Using Google Earth to find the absolute farthest place from home

Posted on 20. May, 2007 by in General, Technology

Using Google Earth’s “ruler” tool, I was able to find the absolute farthest place in the world from Jakarta. I previously thought my home state of Michigan was pretty far from here. I was wrong: it’s only 9,856 miles from Jakarta. It turns out Bogota, Colombia is close to being the absolute farthest place from Jakarta at 12,436 miles. (The opposite side of the globe from Michigan turns out to be a place 1,300 miles off the west coast of Australia). Ok, so how to do this?

  • Open Google Earth
  • Click on the “ruler” tool (or measure tool)
  • Left click on your starting point
  • Drag the ruler around the world until the ruler swivels around (therefore finding a shorter route)
  • Left click again to mark the place. Voila. Somewhere around 12,400 miles is the farthest place from your starting point.

Some other interesting opposites (I’ve approximated to the nearest populated area):

* London – New Zealand
* Sydney – Azores Islands
* Cape Town – Hawaii
* Tokyo – Rio de Janeiro
* San Francisco – Madagascar
* Baghdad – Tahiti
* New York – Perth
* Bangkok – Lima, Peru
* Guam – Salvador, Brazil

Ultimately, what does all this mean to us? That our parents were full of it when they said, “If you keep digging you’ll end up in China!”. The opposite side of the world from Beijing is actually near Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Now it’s your turn.


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  • http://www.spruiked.com Brett

    You have WAAY too much time on your hands! Incidentally, the reason New Zealand is called the Antipodes is because it is on the opposite side of the globe from the Podes islands off Scotland.

  • Brandon

    Actually, this is one of the worst weeks of the year for me (work wise). This is what happens when my brain shuts down and refuses to do anything meaningful. Unfortunately, I’m only delaying the inevitable.

    C’mon, I’ll bet you’ll be checking your hometown out right about now, Brett.

  • http://www.lesantoso.com Lucky E. Santoso

    What’s the absolute farthest place from Mecca? (If there are moslems living there, I wonder which direction they would take for prayer.)

    Anyway, I guess adding anything interesting to your list would be a tall order. As can be seen in the following map, it’s not very easy to find two well-populated regions in the world that are antipodal to each other: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:WorldMapWithAntipodes.png
    (Interesting that just the other day I happened to read the Wikipedia article on the antipodes, which includes the map.)

  • http://epxhilon.wordpress.com Rusdy

    You’ve answered mine, my antipode is New York! (At least now I know where I will turn up when I dig :D )

  • http://www.indodreamin.com Avi

    I always wanted to go as far away from home as possible. So Bogata, line up the jejo baby,here I come!

  • Brandon

    Lucky – thanks for finding that map – great stuff! Although my way was a much better distraction from all the work I have to do. ;)

  • http://www.wannabegirl.org/photography Firda

    I think the easiest way to figure out the antipodes is by using this online tool:

    http://www.acad.polyu.edu.hk/~04329143d/Location.htm

    All you have to do is enter the latitude and longitude of the place whose antipode you’d like to find and click a button.

    My antipode is somewhere in the Indian Ocean, just off the shore from Perth, Western Australia. Not really all that far away from Indonesia!

  • Brandon

    Thanks for that Firda. I actually think the Google Earth is much easier because I certainly can’t remember all my data; I’m a very visual learner so for me it really helps to see the globe as a whole. ;)

    Glad you found that tool though – much more precise I’m sure.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tee_jay/ theodore

    the myth “If you keep digging you’ll end up in China!” is still popular. Chrysler even recently used it for the Dodge Nitro TV ad:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZqnjUVrIA2g

    I’m assuming the car is dropped somewhere near Detroit :)

    By the way, Bandung is 9,868.45 miles away from here…

  • Priscilla

    Wow that’s really neat! ^_^

  • http://www.artifacting.com/blog hubs

    an easy way to dig a hole through the center of the earth
    http://www.digholes.com/

  • http://patrickandlydia.com Patrick

    Brandon, just thought you might like to know, this post is mentioned in this week’s Sunday School lesson for our young adults. We’re talking about “the ends of the earth” I hope Indonesia’s treating you well this evening.

  • Marianne

    Thanks for doing the calculations — I suspected that living in Perth I was as far as I could possibly get from my hometown of NYC, and it seems I was right. It wasn't deliberate, but I guess when I moved away I really moved away.

  • Marianne

    Thanks for doing the calculations — I suspected that living in Perth I was as far as I could possibly get from my hometown of NYC, and it seems I was right. It wasn't deliberate, but I guess when I moved away I really moved away.

  • Judah

    Your interesting places list is , as you say, approximate. Check
    http://peakbagger.com/pbgeog/worldrev.aspx
    to see that very little of earths landmass is antipodal to other land.

  • Name

    :-) owwwwwwwwwwwww

  • Name

    :-) owwwwwwwwwwwww

  • Tom Smith

    To find the opposite other side of the world dig with this tool

    http://www.othersideofworld.com

    It's fun

  • Rodrigodaan

    hey girl
    is beautiful
    very cute?
    good evning?

  • krismoves

    12,400 KM, not miles, it’s about 7,800 miles

    • krismoves

      well, i suppose how you define farthest

  • Paulvs55

    It seems there are two kinds of muslims in Surinam, the roundwesters and roundeasters, the latter came from India and Pakistan, and presume that they went just farther east when going to Paramaribo. The roundwesters mainly come from Libanon, and they’re right of course. But I still haven’t met the two kinds of believers here in Amsterdam. Will be grateful to anybody who can help clarify on this.

  • Tim

    Hey! So, I just got Google Earth (I know, I’ve been living under a rock). And when I click the ruler tool, the Earth doesn’t “spin.” I can still kinda guesstimate, but if anybody has advice on how to work the ruler and rotate the earth at the same time, that would be great!

    Thanks in advance.
    Tim

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