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An Introductory Guide for Scientists and Engineers

Joe S. Depner First edition: 2008 Jun 02 This edition: 2010 Aug 12

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid System and Topographic Maps

Copyright. Copyright c 2008 2010 Joe S. Depner. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to share this material for noncommercial educational purposes, but only in its entirety and without additions or alterations. Reproduction for any other use, including commercial use, is prohibited without written permission from the author. Disclaimer. This document has not been peer reviewed. The information presented here may contain errors and/or inaccuracies, and may be unsuitable for some purposes. The author makes no warranty regarding the correctness, accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, of the information. The author assumes no liability for damages, whether direct or indirect, caused by the use or misuse of the information. Contact Information. The author has provided this document as a public service. You can help improve its quality by reporting errors and suggesting changes. If you have comments or questions about this document, please contact the author via e-mail at the address below: Joe S. Depner joe@depnerphoto.com Constructive criticisms concerning any aspect (technical content, presentation, mode of distribution, etc.) of this document are welcome. Suggested Citation. The following example shows the information that should be included in every bibliographic citation of this document: Depner, J.S. 2010 Aug 12 edition. The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid System and Topographic Maps. Joe Depner Photography (http://www.depnerphoto. com). This example uses one particular citation style; other styles are acceptable. Statement on Commercial Endorsement. This document may mention commercial entities (e.g., names of brands, businesses, and products). The author has not entered into any agreement to receive compensation of any kind for mentioning or recommending commercial entities in this document. The mention of any commercial entity in this document is purely for information purposes and does not constitute endorsement by the author. Acknowledgments. The author thanks the librarians at Spokane Public Library in Spokane, Washington for their help in acquiring some of the reference materials that were used to compile this document.

Contents
Preface Abbreviations and Symbols 1 Introduction 1.1 Knowledge Prerequisites . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 History of the UTM Grid System . . . . . . 1.3.1 About Map Projections . . . . . . . 1.3.2 The Mercator Projection . . . . . . 1.3.3 The Transverse Mercator Projection 1.3.4 A Universal System . . . . . . . . . ix xi 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 7 7 7 7 7 11 14 17 18 19 19 21 22 22 25 26 29 29 29 29 31 35 35 36

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2 The UTM Grid 2.1 Area of Denition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Longitude and Latitude Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.1 Longitude Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.2 Latitude Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.3 Zone Specication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.4 Irregular Longitude Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.5 Points on Zone Boundaries . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Easting and Northing Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.1 Easting Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.2 Northing Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3.3 Easting and Northing Coordinate Specications 2.3.4 Coordinate Gridlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 UTM Coordinate Specications . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5 Map Projections, Datums, and the Graticule . . . . . 2.6 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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3 The UTM Grid and USGS Topographic Maps 3.1 Map Elements Supporting Use of the UTM Grid . . . . 3.1.1 Horizontal Datum Identier . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1.2 UTM Longitude Zone Identier . . . . . . . . . . 3.1.3 UTM Grid Tick Marks and Coordinate Labels . 3.1.4 UTM Grid Declination Information . . . . . . . . 3.1.5 UTM Gridlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 Using Topographic Maps Without Preprinted Gridlines iii

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iv 3.2.1 Visual Estimation of Gridline Positions . . . . . . . . 3.2.2 Overlaying a UTM Grid Transparency . . . . . . . . . 3.2.3 Drawing UTM Gridlines on Maps . . . . . . . . . . . Determining the UTM Coordinates of a Point on a Map . . . 3.3.1 Basic Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.2 Measuring Projected Easting and Northing Distances Plotting a Point with Known UTM Coordinates on a Map . . Software for Using the UTM Grid with Topographic Maps . . Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 38 39 40 40 43 47 51 51 53 53 53 54 58 58 59 59 61 64 67 67 68 70 73 73 74 75 75 75 76 76 76 76 79 79 79 80 80 81

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3.4 3.5 3.6

4 Horizontal Distance and Bearing Determination 4.1 Points in the Same UTM Longitude Zone and Hemisphere . . . 4.1.1 Measurement Using a Paper Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1.2 Calculation Using Plane Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2 Points Not in the Same UTM Longitude Zone and Hemisphere 4.2.1 Spherical Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.2 Ellipsoidal Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References Appendices

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A Approximate Ranges for UTM Easting Coordinates A.1 Crude Approximation, for Nonspecic Latitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.2 Rened Approximation, for Nonspecic Latitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.3 Crude Approximation, for Specic Latitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B Approximate Ranges for UTM Northing Coordinates B.1 Northern Hemisphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B.2 Southern Hemisphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Gridline C.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.2 Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Fully Displayed Gridline C.2.1 Direct Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.2.2 Indirect Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.2.3 Combined Method for Measuring Easting and Northing . . C.3 Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Marked-only Gridline . . D Obtaining an Appropriate USGS Topographic Map D.1 Basic Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D.2 Resources for Identifying Relevant Topographic Maps D.3 Selecting an Appropriate Map Scale . . . . . . . . . . D.4 Acquiring USGS Topographic Maps . . . . . . . . . . D.5 Verifying the Area of Coverage . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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List of Tables
1 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 4.1 4.2 Examples Illustrating Two Conventions for Grouping Digits . . . . . . . . . . . . UTM Longitude Zones Spanning the U.S. . . . . . . . . . UTM Latitude Zones Spanning the U.S. . . . . . . . . . . Minimum and Maximum UTM Easting Coordinates . . . Minimum and Maximum UTM Northing Coordinates . . Summary of UTM Map Projections and Local Coordinate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x 11 14 19 21 27 55 57 69 70

Data for Distance and Bearing Calculation Example 1st of 2 . . . . . . . . . . . Data for Distance and Bearing Calculation Example 2nd of 2 . . . . . . . . . .

A.1 Output from NGS Utility, for NAD 83 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A.2 Output from NGS Utility, for NAD 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

vi

CONTENTS

List of Figures
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Area of Denition for UTM Grid System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regular UTM Longitude Zones Equatorial Aspect . . . . . . . . Regular UTM Longitude Zones Oblique Aspect . . . . . . . . . . UTM Latitude Zones Equatorial Aspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UTM Latitude Zones Oblique Aspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Global Distribution of UTM Longitude Zones and Latitude Zones . Regular UTM Longitude Zone in Northern Hemisphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 9 10 12 13 16 20 30 30 37 43 45 46 48 49

UTM Grid Information Older Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UTM Grid Information Newer Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Basic Corner Ruler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Using a Corner Ruler with a Topographic Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Using a Corner Ruler to Measure UTM Coordinates on a Map 1st of 4 . Using a Corner Ruler to Measure UTM Coordinates on a Map 2nd of 4 Using a Corner Ruler to Measure UTM Coordinates on a Map 3rd of 4 . Using a Corner Ruler to Measure UTM Coordinates on a Map 4th of 4 .

