How to Find a Property by Coordinates

By Jennifer Spirko

The earth is divided into imaginary gridlines: longitude (north-south) and latitude (east-west). The U.S. National Atlas explains that geographic coordinates pinpoint a location’s position in terms of latitude and longitude expressed as degrees. Because the earth is a circle, it has 360 degrees. Zero degrees latitude is the equator, and zero degrees longitude is the Prime Meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. Geographers subdivide each degree into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds for more precision. The same degree symbol for temperature stands for degree coordinates, with an apostrophe for minutes and a quotation mark as seconds.

Step 1

Determine the coordinates you are trying to find. You may use Google Maps, reference books or government surveys to obtain the coordinates. (See Tips.)

Step 2

Type the coordinates into your mapping app, website or GPS.

Step 3

Instruct the program or device to provide you with directions to the coordinates.

Follow the directions and map to the property.