# How accurate are measurements in Google Earth?

Can anyone point to a resource that lists the accuracy of measurements taken in Google Earth?

• How accurate are you looking for? metre/feet or nano-metre/inch? – Mapperz May 27 '11 at 14:30
• Feet would be sufficient. Was really just looking for any sort of information on it. – Zachary May 27 '11 at 16:36

Apparently, the measurment ruler is not accurate over long distances > 5,000 km.

Google's offical stance says, "makes no claims as to the accuracy of the coordinates in Google Earth. These are provided for entertainment only and should not be used for any navigational or other purpose requiring any accuracy whatsoever".

• Thanks for the response. Can you add a link to the page where you found the official stance? – Zachary May 27 '11 at 16:34
• google.com/support/forum/p/earth/… is the official stance – Mapperz May 27 '11 at 16:44
• @Mapperz that's the accuracy of the imagery coordinates. Distance calculations could be much less accurate than that. @art A quick test (measuring a great circle of 40,000 km) suggests the accuracy is pretty good--far greater than one would expect from the orthographic projection used. What are you citing when you refer to "long distances > 5,000 km"? – whuber May 27 '11 at 20:24
• @whuber, the 5K km distance was just a blog conversation that I hit on a google search. – artwork21 May 29 '11 at 3:31

I know this topic is kinda old, but I think my comment can help other fellas that have this doubt.

In 2011 two brazilians published an article about it, and they concluded that:

*the error is just 0,44% for line measurements; *the error is just 3,54% for polygon measurements; *the error is just 1,39% for perimeters calculation;

Based on these results they concluded that you can use Google Earth as a good source for mapping in scales smaller than 1:150000, assuming the planimetrical error as 0,1 mm.

Of course this is just a case of study, and these results depend on your area of study. I suppose that in the US the results may be even better.

Source: Lopes, E. E.; Nogueira, R. E. Proposta Metodológica para validação de imagens de alta resolução do Google Earth para produção de mapas. In: Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto, 10, Curitiba, PR, 2011. Anais: São José dos Campos: INPE, 2011.

After just installing a break water and knowing all the dimensions, i checked it on google earth to see how close the eye in the sky is, on 470 ft it showed 477 ft, I tried google earth pro it did not make a difference. I have used it before and it seemed the accuracy was better. The location used was 48d38'59.33"N x 123d33'07.23"W The long leg of the east to west break water sections is accually 470'7" x 20' wide.

• This particular problem seems to have been fixed. With Google Earth 6.2.2.6613 (Build Date 4/11/2012) I get 470'7" to within about a foot. – Joseph Quinsey Nov 11 '14 at 13:13

I have measured The University of Kentucky's Commonwealth Football Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

Goal Line to Goal line is supposed to be 100yds or 300'

Google had the distance, goal line to goal line up the hash-marks at Commonwealth at 299.09'. Off by .0030%.

Have measured base paths (90') at MLB stadiuons and found same degree of accuracy.