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viii

Preface
This guide provides a comprehensive introduction to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid system (also called the UTM coordinate system or the GPS grid system) and its use with topographic maps. The intended audience is primarily scientists and engineers. It assumes the reader has basic knowledge of the following: spatial coordinate systems, including Cartesian (rectangular) and geodetic (geographic) coordinate systems, general cartographic principles, and topographic maps. Section 1.1 (Knowledge Prerequisites) gives a more detailed list of the prerequisite subjects. Much information about the UTM grid system is available in many forms, including books, reports, articles, and websites. These range from the most basic, which assume little knowledge of mapping and navigation, to the advanced, which assume specialized knowledge in one or more subelds of geomatics (e.g., analytical cartography, geodesy, geographic information systems, global positioning system (GPS)). This guide takes a middle path. It provides more depth than the most basic materials, without requiring as much specialized knowledge as the advanced materials. It attempts to make explicit much of the information thats implicit in some of the more terse references on the subject, such as Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) [1989]. This guide is intended primarily, but not exclusively, for civilian readers in the United States (U.S.). For instance, it discusses only those topographic maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). However, much of the material presented here, such as the basic description of the UTM grid system, is applicable worldwide. Additionally, the discussion of topographic maps likely applies, to some extent, to topographic maps produced by other agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Defense) and to maps produced in other countries. Numerous resources are available for working with the UTM grid system and topographic maps. These range from the technologically primitive (e.g., paper map, straightedge, corner ruler) to the technologically advanced (computer and software, digital dataset, worldwide web, GPS). The current trend is toward the increased use of advanced resources. However, certain fundamental concepts underlie the competent use of even the most primitive resources, and such concepts can be explained quite naturally in terms of paper maps, rulers, and plane geometry. In contrast, explanations in terms of more advanced resources are likely to suer from the distractions imposed by the complexities of the particular technologies, and to be less universally applicable. For these reasons, and not because of any anti-technology bias, Ive formulated my explanations primarily in terms of map and straightedge rather than computer and worldwide web. Numerous examples are included to illustrate and reinforce the ideas presented here. ix

PREFACE

Table 1: Examples Illustrating Two Conventions for Grouping Digits Other U.S. Documents 8, 861 56, 774.0 4, 936.2005 9, 385.70323 8, 800, 512 This Document 8861 56 774.0 4936.2005 9385.703 23 8 800 512

In an attempt to appeal to an international audience, this document generally follows the convention recommended by Taylor [1995] for the grouping of digits: Because the comma is widely used as the decimal marker outside the United States, it should not be used to separate digits into groups of three. Instead, digits should be separated into groups of three, counting from the decimal marker towards the left and right, by the use of a thin, xed space. However, this practice is not usually followed for numbers having only four digits on either side of the decimal marker except when uniformity in a table is desired. This convention eliminates potential confusion about interpretation of commas, without sacricing readability of long numeric strings. A period serves as the decimal marker (point). Table 1 gives examples. This convention conforms to the recommendations of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) [IUPAC, 2006]. A dierent convention is followed when listing the formal UTM coordinate specication of one or more points. In that case, no commas or spaces are used. See Chapter 2 for details.

Abbreviations and Symbols


Symbol a arccos arcsin arctan b CI cm cm Co. cos D DD DMA DOI DRG E E. E-gridline FGDC ft Description Length of major semi-axis (semimajor axis) of ellipsoid Inverse cosine function Inverse sine function Inverse tangent function Length of minor semi-axis (semiminor axis) of ellipsoid Contour interval Centimeter(s) Central meridian Company Cosine function Distance Degree(s) of arc Defense Mapping Agency (U.S.) Digital object identier Digital raster graphic Easting coordinate identier East Easting gridline Federal Geographic Data Committee (U.S.) Foot (feet)

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xii

ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS

List of Abbreviations and Symbols (continued)


Symbol GN GOI GPO GPS hemis. in. IUGG IUPAC km lat. lon. m MGRS MM mm MN N N. NAD 27 NAD 83 NATO N-gridline NGS NIMA NIST Description Grid north Gridline of interest Government Printing Oce Global Positioning System Hemisphere Inch(es) International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Kilometer(s) Latitude Longitude Meter(s) Military Grid Reference System (U.S.) Minute(s) of arc Millimeter(s) Magnetic north Northing coordinate identier North North American Datum of 1927 North American Datum of 1983 North Atlantic Treaty Organization Northing gridline National Geodetic Survey (U.S.) National Imagery and Mapping Agency (U.S.) National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.)

ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS

xiii

List of Abbreviations and Symbols (continued)


Symbol NOAA NOS OMNR PDF PLSS POI r rad S S. SI SS sin SPCS tan u UPS URI US, U.S. USC&GS USGS USNG UTM W. WA Description National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S.) National Ocean Service (U.S.) Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada) Portable Document Format Public Land Survey System (U.S.) point of interest Radius of Earth Radian(s) of arc Length of arc on the surface of the ellipsoid South International System of Units Second(s) of arc Sine function State Plane Coordinate System (U.S.) Tangent function Map scale Universal Polar Stereographic Worldwide-web uniform resource indicator United States United States Coast and Geodetic Survey United States Geological Survey United States National Grid Universal Transverse Mercator West Washington State (U.S.)

xiv

ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS

List of Abbreviations and Symbols (continued)


Symbol WGS 84 x xcm xEgridline xPOI x xmap y yNgridline yPOI y ymap :

Description World Geodetic System of 1984 UTM easting coordinate UTM easting coordinate of central meridian UTM easting coordinate of UTM easting gridline UTM easting coordinate of point of interest Projected easting distance (as horizontal ground distance) Projected easting distance (as map distance) UTM northing coordinate UTM northing coordinate of UTM northing gridline UTM northing coordinate of point of interest Projected northing distance (as horizontal ground distance) Projected northing distance (as map distance) Bearing (angle) Latitude coordinate (angle) Longitude coordinate (angle) The mathematical constant, = 3.14159265 . . . (colon separating two integers) Numerical ratio Degree(s) of arc Minute(s) of arc

