Most Common GPS Coordinate Format

I don’t have a GPS device. But I was wondering what the most common coordinate display format is. Decimal degrees (25.124167), Degrees-minutes-seconds (N 25° 07’ 27"), or Decimal degrees (N 25 07.450).

Also, does your GPS display the numbers as negative and positive or with directional indicators of N, E, S, and W?

I am wondering which format(s) I should support on my site and how I am going to programatically tell the difference between degrees-minutes-seconds and decimal degrees.

Let me know what you use so I can get a little idea.


My phone has GPS, maps and navigation, but nowhere does it ever display coordinates in latitude and longitude. If I ask it for my current location, it’ll give me the nearest street address or intersection. I used a Garmin Nuvi before that also would not show coordinates unless you did some wacky stuff turning on simulation mode, GPS off, simulating driving and some other things… then it’d show something like “N 10° 20.345’ E 10° 20.345’”.

I would guess people doing geocaching and stuff where you need to see latitude/longitude are using GPS meant for hiking and such and not the kind meant for driving directions.

Does your phone allow you to input GPS coordinates?

Entering an address is going to result in that address going to a geocoder somewhere. Geocoders are not 100% accurate.

Nope, no input either. Just addresses and intersections.

I am not sure that this is the section to discuss this… although I am not sure which other part would be suitable.

You’d probably will need to support the most common ways to express a direction and the corresponding formulas to change from one measurement to the other

Don’t know about other devices but Google Maps will accept the latitude and longitude as signed floating point numbers.

That’s why I posted it here. :wink: :slight_smile:

Yeah, it looks like I’ll have to support all 3 formats and negatives or letter directional indicators. A lot more work for sure.

Definately… but that’s the fun of it :stuck_out_tongue: