We have shown that the plasmonic response from film-coupled nanoparticles –composed of a nanoparticle separated from a gold film– undergo drastic color shifts in their localized surface plasmon resonances as the NP-film gap distance changes. Both the spectral and polarization responses from film-coupled NPs can be used as extremely sensitive and localized sensors of distance between the NPs and the nearby film. Additionally, nanoscale gaps created between NPs and film represent tightly confined ‘hot spots’ where electromagnetic fields are enhanced by many orders of magnitude. We have shown that these hot spots can be used to stimulate surface enhanced resonant Raman scattering from molecules located within the gap regions between NPs and film. We have demonstrated the ability to make high throughput NP-film plasmon ruler measurements on a chip by characterizing the plasmonic response from ensembles of NPs near film with a single, quick spectroscopic measurement. This allows us to efficiently characterize with high confidence the average plasmonic response from millions of NP-film plasmon rulers. We have also demonstrated the ability to make these fast plasmonic ruler measurements in real time, on-the-fly as the NP-film separation distance is perturbed by external stimuli. We are currently developing ways to incorporate these high-throughput plasmonic ruler measurements into biosensing devices.