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1.2. Convert Decimal Coordinates to DDD MM.MMM

If you would like to convert Decimal Coordinates to DDD MM.MMM, take the integer (whole number) - positive is North and East, negative is South and West - and set it aside. The remaining decimals would be multiplied times sixty to get minutes.

Example: the Sears Tower in Chicago is located at 41.878928° -87.636415°. For the latitude...

Start with the number in decimal degrees Positive is north, and take the whole number Then take the remainder times 60 Round to three decimals Therefore the latitude for the Sears Tower in Chicago is
41.878928 41.xxxxxx = N41° 0.878928 x 60 = 52.73568 52.736 N41° 52.736

Now try the math on your own: Longitude -87.636415° will convert to W087° 38.185.

To reverse the process, take the minutes portion and divide by 60, then tag it on to the degrees:

W 087° 38.185
38.185 ÷ 60 = 0.636417
tag it onto the degrees to get 87.636417°
“West” is negative: -87.636417°


To carry it further to seconds beyond minutes, you do the same thing with the minutes that you did with the degrees. Take the integer off of the minutes and multiply the remaining decimal times 60. That will give you seconds. If you have Degrees, Minutes and Seconds...


Many thanks to Volunteer Forum Moderator Markwell for initially developing these instructions.

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