Chapter 1

Introduction
1.1 Knowledge Prerequisites

To get the maximum benet from this document, readers should have a basic familiarity with the topics and concepts listed in the following paragraphs. Each paragraph corresponds to a main topic, which is given by the paragraph heading. Keywords corresponding to associated subtopics, concepts, and terms follow in alphabetical order. Spatial coordinate systems coordinate axes, coordinate grid, coordinate grid tick mark, coordinate numerical values and units, coordinate origin, coordinate specication, orthogonal coordinates, orthogonal curvilinear coordinates, rectilinear coordinates, spatial coordinates Cartesian coordinate systems abscissa, Cartesian coordinates, distance coordinates, easting (or x) coordinate, horizontal coordinate, northing (or y) coordinate, ordered pair, ordered triplet, ordinate, vertical (or z) coordinate Geodetic/geographic coordinate systems angle, angle coordinates, degrees of arc, equator, geodetic coordinates, geographic coordinates, globe, graticule, great circle, great-circle distance, Greenwich Meridian, hemispheres, International Date Line, latitude, latitude lines (parallels), longitude, longitude lines (meridians), minutes of arc, polar regions, pole, Prime Meridian, radians, seconds of arc, small circle General cartographic principles direction, distance, explanatory material, explanatory text, horizontal datum, index map, labels, legend, locator map, map border, map collar, map sheet, map-sheet margin, neatline, orientation indicator, projection information, publication information (publisher name, year, copyright), scale, scale indicator (graphic, numerical, verbal), source note, title and subtitles, vertical datum Topographic maps contour interval (CI), CI indicator, contour lines, contour map, declination diagram, elevation, hypsography, magnetic declination, topographic map, topographic map symbols, topography, USGS 7.5-minute and 15-minute series quadrangles 1

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

1.2

Motivation

Coordinate systems provide eective means of communicating and analyzing information about position. Multiple coordinate systems have been developed for various uses, each with its own particular advantages. To extract the maximum value from data collection and analysis eorts, its important to choose the most appropriate coordinate system for the particular situation. Generally this requires knowing the following about coordinate systems: their denitions and basic characteristics; their strengths and weaknesses; which ones are best suited to particular applications; and how to convert coordinate data for one system to coordinate data for another system. The UTM grid system has advantages over other coordinate systems. For instance, unlike State Plane Coordinate Systems (SPCSs), which are dened over relatively small regions, the UTM grid system is dened worldwide exclusive of the polar regions. Cole [1977] and Grubb and Eakle [1988] summarize some of the advantages of the UTM grid system relative to other existing coordinate systems. The UTM grid system is conceptually simple to use, eectively requiring one to apply a local Cartesian (xy) coordinate system. This makes it easier to learn and more convenient to use than, say, the Public Land Survey System (PLSS; also sometimes referred to as the SectionTownship-Range System, or the Cadastral System). In the U.S., both military and civilian government agencies use what amount to extended forms of the UTM grid system for georeferencing. Hence, learning the UTM grid system is a logical rst step toward learning these extended systems. The U.S. militarys worldwide georeferencing system is called the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) [DMA, 1990]. U.S. Air Force [2001] gives a clear description of the MGRS. The MGRS applies two separate coordinate systems to their respective areas of denition. The UTM grid system is dened within the area of the globe between 80 S. lat. and 84 N. lat. A companion system, the Universal Polar Stereographic (UPS) grid system, is dened for the polar regions [DMA, 1989]. The MGRS also overlays additional location elements on the UTM grid. The system used by various local, state, and federal civilian agencies in the U.S. is called the U.S. National Grid (USNG) [Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), 2001]. Like the MGRS, the USNG overlays additional location elements on the UTM grid. Within the U.S., the USNG is interoperable with the MGRS [FGDC, 2001]. In addition to its use for military purposes, the UTM grid system is widely used for surveying, mapping, and land and sea navigation [Langley, 1998]. The UTM grid system is used with the Global Positioning System (GPS), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) projects most of its digital products on the UTM grid [Moore, 1997]. This makes the UTM grid system useful for both non-scientic applications (e.g., outdoor recreation, search-and-rescue operations) and scientic applications (e.g., environmental investigation, natural-resource management).

1.3

History of the UTM Grid System

This section summarizes the historical development of the UTM grid system.

1.3. HISTORY OF THE UTM GRID SYSTEM

1.3.1

About Map Projections

A map projection is a means by which one graphically represents points on the surface of the earth, a three-dimensional surface, as points on a map, a two-dimensional surface. For any given type of map projection, the particular way in which one projects the points is dened by geometrical construction, mathematical equations, or some combination of the two. Dana [2007] and Dean [2007] give good introductions to, and overviews of, map projections. For a comprehensive, technical reference on map projections, see Snyder [1987] or Snyder and Voxland [1989]. In practical applications the globe is approximated by an ellipsoid of revolution for which the equator is a great circle. A further simplication sometimes employed is to approximate the globe as a sphere, a particular type of ellipsoid of revolution. In the special case where the ellipsoid is spherical, the corresponding projections are known as spherical forms; otherwise theyre known as ellipsoidal forms. One family of map projections the cylindrical projections is central to the development of the UTM grid system. Conceptually, a cylindrical projection may be viewed as a projection of points onto an elliptical (in some cases circular) cylinder (the projection cylinder ) which is wrapped around the globe. Two particular subfamilies of cylindrical map projection are especially important in the development of the UTM grid system the Mercator projection and the transverse Mercator projection. Both of these are dened by mathematical equations.

1.3.2

The Mercator Projection

The Flemish cartographer Gerhardus Mercator was the rst to apply the projection that bears his name (i.e., the Mercator projection) when he produced his famous world chart in 1569 [OMNR, 1981]. The Mercator projection can take one of two forms based on the conguration of the projection cylinder. In the tangent form, the cylinder intersects the globe at the equator (i.e., the cylinder is tangent to the ellipsoid at the equator). In the secant form, the cylinder intersects the globe at two parallels of latitude equidistant from the equator (the standard parallels) (i.e., the cylinder is secant to the ellipsoid). The Mercator projection has the following characteristics: - The meridians of longitude are represented by straight lines oriented parallel to one another. For a given longitude increment, the distance between successive meridians is constant. - The parallels of latitude are represented by straight lines oriented parallel to one another. For a given latitude increment, the distance between successive parallels increases with their distance from the equator. - The meridians of longitude are orthogonal to the parallels of latitude. - The scale is the same in all directions. - The scale varies with location. In the tangent form, the projection is true to scale only at the equator. In the secant form, the projection is true to scale only at the two standard parallels. - The scale becomes innite at the poles.

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION - Any small area is represented in its true shape (i.e., the projection is conformal ). - Rhumb lines (i.e., lines of constant azimuth, lines of true constant bearing) appear as straight lines.

This last characteristic makes Mercator charts useful for global navigation. In 1910 the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the National Ocean Service) adopted the Mercator projection as the standard projection for the nautical charts it prepares [Shalowitz, 1964, p. 302].

