NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

As I just joined my question is what is the distance in kilometers from the North Pole to the South Pole of the Open Street Map ?.I know as the crow flies the distance is 20,014 kilometers.

This question is marked "community wiki".

asked 02 Mar '14, 00:02

leadermaster's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


could you please specify your question? It is not clear to me. Do you mean on streets? Do you mean a direct line? How is that related to OSM?

(02 Mar '14, 00:05) aseerel4c26 ♦

OpenStreetMap aims to map the Earth. OpenStreetMap doesn't have its own North Pole or South Pole, it uses the same poles as the planet Earth. Therefore, the distance between the poles in OSM will be the same as it is in OSM, or else we have done something wrong.

There is a catch, however. When you try to display a map of a spherical body (Earth) on a flat surface (screen), you have to warp it somehow (unless you want to warp your screen). The rule that governs this warping is called a "projection". The projection commonly used for web maps, the "spherical Mercator" projection, can only process coordinates between approximately 85°S and 85°N. This means that the OSM map as you see it on does not show either of the poles. But that is just the display; it would be possible to use OSM data to draw different maps that do show the poles.

permanent link

answered 02 Mar '14, 00:37

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

It depends if the crow has a shovel.

permanent link

answered 02 Mar '14, 00:22

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

That will be a long way to dig, around 12,000 kilometres. And it will end up as a fried chicken half way through ;/

(02 Mar '14, 11:49) scai ♦

@scai: maybe the crow is clever and only would dig holes near the surface! Through mountains maybe. ;-)

(02 Mar '14, 12:26) aseerel4c26 ♦

Locations in OSM's database are specified by latitude and longitude based on WGS84 (thus the ellipsoid specified by WGS85). So the angular distance in OSM database between the north and south poles is 180°.

permanent link

answered 02 Mar '14, 01:46

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 02 Mar '14, 00:02

question was seen: 5,385 times

last updated: 02 Mar '14, 12:26

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum