Judicial Notice of Geographical Internet Evidence — Travel Distances to One Address from Various Locations — Drawn from Google Maps, World Atlas.com, MapQuest, Yahoo

Va. Innovation Sci., Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44758 (E.D. Va. Mar. 31, 2014):

A. Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 "governs judicial notice of . . . adjudicative fact[s]." Fed. R. Evid. 201(a). The Court is permitted to take judicial notice "on its own," Fed. R. Evid. 201(c)(1), however, the Court "must take judicial notice if a party requests it and the court is supplied with the necessary information," Fed. R. Evid. 201(c)(2).

Defendants request that the Court take judicial notice of the travel distances to a specific address in Arlington, Virginia from various starting locations. Request for Judicial Notice 1-2,  [*9] ECF No. 154. Information on these distances, sourced from online resources,2 was supplied to the Court in an Appendix of Exhibits. App'x of Exs., Exs. K-N, ECF Nos. 155-7, 155-8, 155-9, & 155-10. Plaintiff takes no position with regard to this request.

2   The online resources include maps.google.com, www.distancefromto.net, and www.worldatlas.com.

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 permits district courts to "judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it: (1) is generally known within the trial court's territorial jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned." Fed. R. Evid. 201(b). The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that "geographical information is especially appropriate for judicial notice." United States v. Johnson, 726 F.2d 1018, 1021 (4th Cir. 1984); see also United States v. Lavender, 602 F.2d 639, 641 (4th Cir.  1979). Accordingly, district courts within the Fourth Circuit have on several occasions taken notice of travel distances, including in cases where the information was supplied from online sources. See, Elcomsoft, Ltd. v. Passcovery Co., Ltd., 958 F. Supp. 2d 616, 622 (E.D. Va. 2013),  [*10] reconsideration denied (Dec. 19, 2013) (taking "judicial notice that Russia is far from this District, and that any willing witnesses will face significant travel costs"); Rogers v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., No. CIV. JKB-12-1012, 2013 WL 2151675, at *8 n.5 (D. Md. May 15, 2013) (referring to driving distances obtained from Mapquest.com in taking "judicial notice that Odenton, Maryland ... is approximately eighteen miles from downtown Baltimore, twenty-seven miles from downtown Washington, and fifteen miles from Annapolis"); United States v. Franklin, No. CRIM. MJG-11-0095, 2012 WL 71018, at *1 n.3 (D. Md. Jan. 9, 2012) (taking "judicial notice of the Yahoo Internet directions to provide distance and driving time estimates").

As the Court has been "supplied with the necessary information," pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 201(c)(2), the Court takes judicial notice of the following facts: 1) that [street number withheld] Maud Street NW, in Washington, DC is less than eight miles driving distance from [street number withheld] Joyce Street, in Arlington, Virginia; 2) that Beijing, China is over 6,900 miles flight distance from Arlington, Virginia; and 3) that La Jolla, California is over 2,600 miles  [*11] driving distance from Arlington, Virginia.

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