The Farthest Two Cities Apart


I recently had a discussion with friends about the longest flights they had taken, which led us to discuss the farthest cities apart.

Putting in mind that distance can be measured in unlimited ways through “straight” lines along (not through) the surface of earth because of earth’s spherical shape. But we were definitely measuring the distance in the shortest way.

The pair of cities we mentioned, before doing any research on the subject, were:

Moscow – Buenos Aires

Ottawa – Aukland

Reykjavík – Auckland

Then, further research was done. And we used this tool to measure the shortest distance between any two cities. And as no one can clearly define a city. We assumed a city is any settlement with a population of more than 100,000.

To evaluate our finding significance and the chance of finding better results we had to know that the maximum distance from any point on earth to another is about 20,020KM. (the circumference of the earth averages 40,041KM).

Our best attempt was these two cities

Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ulan Bator  (Mongolia) 19,378KM

We thought that we will not find any higher distance, because we were already almost hitting the maximum! But after more trials, we found out the world’s furthest two cities apart:

Taipei (Taiwan) to Asuncion (Paraguay) with a distance of 19,916 KM

At that point we were almost sure there will be no better result. We don’t think there are other two farthest cities apart in the world, unless someone proves us wrong.

UPDATE: Someone proved us wrong! A contributor on Answers.com with the name of HopelessFlight found out two cities which are further apart than our finding:
Pakanbaru,  Indonesia to Quito, Ecuador (12,428 Miles 19,998KM) Definitely these are The Furthest Cities Apart in the world!

Update: Unbelievable! Another “Answers.com” user with the name of Pklimowicz, proved that there are still two further cities!

The distance between Cordoba, Spain and Hamilton, New Zealand is 12,433 miles /  20,009 km

Thank you Philip for pointing this out!

Update (11 March 2012): A commenter names Chris found two further cities apart!

Chincha Alta, Peru – Siem Reap, Cambodia about 20,o10 km!!

Using the tool http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between.htm these two cities are 10 km further apart than the previously mentioned Cordoba, Spain and Hamilton, New Zealand. So let’s conclude this:

The Farthest Two Cities Apart are:

Chincha Alta, Peru – Siem Reap, Cambodia

ps: to avoid any confusion on measurements. I decided on this tool for measuring distance :

and here are the final results:

Chincha Alta, Peru – Siem Reap, Cambodia   :    20,010 km (the world’s two furthest cities apart!)

Cordoba, Spain and Hamilton, New Zealand :   20,000 km

Pakanbaru,  Indonesia to Quito, Ecuador      :    19,530 km

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Brian, a commenter on this post, notified me of a more accurate way to calculate distances on earth. “The vincenty formula” is actually more accurate for Earth because the planet is not a perfect sphere.

With a strong competition in pair of cities furthest apart, having differences with a few KMs only, using Vincenty formula will change things a bit.

http://furthestcity.com, a tool that uses Vincenty formula to calculate distances, shows

Rosario, Argentina   –  Xinghua, China : 19,996 KMs (12424.9 Miles)

to be world’s farthest cities apart!

very closely followed by

Liu’an, China  –  Río Cuarto, Argentina     19,994 KMs

Cuenca, Ecuador     Subang Jaya, Malaysia     19,989
San Rafael, Argentina     Sanmenxia, China     19,986
Shanghai, China     Concordia, Argentina     19,984
Tandil, Argentina     Zhaoyuan, China     19,984
Cuenca, Ecuador     Shah Alam, Malaysia     19,980

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24 thoughts on “The Farthest Two Cities Apart

  1. Another coup for the postscripter. This mysterious intellectual has proven time and time again that his enlightened brand of trivia is here to stay. Bravo postscripter – you made me the man I am today.

  2. So I just returned home not long ago and have been sitting on the internet. For somereason I remembered my spending a good few hours one day last year trying to work out just which two cities were furthest apart on this Planet Earth. Anyway I quickly realised I had completely forgotten one of the cities, I remembered Quito but not the other.

    So I made the same search I made that day last year when I attempted to answer the question (interestingly enough my interest in the question also stemmed from discussions about flight times) and couldn’t find my own answer – I’d completely forgotten about my account on answers.com.

    I did however find this site, and when I saw the Taipei/Asuncion distance, I thought ‘dammit but I know I found a further one’, imagine my surprise when I saw my user name at the bottom with an update, almost had a heart attack lol

    I’m glad I found the calculation again, you would not believe how long I spent working that out, not that it took a ridiculously long time, rather you wouldn’t believe anyone had as much time to waste as I did.

