Google Maps accepts GPS coordinates and quickly jumps to the exact position when you enter them. You need accurate longitude and latitude numbers to locate a point, and you must enter them correctly for the Google Maps coordinates to work properly. GPS coordinates are useful for a variety of reasons.
Locating the Coordinates
Before entering GPS coordinates, you must first determine which coordinates are needed. GPS coordinates are exact and often serve a specific purpose. You can click on any point on Google maps to pull the coordinates for that point. It delivers both the longitude and latitude coordinates.
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In most instances, the GPS coordinates come from a satellite device, and the need to view them on Google Maps happens after the fact. Satellite tracking devices record waypoints and store the GPS coordinates. Hikers, hunters, geocaching sites, survey markers, property lines and much more are used in conjunction with satellite devices to store and label the waypoints.
After obtaining the points, entering them into Google Maps makes it possible to use Google's powerful features to gain a better view of the area. Satellite imagery, street view, and the ability to zoom and navigate the entire area for perspective are all handy when working with a specific set of GPS coordinates.
Enter GPS Coordinates
The easiest method of entering coordinates is a simple copy and paste. Click the point on Google maps or send yourself an email from a satellite device with the coordinates. They automatically display in a format that Google understands. Copy and paste them directly into the search bar on Google Maps and press enter to go to the exact point.
Manually entering the coordinates requires using the correct format. Three different format styles exist to navigate to the longitude and latitude. Degrees, minutes and seconds (DMS) uses the degree symbol followed by the minute with an apostrophe and finally the coordinate. Degrees and decimal minutes (DMM) does not require the use of the degree symbol in the typed-out coordinate.
The last option is decimal degrees (DD), and it uses a simple format for longitude and latitude. In terms of typing the coordinates, this format is the easiest, and many mapping programs use the DD formatting. Enter the exact numbers as they appear on the map where they were generated, and use periods not commas for the decimal point. Press enter, and Google Maps jumps to the location.
Options for Viewing
After you press enter, Google takes you to the proper location. The default view is the street maps view, but you can change to satellite imagery for a detailed look at the terrain and structures at the location. In many areas, you also have the option for street view, which pulls you into a real-life, 360-degree photo view of the area. Google uses vehicles equipped with cameras to capture all this imagery around the world.
If you want to go to the point, select the Directions option and enter the starting point. It maps out a route if the coordinate is on a street. If the coordinate is located off the street maps, navigation does not function correctly. Trail mapping systems are necessary to navigate to a coordinate accessible by hiking an established route, or you can use the topo and satellite imagery to plan a route.