lat/long designation

Thomas E. Yancey tey7004 at GEOPSUN.TAMU.EDU
Mon Oct 2 11:14:10 CDT 1995

The discussion about recapturing lat/long designations is fascinating, inasmuch
I also have done much work in upgrading locality information on our fossil

My suggestion is that using the UTM metric grid system to designate localities
is considerably superior to using the lat/long system of locality designation.
First, the UTM system uses a 10-base system of measurement rather than a 60-base
system, making the metric grid simpler and easier to understand and apply on a
routine basis. Second, metric grid system overlays are routinely being put on
new USGS maps, and are a basic part of maps for many countries, making
coordinate reading very simple. Third, accuracies to within 100m are easy to
read with the use of a grid overlay and accuracies to within 10m can be achieved
if an exact site has been spotted on that map.

For use with older maps having only grid system tick marks on the sides of the
map, transparent plastic sheets with metric grid overlays can be purchased which
speed up the reading of locality designation.

I recommend using the UTM grid system as the first choice, with a lat/long
designation as a supplement where that has already been determined. With a
conversion program, this could be done automatically. I do not have one, but
expect that a simple conversion program could be written by a computer tech with
little difficulty.

Thomas E. Yancey                                            _______
Department of Geology and Geophysics                       |   |   |
Texas A&M University                                        _  |  _
College Station, TX 77843-3115                             |-| | |||
Voice: 409 845 0643    Fax: 409 845 6162
email: tyancey at
                     ---------------------                      (misquoted from)
Complex problems have simple, straightforward, wrong solutions.  (H.L. Mencken)

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