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Map & Compass – How to Convert lat/lon to Decimal Format

Whether you are using Google Maps, GSAK or, sometimes you need to convert a set of coordinates from the latitude / longitude format to the decimal format.

This can be accomplished by using a calculator.

Typicially, displays coordinates in the latitude/longitude format using the WSG84 datnum. This will take the form of:



When you are using mapping applications such as GSAK, Google maps, MSN Mapppoint, or Mapquest; you might need to convert this format to the decimal format.

The decimal format takes the form of:

+- DD.MMM  (where S and W are negative)

For example, we have the following sets of coordinates:

N 43° 48.225 W 079° 59.074

To convert this to the decimal format, we start by keeping the DD portion and simply divide the MM.MMM by 60 to firm the MMM portion of the decimal format.

43. (48.225/60), -79.(59.074/60) = 43.(0.80375), -79.(0.98456)

=43.80375, -79.98456

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