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Garmin Nuvi57LM - What is the correct format for entering co-ordinates?

Just wondering how others enter N and W co-ordinates. I use the website a lot to get co-ordinates but their N and W format ends with a two digit number whereas the Garmin accepts three digits. I normally just put a zero at the very end but have found this sometimes tries to direct me to somewhere 'off road' - close to the spot I want to go but not exactly.
As an example - N55:55:02 W3:23:03 from the Streetmap site. Should I be entering into the Garmin N055:055:020 and W003:023:030 or N055:055:002 and W003:023:003?

I hope this post makes sense to someone.


  • sussamb 787 Points
    Streetmap also provides decimal degrees alongside the ones you quote, I use those as much easier to enter into a Garmin
  • Boyd 1960 Points
    edited December 2016
    shalebing said:

    have found this sometimes tries to direct me to somewhere 'off road' - close to the spot I want to go but not exactly.

    How close is "close"? It's quite likely that this is just a difference between the OpenStreetMap and Garmin's proprietary map. The fact that your coordinates are only accurate to two decimal places may also be part of the problem.

    I don't think these issues have anything to do with the coordinate format itself, although I agree it's easier to enter decimal degrees.
  • I think you are confused with the fundamentals of latitude and longitude.

    The format you show looks like it is dd:mm:ss or minutes & seconds many leave out the correct degree, minutes & seconds symbols as they are not readily created in most editors.

    The common air and marine format dd mm.mmm is decimal minutes. (airmen and sailors are generally happy with 1 decimal place or 1 nautical mile accuracy or 1852 metres; the 3rd decimal place would be 1.8 metres.)

    The GPS format is dd.mmmmm or decimal degrees (notwithstanding most GPS receivers can be set calculate and display any of the three, internally the GPS uses decimal degrees). BTW the 5th decimal place represents 1.1 metres or a level of accuracy better than commercial GPS receivers can discern.

    There is 90 degrees or 2 digits of latitude from the equator to the pole and there is never a three digit latitude N 55 degrees is above the equator and S would be below.

    There are180 degrees of longitude, so there could be 3 digits in longitude either E or West of Greenwich.

    As there are 60 minutes in a degree this could have your location way out; ie .55 degrees is 33 minutes and 55 minutes is .9166666 degrees. (you can calculate the error)
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