated method.

I'm posting on Travel.SE as I am looking at the feasibility of swimming or sailing between islands, and the distance between the islands is one of the factors to take into account.

  • What is wrong with that? Eyeball it, move your pointers once or twice and you have a reliable distance. What more do you want?
    – Willeke
    Apr 27, 2021 at 19:15
  • @Willeke a precise, fast, fully automated method. Apr 27, 2021 at 19:16
  • 4
    That seems more like a GIS question, though you'd likely need to narrow it down to a particular software package to ask it. You've tagged this question "swimming," and there are likely to be practical considerations for that activity (rocks, cliffs, private property and restricted areas, currents in the water, ship traffic) that would influence the choice of starting/ending points far more than an automated calculation can provide, but specifics on open water swimming routing might be a topic for The Great Outdoors. Apr 27, 2021 at 19:43
  • 5
    I’m voting to close this question because it sounds like you are looking for some software that can do this function. I would suggest asking here: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com. This is not a travel question. Apr 27, 2021 at 20:28
  • 1
    Tides, currents and winds will dictate the route between any two points separated by open water. Thus this fixation on the most accurate minimal point to point distance is naive at best (and that's being charitable). As suggested elsewhere (and IMHO) this is not a travel related question, and belongs elsewhere.
    – Peter M
    Apr 28, 2021 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


The best I've found so far is Google Maps but it's tedious as one has to find the shortest distance manually by moving points around:

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  • 2
    Given as a not good enough option in the question, now moved to an answer? Poor quality.
    – Willeke
    Apr 27, 2021 at 20:39
  • @Willeke it's still an answer, and not part of the question. SE guidelines state not to mention answers in questions. Apr 27, 2021 at 20:39
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    Selecting your own terrible answer? lol
    – eps
    Apr 30, 2021 at 20:28
  • @eps add your great answer then, I'd be happy to accept it. lol Apr 30, 2021 at 20:29

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