1.3.3

The Transverse Mercator Projection

Conceptually, the transverse Mercator projection may be viewed as a projection of points onto an elliptical projection cylinder that is wrapped around the globe, with the axis of the cylinder lying in the equatorial plane. Like the Mercator projection, the transverse Mercator projection can take one of two forms based on the conguration of the cylinder. In the tangent form, the cylinder intersects the globe at the central meridian of the mapped area; that is, the cylinder is tangent to the ellipsoid at the central meridian. In the secant form, the cylinder intersects the globe at two arcs (the standard lines) parallel to and equidistant from the central meridian (i.e., the cylinder is secant to the ellipsoid). The transverse Mercator projection has the following characteristics: - The equator, the central meridian, and each meridian 90 degrees (90 ) from the central meridian are represented by straight lines. - Other meridians and parallels are represented by complex curves. - The meridians of longitude are orthogonal to the parallels of latitude. - The scale is the same in all directions. - The scale varies with location. In the tangent form the projection is true to scale only at the central meridian. In the secant form the projection is true to scale only at the standard lines [OMNR, 1981]. - The scale becomes innite 90 from the central meridian. - Both the spherical and ellipsoidal forms of the projection are conformal [Snyder, 1987]. - Rhumb lines dont appear as straight lines. The tangent form maps the central meridian and nearby regions on either side of it with low distortion [Snyder 1987]. Similarly, the secant form maps the two standard lines and the regions near them with low distortion. It follows that if the two standard lines are suciently close together, the region between them will have low distortion. Consequently the transverse Mercator projection typically is applied to long narrow bands. The Alsatian mathematician and cartographer Johann Heinrich Lambert invented the transverse Mercator projection in its spherical form [Snyder, 1987]. In 1772 Lambert presented the projection in his classic work, Beitrge [Lambert, 1772]. a While Lambert only indirectly discussed the ellipsoidal form of the transverse Mercator projection, Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss analyzed it further in 1822 [Snyder, 1987]. In 1912 and 1919 L. Krger published, for the rst time, results for the ellipsoidal form of the transverse u

1.3. HISTORY OF THE UTM GRID SYSTEM

Mercator projection; for this reason it is sometimes called the Gauss-Krger projection [OBrien, u 1986]. Others, including L.P. Lee of New Zealand, also contributed to the development of the ellipsoidal form [Snyder and Voxland, 1989]. In 1936 the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) proposed the universal adoption of the transverse Mercator projection in 6 bands [OMNR, 1981].

1.3.4

A Universal System

After years of consideration, in 1947 the U.S. Army adopted the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid system as their standard for designating rectangular coordinates on large-scale military maps throughout the world [OMNR, 1981; Snyder, 1987]. Dean [2007] describes the context and rationale for the U.S. Armys decision. Dracup [2007] provides details pertinent to the U.S. Armys adoption and implementation of the UTM grid system. The UTM grid system applies the ellipsoidal, secant form of the transverse Mercator projection individually to bands 6 wide (in longitude), with additional modications. These include the following [OMNR, 1981]: a scale reduction of 1 part in 2500 (i.e., a scale factor of 0.9996) at the central meridian, a denition of the area of coverage between 80 S. lat. and 84 N. lat., and the use of metric units (meters). Subsequently, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and many other countries have adopted the UTM grid system as their ocial grid system for military purposes [OMNR, 1981].

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Chapter 2

The UTM Grid


The UTM grid system is, in eect, a hybrid coordinate system. It combines elements of the geographic coordinate system (i.e., longitude and latitude zones dened in terms of the graticule) with numerous, local Cartesian coordinate systems (i.e., easting and northing coordinates within each UTM longitude zone and hemisphere).

2.1

Area of Denition

The UTM grid system is dened over that portion of the earths surface between latitudes 80 S. and 84 N. (Figure 2.1). The UTM grid system isnt dened for the polar regions (i.e., latitudes south of 80 S. and latitudes north of 84 N.).

2.2
2.2.1

Longitude and Latitude Zones


Longitude Zones

The UTM grid divides the earth into 60 contiguous, non-overlapping longitude zones, each one 6 wide (as measured along a parallel). Each longitude zone is bounded on the east and on the west by meridians of longitude (see Figures 2.2 and 2.3). This document will refer to these as the zones bounding meridians. UTM longitude zones are also called grid zones, longitude zones, UTM zones, or zones. Each UTM longitude zone is identied by a one- or two-digit integer. The zones are numbered consecutively, beginning with 1 or 01 at the zone corresponding to 180 W. lon. - 174 W. lon., and increasing as one moves eastward to 60 at the zone corresponding to 174 E. lon. 180 E. lon. Hence, UTM longitude zones 01 through 30 lie in the western hemisphere, while UTM longitude zones 31 through 60 lie in the eastern hemisphere. Consequently, the Prime Meridian (0 lon.) separates UTM longitude zones 30 and 31, while the International Date Line (meridian of 180 lon.) separates UTM longitude zones 60 and 01. Each longitude zone is bounded on the north by the parallel of 84 N. lat. and on the south by the parallel of 80 S. lat. Table 2.1 summarizes the distribution of UTM longitude zones across the U.S.

2.2.2

Latitude Zones

The UTM grid divides the region of the earth that lies between the latitudes of 80 S. and 84 N. into 20 contiguous, non-overlapping latitude zones 10 in each of the northern and southern hemispheres. Each latitude zone is bounded on the north and the south by parallels of latitude. 7

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Figure 2.1: Area of Denition for UTM Grid System

2.2. LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE ZONES

Figure 2.2: Regular UTM Longitude Zones Equatorial Aspect

10

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Figure 2.3: Regular UTM Longitude Zones Oblique Aspect

2.2. LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE ZONES

11

Table 2.1: UTM Longitude Zones Spanning the U.S.

Region

Longitude Range (approximate) 124 46 W. 66 57 W. 172 26 E. 130 00 W. 178 22 W. 154 48 W. 172 26 E. 66 57 W.

Longitude Zones

Number of Zones

Lower 48 Alaska Hawaii

10 - 19 59, 60, and 1 - 9 1-5

10 11 5

Entire U.S.

59, 60, and 1 - 19

21

Notes: (1) Lower 48 designates the 48 conterminous states and the District of Columbia. (2) Entire U.S. designates all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (3) Sources for longitude information: Wikipedia [2007b, c, d]

All of the latitude zones are 8 wide (as measured along a meridian), except the most northerly latitude zone, which is 12 wide (see Figures 2.4 and 2.5). The UTM latitude zones encircle the globe, from the meridian of 180 W. lon. eastward to the meridian of 180 E. lon. Each UTM latitude zone is identied by a single uppercase letter of the Latin alphabet. The latitude zones are lettered consecutively, beginning with C at the southernmost zone (i.e., 80 S. lat. - 72 S. lat.), and progressing alphabetically as one moves northward to zone X (i.e., 72 N. lat. - 84 N. lat.). To minimize the potential for confusion with the numerals 1 and 0, respectively, the letters I and O arent used. Hence, latitude zones C through M, excluding I, lie in the southern hemisphere, while latitude zones N through X, excluding O, lie in the northern hemisphere. The equator separates UTM latitude zones M and N. Table 2.2 summarizes the distribution of UTM latitude zones across the U.S.

2.2.3

Zone Specication

When both the UTM longitude zone and the UTM latitude zone of a point are specied, normally their respective designations are combined into a single alphanumeric string consisting of the following elements, written from left to right in the order listed: the word zone or Zone, a single space, the one- or two-digit numeric designation for the longitude zone, and the single-letter alphabetic designation for the latitude zone.

