Sites should strive to understand the tasks and goals of their users. When searching for the closest store, customers probably want to know if the product they are looking for is in stock, and since this may be very difficult (and expensive), try to discover secondary tasks/sub-goals. It is pretty clear that the legal definition of Linear Distance isn’t going to help me get to the store to buy a new appliance.
Trying to find directions to the nearest store.
Why this is bad? It’s as if…
The difference between the linear distance and the street distance is going to change which store is closest to me. Someone obviously thought that this information was valuable to their customers, unfortunately it was probably the Legal Department, too bad that "cover-your-ass" isn’t a common user goal.