Sunday, 23 August 2009

Converting Google maps URL to GPS coordinates (longitude and latitude) to enter into your GPS

Browsing Google Maps and finding your destination point results in a URL eg:,18.419631&sspn=0.007959,0.014291&ie=UTF8&ll=-33.923492,18.420017&spn=0.007514,0.014291&z=16

I found this hack here: Geoffrey Emery’s blog to display the latitude and longitude coordinates of the centre of the map displayed by Google Maps:
Looking up an address in Google Maps will centre the map on that address if it was found. 
When the location you want is in the centre of the map, copy and paste this code into the location bar of your browser and press enter:


A little window will pop up displaying the GPS coordinates :) : image

But, that’s quite a javascript to remember… an easier method to remember would be to decode the URL that Google Maps gives when clicking on the “Link” button.

For example, searching in Google Maps for ‘Doppio Zero - Mandela Rhodes Place’ gives a hit and clicking on that result then the ‘Link’ link:

gives a URL of:,18.419631&sspn=0.007959,0.014291&ie=UTF8&ll=-33.923492,18.420017&spn=0.007514,0.014291&z=16

The Latitude and Longitude are embedded in the URL, just after the text ‘&sll’ which gives:
Latitude: 33.923794 {don’t forget the – sign}  and Longitude: 18.419631

Did you know that you can also enter the coordinates into the Google maps search bar
e.g.: S33.923794  E18.419631  or even just   -33.923794 18.419631

Enter this into your GPS eg: Nokia 6110 Navigator:  Latitude: –33.923794   Longitude: 18.419631

If you want to learn more about longitude and latitude, then here’s a link to some simply presented info by John Bell: Latitude and Longitude for sixth grade


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