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Distance is a numerical or occasionally qualitative measurement of how far apart objects or points are. In physics or everyday usage, distance may refer to a physical length or an estimation based on other criteria (e.g. "two counties over"). Since spatial cognition is a rich source of conceptual metaphors in human thought, the term is also frequently used metaphorically to mean a measurement of the amount of difference between two similar objects (such as statistical distance between probability distributions or edit distance between strings of text) or a degree of separation (as exemplified by distance between people in a social network). Most such notions of distance, both physical and metaphorical, are formalized in mathematics using the notion of a metric space.