How To Draw A Radius On Google Maps

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There are several reasons you might want to draw a radius on Google Maps: most obviously, maybe you own a small business, and you need to define the distance you can travel from its location. Whether that's offering a service such as plumbing or electrical work, or delivering fast food. You certainly don't want to struggle to make money because you've had to travel further than is viable.

Whatever the reason, creating a radius on Google Maps is possible, but you may well want to use an external tool to help. We'll explain what options you have using Google Maps itself, and then consider what else can do the job for you.

How To Draw A Radius On Google Maps

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Perhaps surprisingly, Google Maps doesn't offer a simple-to-use radius drawing tool. We will, however, still take a look at the options available using Google My Maps, should you wish to go down that route. And then we'll suggest an alternative route using a third-party tool, which you may find easier.

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Use My Maps

If you do want to use My Maps on Google Maps, then the closest you're going to get is using the option to draw lines and shapes, to create your own outline. Using this method will make it difficult to create a perfect circle, if that's what you are aiming for. But if that doesn't bother you, then here's what you need to do:

  • On your computer, sign in to My Maps.
  • Click Create a new map.
  • Go to the top left and click "Untitled map."
  • Give your map a name and description.
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Once you've created your map, here's how to create a radius:

  • Click Draw a line Add line or shape.
  • Select a layer and click where to start drawing. A layer can have 2,000 lines, shapes or places.
  • Click each corner or bend of your line or shape. To move the map, click and hold the mouse.
  • When you’re finished drawing, double-click or complete the shape.
  • Give your line or shape a name.
  • When you’re done, click Save.
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As we said before, it will be tricky to create a perfect circle. But it will let you create an approximate shape. It's also worth pointing out that My Maps isn't available on Android, iPhone or iPad.

It's understandable that you may not want to use this method, as it doesn't work especially well. So the alternative is to find an alternative tool. We'll examine this option next.

CalcMaps - how to draw a radius on Google Maps
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Credit: CalcMaps

Third-Party Alternatives

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As we alluded to earlier, there is a bevvy of third-party tools that, unlike Google Maps, will give the ability to draw a radius. We will take a couple as examples: CalcMaps, and KML4Earth. Both will allow you to draw a radius on Google Maps, but of the two, CalcMaps is probably faster to use.

On CalcMaps, enter an address, then click on Draw a Circle. This will show the radius as you expand the circle, and you can edit it to ensure it is the size you want it to be. You can then print or download the map, as you wish.

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KML4Earth has a few more steps, but it will allow you to add a radius to a map on My Maps. Here's what you do:

  • Locate the location you want to draw a circle around using Google Maps. Make a note of the latitude and longitude.
  • Go to KML4Earth to generate the radius. Enter the size of the radius you want to create, followed by the latitude and longitude you noted down.
  • Click Generate Circle. This will create and download a KML file onto your computer. A KML file is used to display geographical data.
  • Next, go to My Maps.
  • Select Create a New Map.
  • On the left-hand side, click on Add layer > Import.
  • Locate the file you created previously and import it.
  • You now have the option of making any edits you want. Once you are happy with your creation, you can save it, share a link to it, or embed it on your website, as appropriate.
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This is a more in-depth method, but will give you the best outcome.

There you have it. Three different methods of drawing a radius, each with a different level of complexity and outcome. We've highlighted just a couple of the many options out there, so it's worth investigating a few, to see which one will best suit your needs.