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A set of coordinates

Coordinates are a set of numbers, Latitude and Longitude, used to define a location, or waypoint.


There are four commonly used formats for coordinates:

  • DDD° MM.mmm' - Degrees and decimal minutes - used in geocaching
  • DDD° MM'SS" - Degrees, minutes and seconds - used in general naviation, particularly nautical navigation
  • +/-DDD.dddd° - Decimal degrees, with North and East being positive, S and W negative.
  • UTM - Universal Transverse Mercator - UTM would be a better system to use for geocaching, because it's more accurate and, being based on the metric system, it's better suited to terrestial applications. However, even though lists UTM as well as Lat/Lon, very few cachers or waypoint management programs seem to use it.


Coordinates are based on a datum. Geocache listings use the WGS84 datum, and your GPS needs to be set to this.