How to Convert Coordinates From UTM to Normal on a GPS

How to Convert Coordinates From UTM to Normal on a GPS thumbnail
Coordinates units can be changed on a GPS device.

Many Global Positioning System receivers can show positions in normal degrees, or in Universal Transverse Mercator units, known as UTM. Some GPS devices can also show Military MGRS (Standard), MGRS (Standard + 10), Map Fix, Loran TD, British, Irish, Finnish, German, New Zealand, Swedish, Swiss, Taiwan and Greek grids. UTMs are shown on USGS topographic maps. Degrees are shown in degrees, minutes and thousandths of a minute. They can also be shown in degrees, minutes and seconds. Local units like "British" are used in the local country only. Converting coordinates is accomplished through settings on a GPS.


    • 1

      Press "Menu," "Setup" or similar, and use the arrow keys or multi-selector to choose "Coordinate System" or similar. Sometimes "Coordinate System" can be part of the "Units" menu item.

    • 2

      Use the arrow buttons to scroll through to the units that you would like to use. If "UTM" is highlighted, scroll to one of the other normal settings, like "Degrees, Minutes, Seconds."

    • 3

      Obtain a fix by scrolling to the "Map" screen, and your co-ordinates will be shown in normal degrees, rather than UTM units.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most country-specific units, like British, will only work when you are obtaining a satellite fix in the country in which the units are used. Your position also determines the type of MGRS military grid used if you select "MGRS."

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