Latitude and Longitude

Latitude and Longitude

Continuing from a previous post about Geocoding is the topic of Latitude and Longitude. How exactly are they related? Well for starters when you geocode an address the resulting location has an associated Latitude and Longitude or exact never changing place on the globe.

Latitude and Longitude
Latitude and Longitude

Latitude and Longitude

So why is this important? Well if you know that specific location you can actually bypass the process of geocoding. Geocoding by nature is an estimate of where a location is based on several factors. Street Centerline estimation or parcel address centroid. What if you have a wide sweeping street range or a large parcel? You need further refinement in the actual location. This is one place that knowing the exact latitude and longitude increases accuracy. Another benefit is you have full control of where that location is. And once it’s found and properly attached to your data it’s always there. Saving you time in the future.

So how exactly can you find your Latitude and Longitude? This part is pretty easy. You can use your favorite web map of choice (Google Maps, Bing Maps, Azure Maps, Open Streetmap, Apple Maps…) the list goes on and on. They all have one thing in common. You can click just about anywhere (or check the URL) and see the values for that exact location. Just make sure to store that information with your data so you can leverage the speed and accuracy going forward.

Extra special hint for everyone in the USA. Latitude will be Positive and Longitude will be Negative. Also the most popular formatting of Latitude and Longitude with GIS work is called Decimal Degree. It looks like this. 40.6581264,-111.5943762. Bonus points if you know where that is! (HINT: You might find us there in the winter.)

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