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Getting to Know the MAP Measurement Tool

In this blog, we’ll be highlighting a very useful tool that may fly under the radar to the average MAPublisher user: the MAP Measurement tool! This tool is great for measuring the distance between two or more points, azimuths, and even the perimeter and area of closed paths. It is a great addition to your arsenal of regular MAPublisher tools because it can be customized to suit a variety of measuring methods, units, and shapes. 

The MAP Measurement tool can be used to calculate the Euclidean distance between any two or more points on a map. This can be done using one of three calculation methods: geodesic (based on datum), cartesian (based on map projection) or Rhumb line. In the example below, I have calculated the distance between Paris and Shanghai using a geodesic method, which is why the line appears rounded rather than straight in the current Natural Earth projection. 

MAP Measurement tool between two points

I can incorporate multiple points in my calculation, and the total distance will continue to increase. You can also hold the Alt/Option key while drawing to display the length of each line segment in your trip. In my example, I have decided to add a point in Cairo to follow Shanghai, as seen below.

MAP Measurement tool being used on three successive points

Once I have finished adding points to my map, I have the option to convert the measurement line to art in my currently selected layer. This is a great way to quickly and accurately draw lines between points on certain types of maps that require it, such as a flow map or flight map.

MAP Measurement tool lines converted to Illustrator art

The MAP Measurement tool can also be used to measure perimeter and area of polygons. In the example below, I have calculated the perimeter and area of a triangle drawn between the points of Bogotá, Lima and São Paulo.

MAP Measurement tool being used to measure area and perimeter of a polygon

This blog only outlines a few of the use cases of the MAP Measurement tool, however there are countless other ways that you can apply this tool to your cartographic designs. The possibilities are virtually endless!

For more information about the MAP Measurement tool, check out our Support Centre article.