Coordinates tell you an exact location on Earth. It’s amazing because, with just two sets of numbers, latitude and longitude, you can describe a specific location on this planet. While the numbers are limited to 180, knowing a specific location based on latitude and longitude isn’t easy. This is why maps and global positioning systems are so crucial. Nowadays, maps make it easy to view coordinates and understand that location and what’s around it. You’ll get a literal pinpoint visualization of that location. Amazing, right? Here is how to enter coordinates in Google Maps and other how-to tips to master the art of coordinate mapping.
Latitude and Longitude Defined
In order to learn how to enter coordinates in Google Maps, one must understand the basics of latitude and longitude coordinates. Here is, latitude and longitude defined.
You may be asking, “What is latitude?” According to Wikipedia, “latitude is a coordinate that specifies the north-south position of a point on the surface of the Earth or another celestial body.” In geography, we find coordinate locations based on the vertical lines from both poles. “The circles parallel to the equator are lines of constant latitude, or parallels.”
Now let’s go over: What is longitude? These points correspond to the east and west positioning on the globe. From Wikipedia once more, the “lines of constant longitude” are called “meridians.” The prime meridian marks the separation of the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. “The prime meridian defines 0° longitude; by convention, the International Reference Meridian for the Earth passes near the Royal Observatory in Greenwich […] on the island of Great Britain. Positive longitudes are east of the prime meridian, and negative ones are west.” This is why you will see positive and negative numbers as longitude coordinates.
Now that you understand the definition of latitude and longitude, we can map these coordinates in various ways. In order to properly enter coordinates in Google Maps, the convention dictates that you always enter latitude first, followed by longitude.
How To Plot Latitude and Longitude: Enter Coordinates in Google Maps
Most people already know that Google is a very powerful source of information and is one of the best, if not the best, search engines. Simply typing anything on the search bar, Google can give you an answer and information about your query.
Google is such a powerful tool that you can create a map after searching coordinates on its search bar. Here is how to plot latitude and longitude using the famous search engine’s website.
- Use Google’s search engine to find the coordinates: Type a query with the name of the location you desire and the word “coordinates.” Initiate the search.
- Google will return the latitude and longitude coordinates for the location written in Decimal Degrees (DD). More on that below.
If you already have GPS coordinates, you can look for more information about them using Google.
Type or copy and paste your coordinate values into the Google search engine or Google Maps. As mentioned, to ensure that you correctly enter coordinates in Google Maps and Google Search, first enter the latitude value followed by the longitude, and separate them with a comma. For example, “48.85840, 2.29449” returns a location for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Click on the Google Search result map image to view the location and additional information through Google Maps.
Find a Location on Map Using Latitude and Longitude
Finding locations on physical maps differs from using a computer program or app. Once you have a paper map or globe with numbered meridians and parallels, you can estimate the location of coordinate points. Once you locate the corresponding latitude and longitude lines, follow them until they meet up to find the coordinates.
In order to find an exact location on a map using latitude and longitude, go straight to the source: Google Maps. Google Maps is great because it is interactive and lets you do many things. Map the distance between two coordinates and find directions using your preferred transportation. Moreover, you can even save shared URL links of your coordinate maps for quick access.
As stated above, you can enter coordinates in Google Maps to find the location of any mysterious number values you may have on hand. There are many ways to format coords, so let’s review the most conventional ways.
Obtaining Coordinates: Search Map Using Latitude and Longitude
What if you don’t have the coordinates for a specific location but want to find out? Here is how to search maps using latitude and longitude for specific locations.
Head back to Google Maps and search the map for the location you’re after. Try typing the location in the search bar, or scroll around the map to the desired area.
When you come upon the location on the map where you would like to save its coordinates, simply right-click on the spot. A window shares the decimal format coordinates of the location you right-clicked on the map. By clicking again on the lat/long coordinates, you copy the numbers so you can add them to a spreadsheet or anywhere else to save for later.
Google Maps also gives you options to get directions to or from that location, discover what is nearby or measure distance. You can also report an issue or request that they add your business or a place to that location.
Now that you know how to enter coordinates in Google Maps by finding a location and right-clicking, let’s review more tips to plot those points and create maps.
How To Enter Coordinates in Google Maps to Map Multiple Locations
Knowing how to enter coordinates in Google Maps is relatively easy and takes only four steps:
- Copy your latitude and longitude values.
- Open Google Maps on your computer or through the Google Maps app.
- Paste your coordinates into the top search bar, click the search button, or hit enter on your keyboard.
- A map pin with your coordinate location will automatically appear on the map.
Once your coordinates are mapped, you can read more about the area, save this location, find directions, or share this spot with someone else. Once you see the location of one set of coordinates, copy and paste another to learn about its location.
If you want to map multiple locations onto the same map, go to Google My Maps. This is where you can create a custom Google Map. There are two ways to enter coordinates in Google Maps’ My Maps. Add them one at a time by pasting your coordinates into the top search bar and adding them to your map, or import your data using a spreadsheet. Use a CSV file, a KML file, or a spreadsheet from your computer or mobile device.
Google My Maps Alternative: Mapize
When plotting one location, knowing how to enter coordinates in Google Maps is an easy skill. But it’s much harder to map hundreds, if not thousands, of coordinates. There is a Google Maps API, but mapping so many coordinates one by one is too difficult and time-consuming.
Mapize is a Google My Maps alternative that makes it shockingly easy to make a map online with its unique mapping tool. All you have to do is create a spreadsheet of your mapping data, paste it into our location data box, and your map will be created. Easy as that!
Map Using Latitude and Longitude With Mapize
Mapize saves you the time and stress you would have otherwise gone through entering coordinates in Google Maps. Here is how to map using latitude and longitude with Mapize.
To create a map using latitude and longitude, copy the data from your Excel, or Google Sheets file and paste it into the right-side window of Mapize’s map-making tool. Or, try these two other ways. You can select your file after clicking the “Select a File” button, or you can easily drag and drop the file containing your data set into the left side window.
The latitude and longitude can be in separate columns or in one column. Just ensure they are separated by a comma if together.
After inputting your data, click “Create Map.” You will then be asked to geo-decode and customize your map depending on your needs. Click on “Save Map + Continue.” The last step would be to add a title and the email address where you want to receive the unique link to your map. This includes the shortcode — should you want to embed the map to other websites.
You can also add some notes and select the method of saving, whether it’s Public, Unlisted or Password Protected. Click on “Save Map” to complete the process. You can then view and share it, embed it into your website, and update it easily.
How To Map Latitude and Longitude Using Mapize Formatting Tips
Now you know how to map latitude and longitude using the Mapize website, here are a few formatting tips to ensure your points are positioned correctly. Note: These tips are also helpful to enter coordinates in Google Maps and My Maps.
- Your latitude coordinates should come first before your longitude coordinates.
- Your latitude coordinate should be between -90 and 90, and your longitude coordinate should be between -180 and 180.
- Use the degree symbol instead of “d,” or leave it out entirely.
- Use periods (.) as decimals, not commas.
- Incorrect format: 41,40338, 2,17403.
- Correct format: 41.40338, 2.17403.
Wrapping Up How To Enter Coordinates in Google Maps
Now you know how to enter coordinates in Google Maps and how to utilize Mapize to create maps with any coordinates you come across.
You will be surprised by how often coordinates are listed in various places. GPS shows the coordinates of a location, but people often overlook this because the GPS takes care of everything for you. Websites that talk about places will often show coordinates as well. We hope this guide provides insights into reading and translating these values into interactive maps.
If you want to create your first map with Mapize today, take a look and get started for free.