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Degrees, Minutes, Seconds to Decimal Degrees calculator and vice-versa.

Overwrite the default numbers in the bright blue boxes below with the latitude or longitude of your location. Input positive numbers only ( e.g. 0 to 360 deg ).

Whole Degrees

Minutes

Seconds

Decimal degrees
4 decimal places  
Decimal degrees
5 decimal places 
Decimal degrees
6 decimal places

The calculation equation is simply: Decimal degrees = whole number of degrees, plus minutes divided by 60, plus seconds divided by 3600


Reverse process:  Input decimal degrees and the result is given in deg/min/sec format.

Decimal Degrees

  Whole degrees Minutes Seconds
 

If you have a GPS receiver the display may be Longitude 117 degrees and 29.842 minutes.  In this case put the numbers in the second two boxes above. Alternatively, use the upper row of three boxes and put a figure 0 (i.e. zero) in the seconds box.   If you have a GPS receiver display like 117 degrees and 29 minutes and 50.5 seconds then put the numbers in all three boxes above in the same nanner as shown with the default numbers. 

On many GPS receivers it is possible to switch the latitude-longitude display settings format.  Investigate your GPS options and if you can get the display into decimal degrees like 117.4974 degrees, then you do not need to use this calculator.

Test by clicking to calculate the result with the default numbers.  The answer should be 117.4974 decimal degrees. i.e. just under 117 and a half degrees. Two alternative answers are provided, the first to 4 decimal places (accuracy 10m distance on the equator), the second to 5 decimal places (accuracy 1m distance on the equator). If the calculator does not work, you need to enable javascript in your browser.

Accuracy: If you notice significant discrepancies between your lat/long location as shown using Google maps compared with GPS readout or physical paper maps then you should check that the coordinate systems used are based on the same datum.  The datum called WGS84 is common, but on many older paper maps different local datums are used. Your GPS receiver configuration any allow one of many alternative datums to be selcted.

Any problems or comments, or reports of copyright infringement, please e-mail me Eric Johnston   This calculator is copyright 2005. 2013 Satellite Signals Ltd

Navigation links:
Latitude and longitude finder: good for satellite dish aiming and pointing angles - azimuth, elevation and polarization angles


Line of site link azimuth angle bearing and great circle distance calculator  
 

Original : 16 March 2005.

Amended 5 October 2006:    If you input a negative number for the whole degrees it assumes you are West Longitude and considers the minutes and seconds parts (input without minus signs) as taking you further to the west.  The output decimal number is displayed negative, indicating degrees west.  Higher accuracy 5 decimal places output added.  Accuracy assumes the earth circumference around the equator is 40075.16km.   So 1 deg = 1000  x 40075.16 / 360 = 111319.88889 m    So 0.0001 deg = 11m  and 0.00001 deg = 1m.   Longitude accuracy improves nearer the poles as the longitude lines are closer together.  Latitude error is more or less the same everywhere, but if you are pernickety you might want to work out the error based in a polar earths circumference of 40008 km. 

Amended 1 November 2010:   If you have a longitude greater than 180 deg then that refers to locations in the range 0 to 180 degrees WEST.  The set of three boxes on the right above are the result of subtracting the longitude for 360 deg.

Amended 2 April 2013. Reverse process added.

Amended 12 Sept 2013.  Details about accuracy, datums and use of GPS added.

Amended 27th Sept 2013. In view of the fact that Google maps use negative numbers for degrees West and negative numbers for degrees South I have added the facility in the lower half, reverse calculation, to insert negative numbers. When you do this the calculator gives you an alert that the result probably refers to West longitude or South latitude with figures as far as -90 deg and to West longitude in respect of numbers beyond -90 deg.