Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Changing GPS Coordinates

Coordinates are the numerical values used to identify a hiker’s location in the field or on a map.  The most common are Latitude and longitude.

From the factory, GPS receivers are set are set to the format of: \

      o  Degrees         Minutes. Minutes  (example: 150° 36.30’)

There are many other formats that GPS receivers can be adjusted to.

The two most important GPS Coordinate formats in the USA are:

      o  Degrees         Minutes          Seconds
            This is common on US Geologic Survey topographic and commercial maps. (Example: 150° 36’ 30”)

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
            A metric based grid system that is simple to use. Visit  UTM Grid for the hiker for more information.

Who cares?

Let’s use the example of a backcountry hiker using a hiking guide book that has a short chapter on a route plan to “Spectacular Lake.”  The guide books map representation is a little crude but has UTM GPS Coordinates for the trail head, parking lot and final destination.

To take advantage of those UTM GPS Coordinates the hiker must >power the receiver>go to the setup option (below):

From setup scroll/rocker down to and select position format.  

Note that it is selected to UTM UPS.  That is what the hiker is looking for.

Select the position format icon and explore all the GPS Coordinate formats that are available (there are quite a few.)


No comments:

Post a Comment