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MGRS-1, MGRS-2, MGRS-3


PULASKI
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Hello!

 

Before I get assaulted by well-wishers telling me that the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) is almost never used in geocaching.... I know that.

 

This past weekend I was playing with my GPSr and looked through all the coordinate systems that are available - its amazing how much these inexpensive computers can really do.

 

Being on a military base and knowing my present position, I decided to flip over to MGRS to compare its data to the map. I clicked on MGRS as the system and then was prompted if I wanted the coordinates in 1,10,100,1000 meter designators.

 

The next prompt was MGRS-1, MGRS-2, MGRS-3 with the MGRS-2 seemingly being the default.

 

I had never heard of these and nobody around me knew what they meant.

 

Sunday evening I called Magellan (the maker of this Explorist) and got connected to a heavily accented customer service person in some distant land.

 

He didnt know and put me on hold to research it. He came back on and still didnt have a clue.

 

I looked at the online MGRS references and even the DoD references. No help.

 

I tried calling Magellan HQ but they refuse to put calls through to their actual working employees so I couldnt get a designer or engineer.

 

So, last resort was to use the online form.

 

Surprisingly, I received a reply in one day and this is what they said:

=====================================================================

We understand your mail that you require the definations of these selections.

 

In this case I would like to inform you that

 

MGRS1 stands for the period prior to 1988.

MGRS2 stands for the period prior to 1988 and till Sep 1991.

MGRS3 stands for the period prior to Oct 1991 to present.

 

If you have further queries, please get back to us.

 

You can also contact our Technical Support at 1-800-707-9971 for further assistance.

 

Regards,

Grace

=====================================================================

 

Interesting.

 

So MGRS-2 is NOT the correct default. Now I know what these settings are and you do too.

 

As easy as the GPS system is to use there are a few subtle things that can be done wrong (like using wrong map datum or wrong MGRS set) - probably not things that will send you to the incorrect continent but possibly enough of an error to befuddle you unneccessarily!

 

Has anyone ever actually used these MGRS settings? What about using the wrong datum (i.e. NOT WGS-84)

If so, what degree of error did you experience?

 

Just curious.

:huh:

 

Sincerely,

PULASKI

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<snip>

 

So MGRS-2 is NOT the correct default. Now I know what these settings are and you do too.

 

<snip>

 

 

This may not be accurate... MGRS-2 (1988 - 1991) may be the correct default at this time. When I was on Active Duty (1994 - 2006), the vast majority of military maps (with the exception of Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan) were produced between 1988 - 1991. So MGRS-2 would be appropriate.

 

Other than those countries stated above, and mapsets for North Fort Polk, I haven't had the pleasure of using any mapsets created after 1991.

 

In the National Guard, most of our map sets predate 1988 and therefore MGRS-1 would be appropriate.

 

Edited to add that... No, I haven't used these MGRS settings on my GPSr. When using MGRS, I have only used military issue GPSr's.

Edited by BRTango
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BRT:

 

Great point. I really hadnt given any thought to using the GPS vs paper map. I was just thinking data collected from a current online source.

 

I had a GI map last week that was ancient. Other than the major terrain features put there from Day 1 it was pretty much worthless.

 

Maybe I will engrave the 1,2,3 chart in the civ GPSr's that I might use for the military.......

 

PULASKI

 

 

<snip>

 

So MGRS-2 is NOT the correct default. Now I know what these settings are and you do too.

 

<snip>

 

 

This may not be accurate... MGRS-2 (1988 - 1991) may be the correct default at this time. When I was on Active Duty (1994 - 2006), the vast majority of military maps (with the exception of Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan) were produced between 1988 - 1991. So MGRS-2 would be appropriate.

 

Other than those countries stated above, and mapsets for North Fort Polk, I haven't had the pleasure of using any mapsets created after 1991.

 

In the National Guard, most of our map sets predate 1988 and therefore MGRS-1 would be appropriate.

 

Edited to add that... No, I haven't used these MGRS settings on my GPSr. When using MGRS, I have only used military issue GPSr's.

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