How do you convert bearings to position?

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How do you convert bearings to position?

Postby JVC » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:29 am

How do you convert N67degrees 53' 20" E to a longitude and latitude position?

I have a boundary survey from 1972 and would like to locate the points with a GPS unit.
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Re: How do you convert bearings to position?

Postby Ken Chevy » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:25 pm

JVC wrote:How do you convert N67degrees 53' 20" E to a longitude and latitude position?

I have a boundary survey from 1972 and would like to locate the points with a GPS unit.


You are missing the 1st set of numbers, the set that ends with N. which would tell us how far north you are from the equator. The 67 degrees 53 minutes, 20 seconds East = 67.88889E which is maybe Afghanistan or Pakistan or north or south of there, but on that longitude. Doesn't your GPS unit have a button you just push to convert from decimal to HMS and vice versa?
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Re: How do you convert bearings to position?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:06 pm

Ken Chevy wrote:
JVC wrote:How do you convert N67degrees 53' 20" E to a longitude and latitude position?

I have a boundary survey from 1972 and would like to locate the points with a GPS unit.


You are missing the 1st set of numbers, the set that ends with N. which would tell us how far north you are from the equator. The 67 degrees 53 minutes, 20 seconds East = 67.88889E which is maybe Afghanistan or Pakistan or north or south of there, but on that longitude. Doesn't your GPS unit have a button you just push to convert from decimal to HMS and vice versa?


That it simply a bearing angle. A boundary survey describes a property as a bunch of straight lines (and occasionally arcs of circles) that have a length and a bearing angle. In the US, the length is usually to the hundredth of a foot, and the bearing angle is relative to true north, not magnetic north, so it is a little different than a compass bearing.

So this property line bears 67.8889 degrees east of true north.

Unfortunately, vs the original question, the bounds of a property are described using plane geometry and plane surveying techniques, and that property could be "shifted" to any point on the face of the earth without changing. The complete property description should position the property relative to some local geodetic markers that can be described in latitude/longitude, but it may require some assistance from a surveyor to find the information. It would then take considerable math to run a traverse from the marker to the property, then around the property, and convert all the data to lat/long.

In much of the US Midwest, the land was surveyed into townships 6 miles square, section and half section markers were placed at (roughly) half mile intervals. Property is usually described relative to this framework. However,, the original surveys and marker placements in the 1800's weren't all that accurate. The physical markers take precedent and you need to fund a modern lat/long of where they are at. A lot of Canada is roughly similar, but I know less about it.
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Postby Ken Chevy » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:49 pm

Ah, for me that makes sense now. Somewhere in my memory I remember figures like that, having NOTHING to do with Lat/Lon numbers. It is exactly like you say, a line running so many HMS from true north. Thanks for such a good answer.
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