Maps and Coordinates
November 26, 2004 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Maps and coordinates. I'm testing out the feasibility of using maps on my website. The website providing the maps asks for particular types of coordinates yet I can't seem to find a way of working out what my coordinates should be. This could be complicated to explain so... [more inside]

So I want to use to map my users coordinates and to show their nearest neighbours

In the docs they give this example of usable coordinates:
Location in World coordinates (stated in minutes).
Example Mapsolute HQ in Eschborn:
wx=514.227597291174&wy= 3007.8407347798347

So my plan is that if my users can get their coordinates from somewhere then they can just enter X and Y into their profile and we're laughing.

The problem is I can't work out where they can get these coordinates from. For example if I find an address on Multimap it gives me the following coordinates:
X: 530400m
Y: 184800m
Lat: 51:32:49N (51.5471)
Lon: 0:07:13W (-0.1202)

Which is great, except it seems to bear no relation to what Map24 wants and any version of those numbers that I put in ends up going straight into the sea. Splash.

So my questions are:
Can I easily convert those coordinates?
Can I find a better source for providing my users with coordinates that'll be Map24 compatible?
Is there a better all round solution somewhere else?
posted by dodgygeezer to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
From the user's point of view, the easiest way to locate yourself in space is by post/zip code. I'd look for a way to convert from postcode to [co-ord system of choice]. It's likely you'll have to pay for this data.

I haven't used the service you're talking about, but I worked with a few years ago which had lots of handy functions for converting between co-ordinate systems, but it's not cheap.

Without seeing the specs, my guess is that in the first system values are expressed as [minutes].[decimal parts of a minute], and in the second as [degrees] [minutes] [seconds]. Google might help with converting to/from various different types of lat/long.
posted by Leon at 7:42 AM on November 26, 2004

Use this to get the location in lat/lon: Heavens Above

Regarding map24, world coords might be just the position of the viewport and its position is based on some sort of internal computations. If you store these locations it is better to use a well defined system such as Lat/Lon so that you do not depend on a particular application.
posted by MzB at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2004

Best answer: The coördinates in minutes are just the longitude and latitude in decimal degrees multiplied by 60. Eschborn, e.g., is at 8.55W 50.13N.
posted by nicwolff at 8:54 AM on November 26, 2004

This is possible to do by IP as well. A friend of mine did it, but I'm not really sure how. Problem is, it's not always accurate.
posted by BradNelson at 9:34 AM on November 26, 2004

Response by poster: OK, this looks very cool then.

All the users need to do is enter their latitude and longtitude using either multimap or Heaven's Above (handy link - thanks!) then when I want to link to the map page I can just times those numbers by 60 and call the link.

Leon: There is an option to use addresses and postcodes instead (and it works pretty well) but I'd rather not use it as there may be privacy concerns amongst the users.

Thanks everyone!
posted by dodgygeezer at 10:30 AM on November 26, 2004

As per the X and Y coordinates, it looks like they're in UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator).
posted by jimmythefish at 10:03 AM on November 27, 2004

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