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A set of coordinates

Coordinates are a pair of numbers used to define a location. Geocaching uses coordinates of Latitude and Longitude (Lat/Lon) to describe the location of the cache or its waypoints.


There are three 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
  • 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.