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  1. #1
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Determining Distances
    When you view sites that have "locator" maps for restaurants, bars, whatever - and they show them based on "distance from", where exactly is "from"? Say I search for "Baltimore Pizza" on some site, or Google Maps for that matter, it brings up a map of Baltimore with pizza places plotted all over the place. Where is it determined that initial starting point is to determine how far the pizza place is?

    Geographical center of the city/town?

    And if so, then how do you determine what that is?

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobilebadboy

    Geographical center of the city/town?
    Not sure how to answer your question...but for what it is worth......Distances on highway signs, etc are usually distances from/to the courthouse. So.....unless you give more specifics, my guess is the local courthouse is the benchmark point. Sometimes, if there is no courthouse in the town, then the main postoffice becomes the benchmark.
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  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Say I search for "Baltimore Pizza" on some site, or Google Maps for that matter, it brings up a map of Baltimore with pizza places plotted all over the place
    I see the map with the pizza places marked but I can't find the "distance from" that you mention.


  4. #4
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    In general a lot of these types of mapping applications use the geographical center of the zip code as the origin. Since zip codes are expressed as polygons in GIS databases its pretty easy to determine the center algorithmically.

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