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Understanding Coordinates


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Perhaps this is the wrong forum, if so, please guide me to the right one. I now have to purchase a new GPS unit (had my old Garmin for many years now), so doing some researching to see what is new and improved. Trying to match my new purchase with mapping sites, and the latest technologies available. So started comparing Google Earth coordinates with Microsoft Streets and Maps...what a surprise...both use the 84 datum and such but coordinates don't match...in fact according to Google Earth coordinates my house is in the ocean according to Streets & trips....I'm fairly sure my house is on land so which is right? And I don't remember why some coordinates are ##.##.### and some are ##.#####....with my old Garmin the coodinates matched Geocaching coordinates...now not sure what I should be looking for in new unit....


Any help would be much appreciated ! Thanks

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Coordinates can be expressed in several different formats. They are most commonly Degrees Minutes Seconds (DDD MM SS), Decimal Degrees (DDD.DDDD), or Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDD MM.MMM). The last format is the most common in current GPS models. You might look for a setting in S&T and/or your GPS unit to change the coordinate format. Most newer models will support multiple formats.


All of these coordinates are the same location.


Degrees, Minutes and Seconds


N 32° 18' 23.1" W 122° 36' 52.5"


Decimal Degrees


N 32.30642° W 122.61458°


Degrees and Decimal Minutes


N 32° 18.385' W 122° 36.875'

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