Let's say we have the following point and polygon:

poly = Polygon([(0, 0), (2,8), (14, 10), (6,1)])
point = Point(4,4)

Because point lies within poly, the distance from the first to the latter will be zero (poly.distance(point) will return 0.0).

Is there a way to instead calculate the distance to the nearest edge?

Note: Effectively the same question as this, but desire a solution in Python, ideally with Shapely.

1 Answer 1


Compare the point to the polygon's exterior ring:

  • I'm working on a similar problem. What imports are needed to get Polygon and Point?
    – brad
    Sep 4, 2019 at 14:20
  • 4
    @brad from shapely.geometry import Point, Polygon
    – Amstell
    Sep 9, 2019 at 21:40
  • but this only works after we convert the coordinates to cartesian coordinates, isn't it? It won't work on Point(lat, lon) May 5, 2020 at 16:45

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