[Taxacom] Impossible geocodes

Mary Barkworth Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu
Sat Jan 24 15:40:06 CST 2015

My guess is that it is happening. It does not hurt to tell people that they can set their gps to read in decimal degrees. Some users do not know they can (nor that they can change the datum). But that still leaves the existing labels and people entering data who may not know all the variants that exist - or not know how to enter the variants they find into the database used by their institution.

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Alec McClay
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2015 1:05 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Impossible geocodes

It's a vain hope, I know, and there is lots of legacy data out there in every possible format. But can't we decide from here on just to use decimal degrees for latitudes and longitudes? They're just numbers, after all. Why do we have to treat them as being made up of weird multiples of 60 instead of using the decimal format that we use for every other unit? Pounds, shillings and pence are long gone - so should minutes and seconds be.

Alec McClay, Ph.D., P. Biol.

McClay Ecoscience
15 Greenbriar Crescent
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada T8H 1H8

Phone +1 780 464 4962
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Email <mailto:alec.mcclay at shaw.ca>alec.mcclay at shaw.ca or <mailto:biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com>biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com

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