Geo distance requires distance to be specified – How to solve this Elasticsearch exception

Opster Team

August-23, Version: 6.8-8.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when a ‘distance’ parameter is not specified in a ‘geo_distance’ query in Elasticsearch. The ‘geo_distance’ query is used to find documents that are within a certain distance from a geographical point. To resolve this issue, you need to specify the ‘distance’ parameter in your query. This can be done by adding a ‘distance’ field to your query and providing a value for it. The value should be a number followed by a distance unit, such as “12km” or “5mi”.

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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, index.

Log Context

Log “geo_distance requires ‘distance’ to be specified” class name 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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