Travel Tools I Love: Great Circle Mapper

Good morning from Long Beach. I made it back from New Zealand yesterday, and I had hoped to have a report on the return along with a review of domestic flying in NZ, but I’m just not ready yet. So, instead I’m rolling out a new feature that I’ve been working on for a little while – Travel Tools I Love. Today, I’m starting with the Great Circle Mapper.

Great Circle Mapper

You’ve probably seen me use these blue maps many, many times in posts. These all come from the Great Circle Mapper (GCM). The GCM has recently received a makeover, and it’s now even more useful.

You’ll now need Travel Tools I Loveto point your browser to instead of the old address. There you’ll find a newer interface that is less cluttered and easier to use for GCM newbies.

There are a bunch of things I use this tool for:

  • Measuring distance between two airports
  • Seeing how far an airplane can go from a certain city (max range), including various ETOPS restrictions
  • Measuring distances in entire itineraries for frequent flier purposes
  • Looking up airport details and maps
  • Finding aviation weather info (METAR and TAF)

This might not sound particularly useful to the casual traveler, but you would be surprised. I am always amazed at how often I find myself coming Me and Karlback to this site for random reasons.

Oh, and yes, the site is free to use. You will see some Google AdSense on the pages, but that’s a small price to pay for getting something great to use.

I first learned about the GCM about 10 years ago when I first met site owner Karl Swartz, and I’ve never found anything that comes close. This new enhancement makes it even better. Take a look for yourself.

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Travel-Writers-Exchange.comUseful aviation web tool: Great Circle Mapper (GCM) — Golf Hotel WhiskeyKevindctravelJohn Recent comment authors
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The Global Traveller

Thanks for introducing me to the new version of GCM. I’ve been using the old version for ages, and the new one looks to be a significant improvement whilst retaining all the useful info.


Great tip. Thanks.


It is funny that you wrote about this today. I just used to site for a non-travel related purpose and really enjoyed the new interface.


pretty cool.. never seen that before!


[…] John on February 2, 2010 Here is a useful (and free) website mentioned by Brett on his Cranky Flier blog: the Great Circle Mapper (GCM). The site has recently received a makeover making it more […]

Thanks for the post and link. This website can help travel writers plan their trips in a more efficient manner. Who knows, you could “squeeze” in a couple of destinations if you plan accordingly.