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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity


Sometimes folks use geographic coordinates in their work without fully understanding the mathematics and symantics. Work products based on this kind of partial knowledge get released into the wild containing undefinitive coordinate pairs (don't correspond to any real place) and ambiguous coordinate pairs (correspond to more than one real place). We've collected some "howto" and "how-not-to" examples.

Accuracy and Precision Examples

This web mapping application reports the location of a mouse click to one ten-trillionth of a degree. That corresponds to an accuracy of + .0000001 meters. Silly eh? It's even sillier in light of the fact that the aerial photo used as a reference layer has a specified accuracy of + 15 meters.