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justkay
08-13-2011, 04:58 PM
How would someone, comfortable with communicating in terms of latitude and longitude, express these coordinates?

N 32 degrees 59' 24.848"
W 98 degrees 15' 42.1875"

There's no way my character is spitting out all that, is there? What if he just says "North 32 degrees, west 98 degrees," ??? Is that accurate or jibberish?

The MC's are in the woods, at the Botanic Gardens. An elohiym has just flown into the park. This character is part of a military organization, very sophisticated and high tech, that tracks and kills these monsters.

PorterStarrByrd
08-13-2011, 05:15 PM
Depending on what he is looking for it could be enough, but probably isn't. You could probaly drop the seconds without a problem, but no more. If he is looking for something like a mountain or a large factory ... well we are talking about quite a few square miles with only the degrees. where it might be located. Get out a map and see for yourself what that means. If he is looking for a message drop or an indivual person he should (In an urban setting) he should forget the coordinates and go to cross streets or addresses. the partial coordinates would be practically useless.
If it is someone familiar with coodinates, like military etc, he probably needs to get the whole thing out. Most other people are clueless in regard to them. Ask your friends to tell you where they live within five degrees latitude.

In non urban areas, significant landmarks are probably better.

Snick
08-13-2011, 05:49 PM
How would someone, comfortable with communicating in terms of latitude and longitude, express these coordinates?

N 32 degrees 59' 24.848"
W 98 degrees 15' 42.1875"

There's no way my character is spitting out all that, is there? What if he just says "North 32 degrees, west 98 degrees," ??? Is that accurate or jibberish?

The MC's are in the woods, at the Botanic Gardens. An elohiym has just flown into the park. This character is part of a military organization, very sophisticated and high tech, that tracks and kills these monsters.

It depends on how closely he needs to describe the location. One degree of latitude is one nautical mile or about 6000 feet, so one second is about 100 feet. The fractions of a second are pretty useless, but degrees, minutes, and seconds are reasonable.

LJD
08-13-2011, 06:37 PM
My feeling, based on your description of the scene, is that they'd be using UTM coordinates, or grid coordinates of some sort, and not latitude/longitude.

A degree is a very long distance. Certainly just using degrees would be insufficient.

LJD
08-13-2011, 06:55 PM
To give you an idea:

At the latitude you give, the difference between
98deg 15' 42'' and 98deg 15' 43" is about 26 m or 85 ft.

PorterStarrByrd
08-13-2011, 06:59 PM
Excellent math LJD .. that gives a good perspective.

LJD
08-13-2011, 11:27 PM
I didn't actually do the math by hand :)

OP: I work in the resource sector (I have a geology background), and we typically refer to UTM coordinates, not lat-long. There's also some sort of military grid coordinate system, but I don't know anything about it. UTMs are in meters, and you also specify the zone, but zones cover pretty large areas, and I assume the city or general region is already known. UTMs can be calculated directly from lat-long. I assume your characters are carrying some kind of GPS equipment and want to pinpoint the location fairly accurately, and relay that information back to someone else. However, I don't know much about military applications.

Lyra
08-14-2011, 02:20 AM
I hang out with a lot of astrologers and astronomers who like saying these numbers frequently, and as far as saying it goes, it's "Thirty-two north fifty-nine (twenty five seconds)"

justkay
08-14-2011, 05:05 AM
Thank you! Honestly it's the only post that made any sense to me! LOL - I'm a blond and I was born a blond so that makes it worse! :Shrug:

Thanks!

Lyra
08-14-2011, 06:31 AM
I thought you were asking how they'd say it - the others seemed to be answering a different question. Point is that although it might seem counter-intuitive to say the direction after the first number, by doing it this way you separate the degrees from the minutes and it's easier to avoid a misheard number - especially if one number is a single digit. And you identify any seconds so they don't get muddled. Degrees and minutes can be assumed.

Mind you, if a monster was flying at my head, I'd shout "ten o'clock" or equivalent first, so everyone was pointed in vaguely the right direction before they got the co-ordinates. Depends whether they're in vision and how close. (I obviously spend too much time worrying about such things...)