How to get UTM coordinates from Google Maps

How to get UTM coordinates from Google Maps

How to get UTM coordinates from Google Maps is a recurring question, not only for those who are closely linked to geosciences, but a general case. To give you a clear and forceful answer, we decided to make this article very condensed and punctual.

Before I begin, I want you to know that I am going to cover some cartographic terms, which I will seek to simplify as much as possible so that you can reach the goal, knowing how to obtain UTM coordinates in Google Maps. Without further ado, let's get started, we have a ways to go before we get to the point.

What are UTM coordinates


You may have heard the term UTM in some other satellite positioning applications and it is not strange, since this system is used in many parts of the world. Here I will give you a brief summary of what it is about, trying not to enter deep waters.

UTM is the acronym for Universal Transversal Mercator, a cartographic projection system that allows a surface to be shown on a plane that is clearly not. There are various methods of cartographic projection, which express the earth's surface in a plane.

UTM coordinates are represented in zones called Zones, which, I make the caveat, are different from time zones. This kind of coordinates allows to represent terrains, directions and zones by plane coordinates, very similar to the traditional Cartesian system, but it has other particular mathematical elements.

One of the most particular advantages of this cartographic projection system is that navigation is much more practical than in other systems. As a UTM disadvantage is that the expressed areas are deformed and do not preserve their geometric properties, changing the size of the areas.

Difference Between Spherical and UTM Coordinates


We have all heard of latitude and longitude, a system that allows us to position ourselves in an excellent way on a spherical surface. These coordinates can be presented in a sexagesimal system as degrees, minutes and seconds or simply as decimal degrees, a system that is default in Google Maps.

On the other hand, the UTM coordinates, as we had previously stated, are represented on a projected plane, so the coordinates that we will find are also flat. These are displayed as North and East, both in meters.

The main difference between the two is the surface where they are projected, latitude and longitude on spheres or ellipsoids, while north and east on a plane.

Process how to obtain UTM coordinates Google Maps

How to get UTM coordinates Google Maps+

UTM coordinates represent an advantage when it comes to navigation over cartography, regardless of whether it is digital or physical. The Google Maps system is one of the most important and popular in the world, so Millions of people not only browse, but they get their coordinates from here.

The coordinates it offers Google Maps Both in the application and in its web version, by default they are latitude and longitude, represented in decimal degrees. If you want to convert them directly within the platform itself, I must tell you with great regret that it does not have this possibility at the moment, so it is necessary to do the external form conversion.

Apps to convert latitude and longitude to UTM


An excellent way to do this is through third-party apps, where we enter the coordinates in latitude and longitude and in a few seconds it will automatically calculate the position value of the same point in the UTM system.

Here are some apps to convert Latitude and Longitude to North and East:

  • UTM Geo Map: It is developed by Y2 Tech and has one of the highest scores in apps of this style. It has a very utilitarian and friendly interface, which allows the conversion of coordinates and also allows them to be displayed on a map. It is free and has some advertisements, but nothing exaggerated.
    UTM Geo Map
    UTM Geo Map
    Developer: Y2 Tech
    Price: Free
  • MGRS UTM GPS: Described by its developers as a simple scientific GPS app. It has a calculator for various calculations including coordinate conversion. Its interface is not the most striking, but it is highly functional. Currently, it has more than 100 thousand downloads and a rating of 4.5 stars.
    Developer: Y2 Tech
    Price: Free
  • UTM Converter: As its name indicates, it is an application focused solely on converting coordinates to UTM. It has a fairly minimalist interface, but without losing its charm and functionality. Its download is completely free. It has a graphical interface merged with Google Maps to graphically capture the positioning of a point.
    UTM Converter
    UTM Converter
    Developer: hau vou
    Price: Free
  • Lat/Long & UTM: is another of the apps developed exclusively to execute coordinate transformations to UTM, having the advantage of plotting the results graphically on maps. Developed by Edip Ahmet, it has more than 100 downloads worldwide to date. Its use is quite simple, it does not require great knowledge.
    Lat/Long & UTM
    Lat/Long & UTM
    Developer: Edip Ahmet Taskin
    Price: Free

Procedure to obtain and convert coordinates to UTM

This methodology is quite simple and does not require complex tricks or deep knowledge, we will simply use the available tools. The steps to follow are:

  1. Open your Google Maps application as usual on your mobile device. Remember that this comes pre-installed and is activated with the same Gmail email from your configuration.
  2. Once the map appears, you must press on the screen for a few seconds at a point of interest, it does not have to be previously established. When selecting the point, a red mark will appear, indicating that it has been selected.
  3. At the top of the screen, some numbers will appear on the search bar, these are the latitude and longitude (in that order) of the selected point.
  4. Click on the search bar and the option to choose a place on the map will appear. You also have the option of copying the coordinates and pasting them wherever you want.
  5. Open the coordinate conversion app you have installed.
  6. Paste or transcribe the obtained coordinates. Keep in mind that it is important that you do it in the proper order, latitude and longitude where they go, keeping the positive or negative sign of each one. Android
  7. Choose the option to transform to UTM. Here you will have the projected coordinates in the flat system, being able to copy it or take it to where you want to save it.

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