    For what it’s worth as an addition, I am and was as certain as I could be that those two are the furthest apart. I kept on searching for awhile after I found them, to make sure. But I found no others that fit the bill, not surprising when you see that Pekanbaru and Quito are only 11 miles short of the maximum possible distance! They may well be some 3 people villages slightly further apart somehwere in the world, but for actual cities (and I made sure Pekanbaru fits the bill, population was over 700’000 if I remember correctly) I am 99.99% certain that these are the furthest apart. Tbh at 11 miles only from the max, you could probably find two places in Quito and Pekanbaru that are the maximum distance apart, as the distance calculation probably uses noted city centres as the base. Who knows lol

    • I am very happy to see you commenting here! I want to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate you to be the first to get an answer for that question.
      Good you stumbled upon my blog. And I can understand your surprise of finding your name 😉

  3. A commenter on the Wiki Answers page http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Discuss:What_two_cities_are_farthest_away_from_each_other_on_the_earth%27s_surface offered: Cordoba, Spain (pop 325’000), to Hamilton, New Zealand (pop 143’000).

    He makes the distance out to be 12433 mi/20009 km.

    Wolfram Alpha says ( http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=from+Cordoba,+Spain+to+Hamilton,+New+Zealand ) 19946 km – and 19920 for Pekanbaru to Quito ( http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=from%20Pekanbaru%20to%20Quito ).

    • Hi Chris.
      Congratulations and thank you !
      I will update the post accordingly!!

      ps: They recommend using their other tool:
      http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between.htm for more accurate results
      “If you are trying to measure the distance between two cities, then the How far is it Between tool is probably more suitable for your needs.” from the bottom of the link of the tool you mentioned.
      which shows distance as 20,010 km

      • I just used the distance calculator you provide a link for in the above post, and these are the distances I got:

        Chincha Alta, Peru – Siem Reap, Cambodia: 19’980km
        Cordoba, Spain – Hmailton, New Zealand: 20’000km
        Quito, Ecuador – Pakanbaru, Indonesia: 19’980km

        Something makes me doubt, quite highly, that two of those results could possibly be exactly the same tbh. Whats more the discrepancy with the results already posted by other individuals makes no sense. Especially when you consider that:

        A. Chris H’s original post lists Chincha Alta and it’s counterpart as 20030.932km apart, which as well as being impossible (10km more than the maximum) is also 20 km more than the decided on result.

        B. The decided on distance for Quito to Pekanbaru is some 400km less than the original distance posted. It seems unlikely that two distnce claculators would be off by that much. I would suggest that it might be a spelling error, the Indonesian city in question is Pekanbaru not Pakanbaru as noted up top.

        If Chincha Alta to Siem Reap is actually 20’010km as posted, then I would be willing to concede that is probably the furthest distance to be found, without scouring the planet for two ingnominiously populated villages. However, I really don’t think there is any certainty surrounding any of these distances tbh. Really the only certain thing to have come out of this is that the two furthest apart cities are quite definitely either in mainland Spain and New Zealand or otherwise Northern South America and Indochina.

        My pessimism aside, I fully intend to use the above distance calculator to scour said places on earth for the absolute furthest possible places.

        P.S I actually am the HopelessFlight from above, no copying of usernames.

      • I would also note that this most recent calculation of the Ecuador, Indonesia cities, is 18km less than my original one. Is there any distance that is an acceptable margin for error between distance calculators?

  4. How Far Is It Between calaculator lists Jaen, Spain and Tauranga, New Zealand as 20’010km apart. Population of both is 117’000 and 121’000 respectively as of the latest census information I can find. There are probably others tbh.

    What would be amazing would be a piece of software that simply automtically finds the antipodal points of any chosen location. That would simplify this alot. I just don’t know how reliable the tool is tbh, I have gotten 20’010km a few times now, but never any more than that, I just don’t believe I’d be getting so many of the same result.

  5. Actually, according to http://furthestcity.com the two farthest cities apart are Rosario, Argentina and Xinghua, China at 19,996km. Chincha Alta, Peru – Siem Reap, Cambodia are only 19,910km apart. According to the website, the methodology appears to be more accurate than the one used above.

    • Just to comment on why http://furthestcity.com is more accurate: its calculations use the Vincenty formula for ellipsoids as opposed to the haversine formula that is used by the tool that this blog mentions. The vincenty formula is actually more accurate for Earth because the planet is not a perfect sphere. Refer to: http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong-vincenty.html for more details. A degree of latitude is longer at the pole than at the equator (111,694m vs. 110,574m), despite the radius being less.

      • Thank you Brian, I have updated the post accordingly. You can leave us a link to your profile or anything related to you so I can include it to give you the proper credit.
        Thanks again.

  6. Hi Luke!

    Thanks for your comment! You are right, you seem to have found a record distance, of all the distances we have found!
    But you have used the tool:
    http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between.htm
    If you read the last important update on the blog, we started using http://furthestcity.com, a tool that uses Vincenty formula to calculate distances, which seems to be a more accurate to measure distances on earth.
    So with the new accurate tool:
    Bogor, Indonesia – Bucaramanga, Colombia : 19,935 KMs

    Your comment, triggered me to create a table to compare different tools results for different pair of cities.
    You are welcome to download it from http://ge.tt/37pPhtD1/v/0?c

    Anyhow all these little differences are nothing, cities spreads for more than 30 Kms, and we have also to consider where is their center.

  7. What two cities are furthest apart, but in the same time zone. A long flight from one to the other, but you can’t claim jet lag.

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