Sign up ×
Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've collected a bunch of GPS polylines (WGS84). What is the easiest way to measure the length of these lines in KM?

share|improve this question
If these lines cover a significant portion of the globe, make sure that you are using a projection/algorithm that supports geodesic measurements. – DavidF Sep 21 '10 at 19:24

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

With ArcGIS, project them to a projected coordinate system then use the field calculator to calculate their length.

share|improve this answer


  1. open the GPS polylines in WGS84
  2. use "Save as ..." and choose a CRS in meters for export
  3. load the new shapefile
  4. go to attribute table, enable editing and start field calculator
  5. use "length" operator to calculate line length and write into a new attribute
share|improve this answer

underdark's answer is spot on. If you need step by step directions, this tutorial will help

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.