12

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Figure 2.4: UTM Latitude Zones Equatorial Aspect

2.2. LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE ZONES

13

Figure 2.5: UTM Latitude Zones Oblique Aspect

14

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Table 2.2: UTM Latitude Zones Spanning the U.S. Latitude Range (approximate) 24 31 N. 49 23 N. 51 12 N. 71 23 N. 18 55 N. 28 27 N. 18 55 N. 71 23 N. Latitude Zones R, S, T, and U U, V, and W Q and R Q through W Number of Zones 4 3 2 7

Region Lower 48 Alaska Hawaii Entire U.S.


Notes:

(1) Lower 48 designates the 48 conterminous states and the District of Columbia. (2) Entire U.S. designates all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (3) Sources for latitude information: Wikipedia [2007b, c, d]

Example: Formats for Reporting Combined UTM Longitude/Latitude Zones Problem: Parse each of the following combined UTM longitude/latitude zone designations into its respective UTM longitude zone and UTM latitude zone: Zone 01H (or, equivalently, zone 1H) Zone 17N (or, equivalently, zone 17N) Zone 51P (or, equivalently, zone 51P) Solution: Zone 01H (or, equivalently, zone 1H) designates UTM longitude zone 1, UTM latitude zone H. Zone 17N (or, equivalently, zone 17N) designates UTM longitude zone 17, UTM latitude zone N. Zone 51P (or, equivalently, zone 51P) designates UTM longitude zone 51, UTM latitude zone P.

2.2.4

Irregular Longitude Zones

The scheme described above for dening the boundaries of the UTM longitude and latitude zones is valid everywhere between the latitudes of 80 S. and 84 N., with the exception of the two areas described below [DMA, 1990]. The rst area is on or near the southwest coast of Norway, between latitudes 56 N. and N. (i.e., in UTM latitude zone V). UTM zones 31V and 32V are 3 and 9 wide, respectively, 64 rather than the usual 6 wide. UTM zones 31V and 32V extend from 0 E. lon. to 3 E. lon., and from 3 E. lon. to 12 E. lon., respectively. Normally UTM longitude zones 31 and 32 extend from 0 E. lon. to 6 E. lon., and from 6 E. lon. to 12 E. lon., respectively. The second area is around Svalbard, between latitudes 72 N. and 84 N. (i.e., in UTM

2.2. LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE ZONES

15

latitude zone X). Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, approximately midway between Norway and the North Pole [Central Intelligence Agency, 2007]. UTM zones 31X and 37X are 9 wide, zones 33X and 35X are 12 wide, and zones 32X, 34X, and 36X are undened. Consequently, the four UTM zones 31X, 33X, 35X, and 37X cover the same area that would have been covered by the seven zones 31X to 37X, had these zones been dened on a regular grid. The schematic diagram in Figure 2.6 shows the relative positions of UTM longitude zones and latitude zones.

16

WEST LONGITUDE (degrees) 120 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 90 60 30 0 30 60 90 120 150 56

GREENWICH MERIDIAN

EAST LONGITUDE (degrees) 180 57 58 59 60 84 55X 56X 57X 58X 59X 60X X 72

180

150

84 7X 8X 9X 10X 11X 12X 13X 14X 15X 16X 17X 18X 19X 20X 21X 22X 23X 24X 25X 26X 27X 28X 29X 30X 31X 33X 35X 37X 38X 39X 40X 41X 42X 43X 44X 45X 46X 47X 48X 49X 50X 51X 52X 53X 54X

1X

2X

3X

4X

5X

6X

72 7W 8W 9W 10W 11W 12W 13W 14W 15W 16W 17W 18W 19W 20W 21W 22W 23W 24W 25W 26W 27W 28W 29W 30W 31W 32W 33W 34W 35W 36W 37W 38W 39W 40W 41W 42W 43W 44W 45W 46W 47W 48W 49W 50W 51W 52W 53W 54W 55W 56W 57W 58W 59W 60W W

1W

2W

3W

4W

5W

6W

64 31V 7V 8V 9V 10V 11V 12V 13V 14V 15V 16V 17V 18V 19V 20V 21V 22V 23V 24V 25V 26V 27V 28V 29V 30V 32V 33V 34V 35V 36V 37V 38V 39V 40V 41V 42V 43V 44V 45V 46V 47V 48V 49V 50V 51V 52V 53V 54V 55V 56V 57V 58V 59V 60V V

64

1V

2V

3V

4V

5V

6V

56 7U 8U 9U 10U 11U 12U 13U 14U 15U 16U 17U 18U 19U 20U 21U 22U 23U 24U 25U 26U 27U 28U 29U 30U 31U 32U 33U 34U 35U 36U 37U 38U 39U 40U 41U 42U 43U 44U 45U 46U 47U 48U 49U 50U 51U 52U 53U 54U 55U 56U 57U 58U 59U 60U U

56

1U

2U

3U

4U

5U

6U

48 7T 8T 9T 10T 11T 12T 13T 14T 15T 16T 17T 18T 19T 20T 21T 22T 23T 24T 25T 26T 27T 28T 29T 30T 31T 32T 33T 34T 35T 36T 37T 38T 39T 40T 41T 42T 43T 44T 45T 46T 47T 48T 49T 50T 51T 52T 53T 54T 55T 56T 57T 58T 59T 60T T

48

1T

2T

3T

4T

5T

6T

40 7S 8S 9S 10S 11S 12S 13S 14S 15S 16S 17S 18S 19S 20S 21S 22S 23S 24S 25S 26S 27S 28S 29S 30S 31S 32S 33S 34S 35S 36S 37S 38S 39S 40S 41S 42S 43S 44S 45S 46S 47S 48S 49S 50S 51S 52S 53S 54S 55S 56S 57S 58S 59S 60S S

40

1S

2S

3S

4S

5S

6S

NORTH LATITUDE (degrees)

NORTH LATITUDE (degrees)

32 7R 8R 9R 10R 11R 12R 13R 14R 15R 16R 17R 18R 19R 20R 21R 22R 23R 24R 25R 26R 27R 28R 29R 30R 31R 32R 33R 34R 35R 36R 37R 38R 39R 40R 41R 42R 43R 44R 45R 46R 47R 48R 49R 50R 51R 52R 53R 54R 55R 56R 57R 58R 59R 60R R

32

1R

2R

3R

4R

5R

6R

24 7Q 8Q 9Q 10Q 11Q 12Q 13Q 14Q 15Q 16Q 17Q 18Q 19Q 20Q 21Q 22Q 23Q 24Q 25Q 26Q 27Q 28Q 29Q 30Q 31Q 32Q 33Q 34Q 35Q 36Q 37Q 38Q 39Q 40Q 41Q 42Q 43Q 44Q 45Q 46Q 47Q 48Q 49Q 50Q 51Q 52Q 53Q 54Q 55Q 56Q 57Q 58Q 59Q 60Q Q

