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A user opened up a note saying that a road starts here S57°18105" E40.00' How can I convert it into decimal degrees? it should be a pretty easy conversion but it looks like I'm doing something wrong, as this node should be located west of Albany, NY, but my decimal degrees conversion values send me far from there. Thanks

asked 09 Jan '18, 16:17

Constable's gravatar image

accept rate: 23%


Those coordinates are non-sensical and therefore useless. "South fifty-seven degrees, eighteen thousand one hundred and five seconds, east forty decimal zero zero degrees" makes no sense. Whoever typed them made multiple mistakes, including two wrong hemispheres if it's supposed to point to North America.

(09 Jan '18, 16:50) alester

If it is an OSM note, can you link to it? It might be possible to work something out from the contect.

(09 Jan '18, 17:03) SomeoneElse ♦

@alester, sorry for that, the 18105 was my fault, the coordinates he wrote me were S57°18'05" E40.00'

@SomeoneElse, yeah sure, note number 1256398 After my second message he sent me a private message with the east minutes as well S57°18'05" E40.00'

(09 Jan '18, 17:16) Constable

@Constable it's pretty unlikely that he really means S57°18'05" E40.00' , so maybe try and get the location some other way (e.g. "move the map to the location and copy the browser address bar"). That would at least tell us what hemisphere...

(09 Jan '18, 21:25) SomeoneElse ♦

What about this document I found ? Look at the road crossing where Skyler Lane connects to Prospect Street, I do see the same coordinates. Thanks

(10 Jan '18, 08:30) Constable

Those look like some sort of bearing and distance notation and refer to lines, not points. So it looks like it means that particular line runs at an angle of 57°18'05" east of due south for a distance of 40.00 feet from its starting point.

(10 Jan '18, 09:46) sdoerr
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

Those coordinates are somewhere in the ocean between Africa and Antarctica, so they seem wrong. Albany NY is at approximately 42.65N, 73.75W.

For future reference, here is one online degree-minute-second to decimal degree converter:

permanent link

answered 09 Jan '18, 16:36

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

A web search will show how to do it. But the calculations are fairly simple. There are 60' (minutes) in degree and 60" (seconds) in a minute. S57°18'05" = 57 + 18/60 +5/(60*60) = 57+ 0.3+0.001388 = 57.301388 and E 40.00. OSM also uses minus degrees for locations west of the Greenwich meridian and degrees south of the Equator. so -57.301388 (S) and + 40 (E). This is a park near the where i live if you copy that link and edit with the calculated figures it should work for you.

permanent link

answered 09 Jan '18, 20:25

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 09 Jan '18, 22:07

I guess you didn't view that link? not many roads... :)

(09 Jan '18, 20:40) neuhausr

I did it is under the sea! Constable needs to check his sources.

(09 Jan '18, 20:49) andy mackey

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question asked: 09 Jan '18, 16:17

question was seen: 4,015 times

last updated: 10 Jan '18, 09:46

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum