Understanding GPS Coordinates and Latitude and Longitude

As strange as it may sound, you do not necessarily need to be a GPS expert in order to be able to make the best of your GPS coordinates device to an extent that you realize its full potential. In fact, you also do not need prior knowledge in order to be able to make extensive use of the many websites presently available for referencing GPS and latitude/longitude data.

One of the most crucial things to your understanding of the use of latitudes and longitudes is the ability to pinpoint an exact location on earth. It’s as simple as that. By now you must already be fully familiar with the grid lines cutting across the earth. You may also already be aware that it is through these same grid lines that the world is divided into latitudes and longitudes. The distance around the world and the vertical point is expressed in degrees using the sign “°”.

More exact locations are expressed using either fractions of Degree and smaller units of minutes and seconds. It is through this system of using longitudes and latitudes that any point on earth can easily be pinpointed. Take note, the starting point for longitude is 0° “the prime meridian and interestingly, it runs through the Royal observatory in England. On the other hand, the start of the latitude is set at the equator and it is the line which runs horizontally across the entire globe from a map.

it is also worth noting that points that are west of the prime meridian are usually expressed as negative numbers or better yet by adding “W” while points that are south of the Equator are expressed as negative too or better yet by simply adding S. In order to help you familiarize yourself much more with GPS coordinates, longitudes and latitudes, consider the following:

  1. If you’re GPS coordinate has a compass point after it, try and remove it on the other hand if the coordinate has the letter “W” simply change the degrees part of the coordinate to get a negative number.
  2. If your coordinates have the letter “S” change the degrees part to a negative number
  3. There several sites online where you can now easily convert your coordinates from one system to the next. All you need to do is simply to run a search for gps coordinate converter and you will be good to go.

In addition to all of the above, it is important to note that virtually all GPS receivers including those which are in mobile phones allow for display of GPS coordinates. Everything taken into consideration, it is important to understand the fact that Google Earth is by far an extremely useful resource when it comes to getting coordinates. All you need to do is simply to enter the address or better yet a partial address and the system will zoom in to that location at an instant. Using the system is that simple.

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