24

1Q

2Q

3Q

4Q

5Q

6Q

16 7P 8P 9P 10P 11P 12P 13P 14P 15P 16P 17P 18P 19P 20P 21P 22P 23P 24P 25P 26P 27P 28P 29P 30P 31P 32P 33P 34P 35P 36P 37P 38P 39P 40P 41P 42P 43P 44P 45P 46P 47P 48P 49P 50P 51P 52P 53P 54P 55P 56P 57P 58P 59P 60P P

16

1P

2P

3P

4P

5P

6P

08 7N 8N 9N 10N 11N 12N 13N 14N 15N 16N 17N 18N 19N 20N 21N 22N 23N 24N 25N 26N 27N 28N 29N 30N 31N 32N 33N 34N 35N 36N 37N 38N 39N 40N 41N 42N 43N 44N 45N 46N 47N 48N 49N 50N 51N 52N 53N 54N 55N 56N 57N 58N 59N 60N N

08

1N

2N

3N

4N

5N

6N

EQUATOR

EQUATOR

00 7M 8M 9M 10M 11M 12M 13M 14M 15M 16M 17M 18M 19M 20M 21M 22M 23M 24M 25M 26M 27M 28M 29M 30M 31M 32M 33M 34M 35M 36M 37M 38M 39M 40M 41M 42M 43M 44M 45M 46M 47M 48M 49M 50M 51M 52M 53M 54M 55M 56M 57M 58M 59M 60M M

00

1M

2M

3M

4M

5M

6M

08 7L 8L 9L 10L 11L 12L 13L 14L 15L 16L 17L 18L 19L 20L 21L 22L 23L 24L 25L 26L 27L 28L 29L 30L 31L 32L 33L 34L 35L 36L 37L 38L 39L 40L 41L 42L 43L 44L 45L 46L 47L 48L 49L 50L 51L 52L 53L 54L 55L 56L 57L 58L 59L 60L L

08

1L

2L

3L

4L

5L

6L

16 7K 8K 9K 10K 11K 12K 13K 14K 15K 16K 17K 18K 19K 20K 21K 22K 23K 24K 25K 26K 27K 28K 29K 30K 31K 32K 33K 34K 35K 36K 37K 38K 39K 40K 41K 42K 43K 44K 45K 46K 47K 48K 49K 50K 51K 52K 53K 54K 55K 56K 57K 58K 59K 60K K

16

1K

2K

3K

4K

5K

6K

24 7J 8J 9J 10J 11J 12J 13J 14J 15J 16J 17J 18J 19J 20J 21J 22J 23J 24J 25J 26J 27J 28J 29J 30J 31J 32J 33J 34J 35J 36J 37J 38J 39J 40J 41J 42J 43J 44J 45J 46J 47J 48J 49J 50J 51J 52J 53J 54J 55J 56J 57J 58J 59J 60J J

24

1J

2J

3J

4J

5J

6J

32 7H 8H 9H 10H 11H 12H 13H 14H 15H 16H 17H 18H 19H 20H 21H 22H 23H 24H 25H 26H 27H 28H 29H 30H 31H 32H 33H 34H 35H 36H 37H 38H 39H 40H 41H 42H 43H 44H 45H 46H 47H 48H 49H 50H 51H 52H 53H 54H 55H 56H 57H 58H 59H 60H H

32

1H

2H

3H

4H

5H

6H

40 7G 8G 9G 10G 11G 12G 13G 14G 15G 16G 17G 18G 19G 20G 21G 22G 23G 24G 25G 26G 27G 28G 29G 30G 31G 32G 33G 34G 35G 36G 37G 38G 39G 40G 41G 42G 43G 44G 45G 46G 47G 48G 49G 50G 51G 52G 53G 54G 55G 56G 57G 58G 59G 60G G

40

1G

2G

3G

4G

5G

6G

48 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F 12F 13F 14F 15F 16F 17F 18F 19F 20F 21F 22F 23F 24F 25F 26F 27F 28F 29F 30F 31F 32F 33F 34F 35F 36F 37F 38F 39F 40F 41F 42F 43F 44F 45F 46F 47F 48F 49F 50F 51F 52F 53F 54F 55F 56F 57F 58F 59F 60F F

48

1F

2F

3F

4F

5F

6F

SOUTH LATITUDE (degrees)

SOUTH LATITUDE (degrees)

56 7E 8E 9E 10E 11E 12E 13E 14E 15E 16E 17E 18E 19E 20E 21E 22E 23E 24E 25E 26E 27E 28E 29E 30E 31E 32E 33E 34E 35E 36E 37E 38E 39E 40E 41E 42E 43E 44E 45E 46E 47E 48E 49E 50E 51E 52E 53E 54E 55E 56E 57E 58E 59E 60E E

56

1E

2E

3E

4E

5E

6E

64 7D 8D 9D 10D 11D 12D 13D 14D 15D 16D 17D 18D 19D 20D 21D 22D 23D 24D 25D 26D 27D 28D 29D 30D 31D 32D 33D 34D 35D 36D 37D 38D 39D 40D 41D 42D 43D 44D 45D 46D 47D 48D 49D 50D 51D 52D 53D 54D 55D 56D 57D 58D 59D 60D D

64

1D

2D

3D

4D

5D

6D

72 7C 7 120 WEST LONGITUDE (degrees) 90 60 30 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 8C 9C 10C 11C 12C 13C 14C 15C 16C 17C 18C 19C 20C 21C 22C 23C 24C 25C 26C 27C 28C 29C 29 30C 30 0 GREENWICH MERIDIAN 31C 31 32C 32 33C 33 34C 34 35C 35 30 36C 36 37C 37 38C 38 39C 39 40C 40 60 41C 41 42C 42 43C 43 44C 44 45C 45 90 EAST LONGITUDE (degrees) 46C 46 47C 47 48C 48 49C 49 50C 50 120 51C 51 52C 52 53C 53 54C 54 55C 55 150 56C 56 57C 57 58C 58 59C 59 60C 60 180 C

72

1C

2C

3C

4C

5C

6C

80

80

180

150

KEY Example: 54F Longitude Zone 54 Latitude Zone F UTM Grid Code "54F" Denotes: Notes: Equirectangular projection of the graticule. UTM Grid Zones 32X, 34X, and 36X are not defined. 2008 Joe Depner

Red Number

UTM Longitude Zone

Blue Letter

UTM Latitude Zone

White Fill

Regular UTM Zone

Gray Fill

Irregular UTM Zone

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Figure 2.6: Global Distribution of UTM Longitude Zones and Latitude Zones

2.2. LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE ZONES

17

2.2.5

Points on Zone Boundaries

The UTM zone specications for points on the boundaries between adjacent zones are nonunique. These points fall into one of the following categories: points on the boundaries (meridians) between two adjacent UTM longitude zones; points on the boundaries (parallels) between two adjacent UTM latitude zones, including - points not on the equator (this case is only relevant in those situations where the latitude-zone form of the UTM coordinate specication is used); - points on the equator (i.e., the boundary between the northern and southern hemispheres); and points where two of the above boundaries intersect. Every point on the boundary between two or more adjacent zones can be considered a member of all of the corresponding adjacent zones. In these cases, the UTM zone specication corresponding to any of the adjacent zones can be used without introducing positional ambiguity. The following examples illustrate the concept. Example: Point on Boundary between Two Adjacent Longitude Zones Problem: Determine the UTM latitude and longitude zones corresponding to the point whose geographic coordinates are 19 S. lat. and 120 W. lon. Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. The point is in both of UTM zones 10K and 11K because it lies at their intersection.

