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Geodesic coordinates

  • To: Distribution list of the IUCr COMCIFS Core Dictionary Maintenance Group <coredmg@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Geodesic coordinates
  • From: Howard Flack <crystal@flack.ch>
  • Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2004 16:50:19 +0200
  • In-reply-to: <408D320B.8010209@mcmaster.ca>
  • References: <408D320B.8010209@mcmaster.ca>
For the ever increasing number of users of GPS systems, I suggest that 
something like the following should be considered for inclusion in the 
CIF core dictionary.


Until the era of GPS there were very many locally based coordinate 
systems. Nowadays for terrestial, marine and aircraft navigation it is 
almost always coordinates based on the WGS84 geodesic datum with the 
mean position of the cross wires of the Airy telescope at Greenwich, 
England being taking as the prime meridean.

One finds the numeric values of the above coordinates given in a variety 
of formats:
   Whole degrees with decimal fractions of a degree following
     the decimal point or comma
   Whole degrees and whole minutes with decimal fractions of a minute
   Whole degrees, whole minutes and whole seconds with decimal
     fractions of a second.

The longitude is given:
   either as a positive number followed by N (Northern hemisphere) or S 
(Southern hemisphere)
   or a positive number (northern hemisphere) or negative number 
(southern hemisphere)

The latitude is done likewise with E/W or positive and negative numbers.


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