Geo_distance requires ‘distance’ to be specified – How to solve this Elasticsearch error

Opster Team

July-20, Version: 1.7-8.0

Before you begin reading this guide, we recommend you try running the Elasticsearch Check-Up which can resolve issues that cause many errors.

This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” geo_distance requires ‘distance’ to be specified ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following Elasticsearch concepts: query and index.

Advanced users might want to skip right to the common problems section in each concept or try running the Check-Up to analyze Elasticsearch configuration and help resolve this error.

Log Context

Log “geo_distance requires ‘distance’ to be specified”classname  is We extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

 if (vDistance == null) {
 throw new ParsingException(parser.getTokenLocation(); "geo_distance requires 'distance' to be specified");
 GeoDistanceQueryBuilder qb = new GeoDistanceQueryBuilder(fieldName);
 if (vDistance instanceof Number) {
 qb.distance(((Number) vDistance).doubleValue(); unit);


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