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#8555 - 08/22/02 04:38 PM How do YOU navigate

I'd like to take an informal poll of the forum readers' preferences regarding navigation and use of map coordinates.<br><br>I have always used, and personally prefer, the latitude/longitude system even though I have had some experience using the World Geographic Reference (WGR) favored by the military. I have been on several multinational expeditions where everybody understood and used lat/long coordinates. In those experiences nobody expressed interest or preference in using either the WGR or Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM). Nor do any of my current mates use anything but lat/long, even though most could use any system if they had the relevant map at hand.<br><br>I have looked through some of the maps in my collection and found that:<br>MOST have lat/long coordinates.<br>MANY have lat/long plus UTM overlay<br>SOME have lat/long plus WGR overlay<br>SOME have lat/long ONLY<br>FEW (e.g., tourist maps and area maps) have NO coordinate references<br>SOME (American) have lat/long with UTM plus township/range overlay<br>SOME (e.g., Swiss National Landeskarte) use a unique arcane reference system<br><br>Please respond to this thread by stating your personal preference and some additional information regarding your experience, frequency of need to navigate, military, civilian, nautical, general aviation, etc. I will tabulate the data.<br><br>If you wish to debate the relative merits of your preferred system, please start a new thread.<br><br>I will tabulate the data and report the results.<br><br>Thank you for your participation.<br>Dan

#8556 - 08/22/02 05:06 PM Re: How do YOU navigate
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I prefer UTM over all else. Lat/Lon is a second choice.<br><br>US Army background.

#8557 - 08/22/02 05:44 PM Re: How do YOU navigate
Saunterer Offline
new member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 91
Loc: Kansas City area
I prefer UTM over all for simplicity sake, and have been using it for some time. Just counting meters east and north is surely easier than trying to convert degrees, minutes, and seconds in my head. Secondly I use lat/lon for my non-cartographic friends when geocaching or just general navigation. Plus in my current job, we have to use lat/long for wireless location services.<br><br>I also like Maidenhead for use in my ham radio activiites, but it is not used that often for general navigation.<br><br><br><br>
He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all... Thoreau

#8558 - 08/22/02 06:27 PM Re: How do YOU navigate

lat/long<br>Private Pilot (aviation sectional maps)<br><br>Also, I have been using 7.5 minute quadrangle topographic maps from the US Geographical survey for planning my hiking into the nearby Wildlife Management Area. <br>Its lat/long, but we are talking a scale of 1"=2000' so it really doesnt matter to me in this instance. These things show large rocks, trails or anything else of interest to a person on the ground.

Edited by kf4ebp (08/22/02 07:03 PM)

#8559 - 08/22/02 11:54 PM Re: How do YOU navigate
Ade Offline

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 280
Dan,<br><br>Uh.....slowly. I never was very good at it. <br><br>I prefer UTM, btw. It's what I learned on (military background, Navy first (Seabee), and later, ANG), and really the only one I could lay any claim to "knowing".<br><br>Take care,<br><br>Andy

#8560 - 08/23/02 03:33 AM Re: How do YOU navigate

I use what I know, which is UTM. I have a US Army infantry background, so it's almost a second nature thing. I've never even tried lat/long though..

#8561 - 08/23/02 05:40 AM Re: How do YOU navigate

I use UTM on land, and lat/lon when at sea. The marine charts I have seen have only lat/lon on them, while USGS charts of recent vintage have the nice UTM grid overlay. Older USGS products have the UTM tick marks on the map margins, so you can draw the grid if you like. Only very old USGS maps (vintage WWII) lack the UTM grid. It is standard practice in North American archeology to record site locations using UTM, so this has influenced me rather strongly.<br><br>But basically, I navigate by keeping my eyes open and paying attention to my surroundings.

#8562 - 08/23/02 08:10 AM Re: How do YOU navigate
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 974
Loc: Germany
I prefer UTM, my second choice is lat / long. My background is rescue (technical unit), paramedic. We use MGRS there exclusively.<br>Lately even city maps come with a lat / long grid here.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#8563 - 08/29/02 06:06 PM Re: How do YOU navigate
tfisher Offline

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
I prefer UTM..........Search and Rescue, military background.<br><br>Ted Fisher<br>VCSAR
If you want the job done right call "Tactical Trackers"

#8564 - 09/06/02 04:19 PM Re: How do YOU navigate
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
My formal introduction to charts, compasses and sextants came in the Coast Guard. Then I enjoyed a little orienteering competition. Dawdled so much looking at flowers and clouds I was invariably last. Then I studied archaeology and UTM practiced by much younger grad students than myself. They were better at it, assuming they didn't get lost commuting to the various sites. I try to be at least competent in all systems.

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