Example: Point on Boundary between Two Adjacent Latitude Zones Problem: Determine the UTM latitude and longitude zones corresponding to the point whose geographic coordinates are 72 N. lat. and 86 E. lon. Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. The point is in both of UTM zones 45W and 45X, because it lies at their intersection.

Example: Point on Boundary between Three Adjacent Zones Problem: Determine the UTM latitude and longitude zones corresponding to the point whose geographic coordinates are 72 N. lat. and 33 E. lon. Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. The point is in all three of UTM zones 36W, 35X and 37X, because it lies at their intersection.

18

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Example: Point on Boundary between Four Adjacent Zones Problem: Determine the UTM latitude and longitude zones corresponding to the point whose geographic coordinates are 24 S. lat. and 162 W. lon. Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. The point is in all four of UTM zones 3J, 3K, 4J, and 4K, because it lies at their intersection.

Example: Point(s) with Apparently Dierent UTM Zone Specications Problem: Field notes by one eld technician report the location of a particular monitoring station as UTM zone 11S. Field notes by a second technician report the location of the same monitoring station as UTM zone 12T. The station has not been moved. Is it possible that both technicians are correct? Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. UTM zones 11S and 12T intersect at a corner point, which therefore lies in both zones. Therefore, its possible that both technicians are correct.

Example: Point(s) with Apparently Dierent UTM Zone Specications Problem: Field notes by one technician report the location of a particular monitoring station as UTM zone 12S. Field notes by a second technician report the location of the same monitoring station as UTM zone 12U. The monitoring station has not been moved. Is it possible that both technicians are correct? Solution: Refer to Figure 2.6. UTM zones 12S and 12U do not intersect, so no points lie in both zones. Thus, in this case its not possible that both technicians are correct; either one or both are incorrect.

2.3

Easting and Northing Coordinates

Every UTM longitude zone has a particular Cartesian coordinate system associated with it (i.e., a local xy coordinate system). The UTM easting and northing coordinates are the x and y coordinates, respectively, of this system. UTM easting and northing coordinates are numerical, and are reported as base-ten integers (Arabic numerals, no decimals or fractions). The numerical values are written without commas, spaces, or decimal points; and in non-exponential notation (e.g., neither in engineering notation nor in scientic notation). The coordinate denitions (see below) imply that the numerical values are nonnegative. Therefore, the coordinates are written as unsigned numbers (i.e., without + or signs). UTM easting and northing coordinates are reported in units of meters. Some non-technical publications on civilian navigation and the GPS use a nonstandard convention in which the easting and northing coordinates are reported in kilometers, but the use of kilometers doesnt conform to the standard dened by DMA [1989] and therefore isnt recommended.

2.3. EASTING AND NORTHING COORDINATES

19

Table 2.3: Minimum and Maximum UTM Easting Coordinates Horizontal Datum UTM Easting Coordinates (meters) Minimum NAD 27 0 N./S. NAD 83 NAD 27 80 N./S. NAD 83 NAD 27 84 N./S. NAD 83 465 006 534 994 69 988 441 868 465 004 558 132 534 996 116 264 69 992 166 022 441 866 833 978 558 134 667 956 116 268 166 018 Maximum 833 982 Dierence 667 964

Latitude

Source: Decimal values of minimum and maximum easting coordinates were obtained from National Geodetic Survey [2007], and then were rounded up and down, respectively, to the nearest integer coordinate corresponding to points within a UTM longitude zone.

2.3.1

Easting Coordinates

The easting (x) coordinate increases continuously as one moves eastward. Each longitude zone has a central meridian midway between its two bounding meridians (See Figure 2.7). The central meridian of each longitude zone is assigned the easting coordinate 500000m (i.e., x = 500 000 m). Consequently, the easting coordinate has the following characteristics: Its local to the corresponding particular longitude zone; Its non-negative; and Its also referred to as false easting. Table 2.3 lists the minimum and maximum UTM easting coordinates for regular (6 wide) UTM longitude zones, at various latitudes and for the two most commonly used datums in the U.S. The full range is realized only at the equator, where the UTM longitude zones are widest. At higher latitudes the range generally is narrower, because the UTM longitude zones narrow with increasing latitude due to convergence of the meridians. The ranges in Table 2.3 correspond to regular UTM longitude zones; for irregular zones the ranges dier from these. From these results it follows that the UTM easting coordinate of every point within every regular UTM longitude zone is a six-digit integer. It turns out that this is also true for irregular UTM longitude zones (see Appendix A).

2.3.2

Northing Coordinates

The northing (y) coordinate increases continuously as one moves northward. In the northern hemisphere the equator is assigned the northing coordinate 0mN (i.e., y = 0 m). In the southern

20

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Figure 2.7: Regular UTM Longitude Zone in Northern Hemisphere

2.3. EASTING AND NORTHING COORDINATES

21

Table 2.4: Minimum and Maximum UTM Northing Coordinates Horizontal Datum UTM Northing Coordinates (meters) Minimum NAD 27 Northern NAD 83 NAD 27 Southern NAD 83 1 116 916 10 000 000 8 883 084 0 1 117 046 9 329 005 10 000 000 9 329 005 8 882 954 0 Maximum 9 328 895 Dierence 9 328 895

Hemisphere

Source: Decimal values of minimum and maximum northing coordinates were obtained from National Geodetic Survey [2007], and then were rounded up and down, respectively, to the nearest integer coordinate corresponding to points within a UTM longitude zone.

hemisphere the equator is assigned the northing coordinate 10000000mN (i.e., y = 10 000 000 m). Consequently the northing coordinate has the following characteristics: Its local to the corresponding particular hemisphere. Its non-negative. Its also referred to as false northing. Table 2.4 lists the minimum and maximum UTM northing coordinates for any given UTM longitude zone, for the two most commonly used datums in the U.S. The full range isnt realized near the bounding meridians of each zone, due to meridian convergence. From these results it follows that the UTM northing coordinate of every point within every UTM longitude zone is a one- to seven-digit integer (see Appendix B also).

