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Thread: UTM or Lat/Long

  1. #1

    Question UTM or Lat/Long

    I posted this as a reply on the gear thread, but it's probably better discussed here. If you print your own topo maps from softwear or one of those National geographic kiosks, do you use UTM or Lat/long. And why. I'm a semi retired (what ever that means) Merchant Marine captain and naturally go to Lat/long. But recently ran into a fellow in the woods and we were comparing maps and he strongly suggested I switch to using UTM. Unfortunatly, he wasn't able to explain the advantage. Now sure, I could probably look it up somewhere but I thought I could get some real users advice from some of you guys. Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default

    I like UTM because I can easily estimate distances off a map. It's a straight metric based system, so the numbers on the grid are just meters from a given point. That said, lat/long works pretty well too, and if you need to call in S&R or something, I suspect they would like lat/long for the pilots.

    I'm an engineer and use both english and metric systems. I usually have my GPS set to UTM's. It's a huge advantage for doing survey field work, but not so much for the average hunter IMO. The various UTM "zones" can be confusing if you don't know how they work.

    Yk

  3. #3
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default Either one

    Either coordinate format is easy to use. I am proficient in all formats. The only "one-up" for the Lat Longs is more lat longs are giving in WGS-84. The problem with UTM/MGRS maps is: you have a lot more coordinate formats, which can very the actual location by miles.

    Distances are easy to figure out with lat/longs as well. The whole lat/long system is based off time.

    I use Lat/longs and UTM on my maps that I create. If I use a map from somewhere else I put both on my maps.

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    Default utm/latlong

    I use both. I prefer UTM but with older topos you have to draw the lines in. LT/LON uses more brain cells for me simply because I taught myself w/ UTM first. I have both on my GPS. The main difference is that UTM sees the world spread out and flat and L/L does not on a map.
    UTM though I agree is easier with projecting coordinates on a map.

  5. #5
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    Default utm/latlong

    I use both. I prefer UTM but with older topos you have to draw the lines in. LT/LON uses more brain cells for me simply because I taught myself w/ UTM first. I have both on my GPS. The main difference is that UTM sees the world spread out and flat and L/L does not on a map.
    UTM though I agree is easier with projecting coordinates on a map.

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    All I know is that when I call in LifeGuard or the Troope Helo 1 I use lat/long so they can find me with their GPS. I do this a couple times a year as a member of the local EMS. I spent so much time as a surveyor using lat/long that I will probably never switch to UTM.

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