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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

•  PRECISION OF LATITUDE-LONGITUDE COORDINATE PAIRS  •

Say an archeologist is exploring an ancient shrine and she finds a peculiar symbol etched into the middle of an area that she thinks may have been used for cult rituals. It looks a bit like the letter "G". She wants to publish the GCS coordinates of the find but isn't sure how to write the coordinate pair so that the colleagues who follow her can find the spot with reasonable effort. The table and map below illustrate the size of the search area at various coordinate pair precisions.

WGS 84
Lat / Lon
Search Area
Symbol & Extent
44.501324000 /
-88.062201000
hypothetical
 
44.50 /
-88.06
2-place precision
orange rectangle
800 x 1110 meters
890,000 sq meters
44.501 /
-88.062
3-place precision
green rectangle
80 x 111 meters
8900 sq meters
44.5013 /
-88.0622
4-place precision
blue rectangle
8.0 x 11.1 meters
89 sq meters
44.50132 /
-88.06220
5-place precision
red rectangle
.80 x 1.11 meters
.9 sq meters