Finding and Converting Latitude and Longitude


Over the IARU weekend, during the lousy band conditions in the middle of the day here in the Pacific Northwest, I did one of my rabbit hole excursions. I wanted to find the exact latitude and longitude of my house and enter that into the ham programs (like WriteLog, DX Atlas, and W6EL Propagation) I use during a contest.


I’m close, of course. And in the grand scheme of things, getting more precise about the location in ham radio than zip code and Grid Square is a bit pointless. But, it bothered me.

I did that “Google thing” and was happy enough with the answers to pass them along.

Finding your exact latitude and longitude

In Google Maps, open the application and then insert the physical address into the search bar. Let’s say I’m going to put in a building address in downtown Seattle as my address: 1100 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Here’s how it shows in Google Maps:


Click on Search Maps and this address comes up in the center of the map – exactly where we want it to be:


With the address centered, enter the following Java code into your browsers address bar (where is located):


Two critical items here:

First, make sure the semi-colon is there on the end.

Second, replace the quote after prompt( with two apostrophe symbols in a row. When HTML sees this, it converts it to a quote on the web page and you will get an error or no answer. It should look like this (an image):


The result on pressing enter for your browser address bar is a pop up box that looks like this:


The 47 and 122 are your digital latitude and longitude numbers respectively.

Just copy and paste those numbers into your ham program.

Converting digital/latitude and longitude numbers

If you have one number but need the other, there is a conversion site from the FCC. It is the “Degrees, Minutes, Seconds and Decimal Degrees Latitude/Longitude Conversions” site. Take your one set of numbers and put them into the right boxes and the site will give you the other number.

A good rabbit hole to go running down!

Scot, K9JY

  • When I enter the java script I get the folloing error message: We could not understand the location javascript:void(prompt(”,gApplication.getMap().getCenter()));

  • @William Halse – You found out something that I did not know. When I copy and paste the actual code for the location, the post publishes but changes the two asterisks to quotation marks — and invalidates the code.

    I’ve modified the original post so that it includes an image of how the line should look and also added commentary to make sure it gets changed.

    Good catch!

  • I am interested in just getting the latitude and longitude once the address is given. I found some sample javascript function like the one below that plot an address. Do you have any sample javascript that will take an address and return the latitude and longitude.


    function showAddress(address) {
    if (geocoder) {
    function(point) {
    if (!point) {
    alert(address + ” not found”);
    } else {
    map.setCenter(point, 13);
    var marker = new GMarker(point);

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}