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Lat - Lon Or Utm


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I have abeen reading a book about how to use my Garmin Venture and it said using UTM would have 1 meter accuracy. When entering a cache in your GPS do you enter Lattitude and Longitude or do you use UTM.


I have had problems getting some caches and was wondering if UTM would work better?



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I enter lat/lon personally. The eTrex Venture is WAAS enabled so you could expect 3m accuracy. Changing to a different coordinate system like UTM isn't going to make the GPS more accurate. In a way, it doesn't really matter. If the person placing the cache used a non-WAAS GPS with 15m accuracy, you're not going to get within 1m of the cache.

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UTM might show figures to whole metres but that's a little different to be accurate to 1 metre.


Also in many GPS receivers there is a conversion connection between lat/Long and UTM, with the UTM conversion primarily based on Lat/Long and the underlying coordinate format precision.


Effectively both give similar results as far as accuracy is concerned.


Cheers, Kerry.

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UTM vs LatLon


The GPS machine can convert between the two and you're in the same place either way. I find if I'm trying to use a map then UTM is a LOT easier to locate my position on the map. Make sure your Map Datum is set the same as the map tho. About all Topo's have the UTM grids.

But thatever the numbers they still mean the same place.



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As people have already pointed out, a point given as lat/lon corresponds to the same point in UTM - it's just a different way of entering an exact location. Personally, given a choice, I'll enter in UTM just because it's less numbers. There's really no other difference or advantage to either one except when plotting on a map or doing projections etc.

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UTM is also nice in that every unit in UTM-land represents 1 meter. I think that's where the original poster got the 1m accuracy figure from. For what it's worth there's a pretty good book out there called GPS Made Easy and it goes into pretty good, straightforward detail about all the coordinate systems, datums and much more - end of plug... :(


But as you have all indicated lat/lon, UTM etc are all just different ways of identifying a given point on planet Earth...

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As a dedicated user of UTM the above posts are right on track. The best way to think of the "1 meter" statement is that UTM can provide a "resolution" of 1 meter. While one system really isn't better than the other I prefer UTM. UTM is very easy to work with using a paper map. With the help of a grid reader or corner rule you should be able to plot your location on a map within a couple seconds.

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