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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Kimberley, BC, Canada.
Posts: 127
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Just wondering if most of you use lat/long or UTM coordinates?

I'm working on a public conservation survey that will involve location marking and am trying to determine what most of the public uses.

Thanks

WBP
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:33 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, woodworking, fishing, reading - to mention a few.
Posts: 82
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I use UTM. I find it much easier.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 08:31 PM
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Location: Victoria, BC
Interest: Love the outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, geocaching, camping, canoeing, and kayaking. Did I say camp
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I use UTM as well. Definitely easier.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 08:56 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Mountain biking, hiking, nature photography, astronomy, music...
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If your study involves a huge area, like the whole province for example, lat/long will be necessary. There are five UTM zones across the province, but lat/long has got it covered in one system. If the study is confined to a small area (ie., only within the Vancouver area) then UTM will be fine. It's best to mark the points in one consistent system. Also, use the NAD83 datum for lat/long or UTM, it's the datum that all the government map websites use, and your coordinates will agree with those that you see on the websites, and on Google Earth for that matter.
When I hike I always use UTM, but that's a completely different situation than collecting data over large areas.
PS,. people usualy have to pay me for advice like this, but it's free for CT
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Kimberley, BC, Canada.
Posts: 127
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Good point magnetite, I usually work in 10, so forget that other areas are out there. I will ask for that info, or a reference point (park, trail etc.) to help piece together which zone the user is in. - Assuming I go the UTM route.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: , BC, Canada.
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Normally I use UTM, but for data storage on ClubTread I use lat/long. As a result, I've switched my GPS over to decimal degrees for convenience.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 10:27 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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quote:Originally posted by whitebark

Good point magnetite, I usually work in 10, so forget that other areas are out there. I will ask for that info, or a reference point (park, trail etc.) to help piece together which zone the user is in. - Assuming I go the UTM route.
If you have Google Earth, click on Tools>Options, and set the coordinate system to Universal Transverse Mercator. When you're in the map window, the UTM zone at the postion of the pointer will display in the lower left corner (10U around here).
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chwk, , Canada.
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I've found that by using UTM, it is MUCH easier to pinpoint your location on a map than with Lat/Long....but I think that was the idea!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 06:40 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Interest: climbing
Posts: 139
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use UTM for smaller areas in a single zone. UTM grid on a NTS 1:50000 scale are 1km.ie 2cm = 1km.and the grids are square. lat/long is use on water navigation
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 07:04 AM
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 275
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I often use UTM, for a number of reasons. First, its a bit easier to make note of than lat/long, the zones are a fair size (6 degrees in longitude), and it's really easy to calculate distances between points (basic trig). Also, the NTS maps are all in UTM coordinates, so it's easy to translate between the two.

That being said, there are other options you may want to look at. With grid systems (such as UTM), there is less error in position the smaller the zones. If your study area is small, you may want to look at a 3TM system or if your study crosses two UTM zones you may want to see if a 10TM system will work for you.

Basically the difference between 3TM, UTM (also known as 6TM) and 10TM are the width (longitude) of each zone: 3, 6, and 10 degrees, respectively.

Do a quick google search to see if any of these options may work for you.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 09:23 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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Building a database of information linked to locations is a completely different thing than navigating. The fact that UTM may be easier or more intuitive for some people to use while hiking or route planning is completely irrelevant here. When you are building a database of locations you MUST use a coordinate system that can be applied to the entire study area, and you must stick with this coordinate system. If you don't do this you will create a lot of work for yourself later. This is why ShadowChaser uses lat/long for storing information on ClubTread; because the system applies to the entire province; the entire world for that matter. There are three UTM zones in southwest BC alone. If the entire study area is within one UTM zone, UTM will be fine; if it isn't use lat/long. It has nothing to do with whether you are on water or land.
I realize that other posts are all made with good intentions, but I consult on these matters on a daily basis and a course I wrote on the subject is taught at BCIT.
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