New Google Maps URLs – Latitude/Longitude in Requests

While the MAP_POSITION section must be formatted in decimal degrees, latitudes and longitudes used in place requests and directions have a lot more leeway in their formatting. For example, suppose we want to specify the point 40°07’30″N, 107°23’06″W. Some of the ways just the longitude portion can be expressed are:

107.385°W
107°23.1’W
107°23’6″W
107°23’6.0″W
107+23+6+W
-107.385
-107+23.1
-107+23’6″

The latitude and longitude directions (N/S and E/W) have to be expressed the same way, but the numeric values don’t. So while this works fine:

40.125N,+107°+23’+6.0″+W

This does not:

40.125N,-107.385

Also, Maps must be able to separate latitude from longitude. In the Western hemisphere this is not a problem, since even if the comma separator is not used, you will either have a N/S letter for latitude or a negative sign to start the longitude. In the eastern hemisphere, however, you must avoid an ambiguous location like this:

40 12 32 16

Maps cannot tell which of the following that was supposed to be:

40°12’N, 32°16’E
40°12’32″N, 16°E
40°N, 12°32’16″E

Anything that allows Maps to figure out where the separation point is will fix this; for example, all of these will work:

40 12, 32 16
40 12 N 32 16 E
40 12.0 32 16
40 12 32° 16
40 12 32 16′

However, unlike with MAP_POSITION, Maps will not be very forgiving with out-of-range values. For example, the following lat/lon:

40.125,-467.385

would be corrected to 40.125,-107.385 if used as part of a MAP_POSITION, but as a place request or directions stop it is not understood (in fact, when I tried it in directions, for some reason Maps placed that point in the North Atlantic Ocean rather than rural Colorado).


Return to New Google Maps URLs introduction

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Google Maps, Online Maps and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s