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Archery Elkaholic

Changing format to UTM for home location

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I've been perusing this forum and have been making updates/changes to my account as I learn new things. One thing I would like to know is if I can change the format of the coordinates it shows as my "Home Location"? Right now it shows them on Lat/Lon and I would like to change them to show in UTM. I looked in the Profile settings page but didn't see where this might be done.

 

I did get this changed so when I look at a specific cache it shows both the Lat/Lon and the UTM coordinates.

 

Thanks in advance for the help.

 

JT

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Most Geocaching (and all co-ordinates displayed by the site) are in decimal minutes. E.G. H DD(D) MM.mmm

Certainly there are caches that may require the use of other formats, though.

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I understand that everything is displayed in Lat/Lon, which is unfortunate considering it is primarily an air/water navigation system. For land based navigation the UTM system is far superior, not to mention easier to learn and use.

 

I was just hoping I could convert the information in the settings for my use. I know most users are Lat/Lon people.

 

JT

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I understand that some people have learned navigation using UTM or MGRS, generally in association with paper maps. I like to call these people flat-earthers. That's not meant as an insult. In certain situations (and geocaching may be one of them) it is convenient for people to think of the earth (at least in the immediate area) as flat and use a nice rectangular grid for identifying locations. These grids are less than satisfactory when extended to large areas because the earth is not flat. Even with UTM, as you get near the edges of a UTM zone the grid becomes distorted. And just try using UTM to find the distance between location ins two different zones.

 

Lat/Lon is used in air/water applications because the distances are generally greater. Also you have the advantage of being able to travel the shortest path which in this case is a great circle. Still lat/lon can be useful over short distances, especially when using a GPS unit that can do the math for you.

 

In all navigation systems you calculate a bearing and distance from on waypoint to the next. What almost all geocachers do, is let their GPS device compute a bearing and distance to the cache. They the travel in roughly the direction of the bearing (usually following the arrow on the compass screen) toward the cache. For these cachers is makes little difference if the coordinates are entered in UTM or lat/lon.

 

A few cachers like to take a paper map and plot their starting location and the cache location on the map. Then, using terrain and other features on a map, they plot a course to the cache. They may enter waypoints along the course into their GPS or they may just take the map with them and use their map reading skill to follow the course they laid out. For these cachers, UTM probably make sense if they use a UTM grid with the map.

 

My guess is that the OP wants to be able to see all the coordinates listed in UTM so he can plot his course with a paper map and find a cache that way.

 

Most GPS unit have the capability to display coordinates in different formats, including UTM. Geocaching.com uses lat/lon with degrees and decimal minutes because most consumer GPS models use this as the default format out of the box. Realizing that most people don't change the format on their GPS, they decided to use this format as it would be the least confusing. For geocaches, the UTM coordinates (British OS grid in the UK) are display below the lat/lon and there is a link you can click for other formats. You can use the link to convert lat/lon to UTM. What Groundspeak could do is to provide a link to convert your home location.

 

(In checking that they don't already do this I found a bug. If you click your home location on your profile it links to no longer existing beta maps).

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Tozainamboku,

 

You are correct, and I do use the conversion data typically found under the Lat/Lon coordinates on the individual cache pages. I don't use paper maps when geocaching, just while bowhunting. I just find it an easier system to use all around. I agree, it is a "flat" system, but I'm not sure I've run into any problems at the grid edges and I've never been in a situation where I've been between regions. As for finding distance, each "grid" is 1000 meters, it's fairly easy to determine distances.

 

After I learned the UTM system, and with the use of the little plastic "cheater" I like that I can use a 7.5 minute USGS map and find my location using the Easting and Northing numbers to within about 3 meters. I use it to mark specific areas or features like mud holes, wallows, or watering holes on my maps to help with finding them again and also the best approach depending on wind conditions when hunting.

 

I was just hoping there was a way to show my home coordinates in UTM to be consistent, I have changed my gps to read in UTM.

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