Using Google Earth to find the absolute farthest place from home

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.