GPS Coordinates & Google Earth


Aug 9, 2007
Hey folks. I'm so glad to be here. I just found you this morning. I am a photographer and my mission is to create exquisite photographs of the American West, and a few other places. Ah shi sle pah is my destination this weekend. Weather is forecast to be perfect chamber of commerce weather; unfortunately. I am new to techie stuff so I have a question that may have a rather obvious answer, but I don't know the answer. Here it is. When I get GPS co-ordinates from the internet, from other folks GPS, and try to find those co-ordinates on Google Earth, Google Earth shows them to be miles from where I know they should be. Does anyone know why?

Welcome to backcountrypost, Nathan! I started this new thread to discuss the GPS coordinates and Google Earth. Can you post an example of coordinates? It may be due to the format as there are several different types.

intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
Mar 9, 2012
my guess is coordinate format type. had a similar problem when a friend & i were working separately on compiling/mapping the list of Arches in the Jens Munthe Arches of the Escalante book. i was using Google Earth and he was using his Garmin application & when we imported his into google earth, they were all off by at least a few hundred yards.
we should have that database cleaned up and books with supplementary files available soon. message me if you are interested. I'll be getting back to the few of you who have already expressed interest when they are ready.


Jan 17, 2012
I would also make sure that when you are using GPS location you also know that Datum that is in use. NAD27 etc.. without that you don't have the same starting reference point... It drives me nuts when people post gps coords and don't post the Datum its like giving someone an address but not telling them what town you are in :mad: (Although I am sure I have posed GPS coords and failed to give the Datum before doesn't mean it isn't still a pet peeve of my own ;) )

John Fowler

Jan 17, 2012
Be aware that the two main formats (degrees, minutes, seconds or degrees,minutes,fractions of a minute) are not the same thing. To convert seconds to fractions of a degree, divide the seconds by 60 to make a decimal fraction that you add to the degree. to convert fractions to minutes, multiply the fraction by 60.
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