Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Convert UTM (Easting, Northing) to Lat-Long Formats

I have a GPS data in UTM coordinates, that is in Easting and Northing. I wanted to convert the UTM coordinates into latitude/longitude format so I could use it for Google Earth. The problem was, it was hard to find the right conversion tool or software online. I only have few coordinate records to convert and a free tool online will be a big help.

The Australian government website ( has good links that always come in handy. These are few of what you find.

- Calculate Bearing & Distance from Latitude & Longitude
- Convert from Latitude & Longitude to UTM coordinates
- Convert UTM (Easting, Northing) to Lat-Long coordinates
- Transformation of Coordinates

The site even gives a downloadable Excel file so you could do the calculations yourself. However, some of the links are limited to Australia alone. I wanted to convert Easting, Northing to Lat-Long coordinates from a U.S. data.

I have read that conversion can also be done using ARC-GIS and Envi software. But I have not tried them yet. If you wanna try the ENVI conversion, go to ENVI Help and search for UTM. It will give you a step by step procedure on how to do it. Also, here is a PDF file on "Converting Shapefiles between UTM and Lat-Long Formats in ArcView."

If you have a data from UK, I have read that you can use NBGeocalc to convert UTM to and from New Brunswick Stereographic Double projection. But it the software costs $100!

Manifold GIS is another option for conversion. Manifold GIS is Geographic Information System software. Their website is:

After browsing for the right tool online, I finally landed on "Long/lat UTM" free conversion online. Amazing tool indeed! You need to specify the zone for conversion accuracy. The site also gives you a map and other details of the coordinates.

Some other links that might help you:

- Geodetic to Easting/Northing UTM Converter

- Find UTM zone - This utility finds Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) zone and its central meridian for a given geographic coordinate. It takes into account existance of non-standard UTM zones which are used in North Atlantic regions and Norway.

- U.S. Geological Survey UTM Grid Fact Sheet

- Converting Latitude/Longitude to Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) - might be of use to people performing coordinate system or datum transformations.

- GEOTRANS - Geographic Translator software and source code from the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Please leave a comment if you like the post. Or if you know of some other helpful links. Thanks.