2.3.3

Easting and Northing Coordinate Specications

The conventional format for reporting UTM easting and northing coordinates is rather specic. The numerical value of the coordinate is written rst (leftmost), immediately followed by the lowercase m abbreviation for meters, with or without a single space separating the two. An uppercase E or N immediately follows the m, to indicate whether the coordinate is an easting or a northing, respectively. The following examples illustrate the convention.

22

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Examples: Conventional Format for Reporting UTM Easting Coordinates 500000mE or 500000 mE (e.g., the central meridian) 566785mE or 566785 mE 177003mE or 177003 mE 792324mE or 792324 mE

Examples: Conventional Format for Reporting UTM Northing Coordinates 0mN or 0 mN (e.g., the equator) 353mN or 353 mN 8315466mN or 8315466 mN 10000000mN or 10000000 mN (e.g., the equator)

2.3.4

Coordinate Gridlines

Within each UTM longitude zone, two sets of gridlines are dened a set of UTM easting gridlines and a set of UTM northing gridlines. The easting gridlines are orthogonal to the northing gridlines. Each set is described below. Within each UTM longitude zone, the UTM easting gridlines form a set of contour lines. Each UTM easting gridline connects those points on the earths surface that have the same UTM easting coordinate. The easting gridline corresponding to 500 000 mE (i.e., the central meridian) extends from 80 S. lat. to 84 N. lat. As one moves poleward from the equator, each longitude zone becomes narrower, so the easting gridlines corresponding to the more extreme easting coordinates dont extend as far poleward as the central meridian does (see Figure 2.7). Rather, these easting gridlines only extend northward to the points where they intersect the zones bounding meridians. Within any particular UTM longitude zone, the easting gridlines never intersect. Within any particular UTM longitude zone, the UTM northing gridlines also form a set of contour lines. Each UTM northing gridline connects those points on the earths surface that have the same UTM northing coordinate. The northing gridlines within each longitude zone extend from one bounding meridian to the other, across 6 of longitude. As one moves poleward from the equator, the longitude zones become narrower, so the northing gridlines become shorter (see Figure 2.7). Within any particular UTM longitude zone, the northing gridlines never intersect.

2.4

UTM Coordinate Specications

Unambiguous determination of position using the UTM grid system generally requires specication of the following ve elements: horizontal datum, UTM longitude zone, hemisphere, or UTM latitude zone,

2.4. UTM COORDINATE SPECIFICATIONS UTM easting coordinate, and UTM northing coordinate. Example: Conventional Format for UTM Coordinate Specication Problem: Consider the following UTM coordinate specication for a point: NAD 83, UTM Zone 11, N. hemis., 450300mE, 5291192mN What is the horizontal datum? In which UTM longitude zone is the point located? In which hemisphere is the point located? Solution: The horizontal datum is the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83). The location is within UTM longitude zone 11. The location is in the northern hemisphere.

23

In some situations it may be acceptable to omit the datum, zone or hemisphere from the specication, but only if the omitted elements are clearly implied by the context. Why is it necessary to specify all ve elements of the UTM coordinate specication? Lets consider each element in turn. The horizontal datum eectively denes the position and orientation of the graticule, relative to which each UTM grid system is dened. Therefore, the horizontal datum is an essential element in the denition of the UTM grid system. UTM coordinates dened with respect to one horizontal datum dier from those dened with respect to another horizontal datum. For instance, the UTM grid system dened with respect to the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD 27) and that dened with respect to NAD 83 are dierent grid systems. The two grid systems bear a supercial resemblance to one another because theyre structured similarly (i.e., both use 6 longitude zones and 8 latitude zones, etc.). However, theyre dierent grid systems because the positions and orientations of the graticules for the two systems dier. This distinction isnt a mere technicality. For instance, according to the Department of the Army [2001], UTM coordinates for the same point, but corresponding to dierent horizontal datums, may dier by as much as 900 m. If the hemisphere designation (or latitude-zone designation) is omitted from the UTM coordinate specication, then the points position is eectively determined only to within two possible locations one in each of the northern and southern hemispheres. The one exception to this is points that lie on the equator. The northing coordinates of such points will be either 0 mN (if referenced to the northern hemisphere) or 10 000 000 mN (if referenced to the southern hemisphere). In either case, it would be clear that the point lies on the equator because the minimum UTM northing coordinate in the southern hemisphere is greater than 0 mN and the maximum northing coordinate in the northern hemisphere is less than 10 000 000 mN. Therefore, locations of points on the equator can be specied as either northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere without introducing ambiguity. If the longitude zone is omitted from the UTM coordinate specication, then the points longitudinal position is eectively determined only to within 60 possible locations one in each longitude zone.

24

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

If the easting coordinate is omitted from the UTM coordinate description, then the points easting position is eectively determined only to within a longitude zone. Refer to Table 2.3. Each UTM longitude zone is almost 668 000 m wide at its widest part (i.e., at the equator). In the northern hemisphere, each UTM longitude zone is almost 70 000 m wide at its narrowest part (i.e., at 84 N. lat.). In the southern hemisphere each longitude zone is over 116 000 m wide at its narrowest part (i.e., at 80 S. lat.). Thats a lot of imprecision.

If the northing coordinate is omitted from the coordinate description, then the points northing position is eectively determined only to within a hemisphere. As shown in Table 2.4, UTM longitude zones in the southern hemisphere are over eight million meters long, while those in the northern hemisphere are over nine million meters long (measured from northern to southern boundaries). Again, thats a great deal of imprecision. The precision can be increased substantially by specifying the latitude zone (see example below).

Example: Increasing the Precision of the Northing Coordinate by Specifying the UTM Latitude Zone Problem: How imprecise (roughly) is the UTM northing coordinate if the UTM latitude zone is included in the coordinate specication, but the numerical value of the northing coordinate is omitted? Assume the earth is spherical. Solution: If the shape of the earth is approximately spherical, then each minute of latitude is approximately equivalent to one nautical mile, or 6076 feet [U.S. Air Force, 2001]. Actually the length of a minute of latitude varies somewhat with latitude, because the earth is more closely approximated by an ellipsoid than by a sphere. However, to model the earth as an ellipsoid requires substantially more mathematical eort than this example requires. Latitude zones C through W are 8 wide in the direction of the northing coordinate, so within those zones the imprecision of the northing coordinate is approximately (8 lat.) 60 lat. 1 lat. 6076 ft 1 lat. 0.3048 m ft 890 000 m

UTM latitude zone X is 12 wide in the direction of the northing coordinate, so within zone X the imprecision of the northing coordinate is approximately 12 lat. 60 lat. 1 lat. 6076 ft 1 lat. 0.3048 m ft 1 300 000 m

which is almost 1.5 times that of latitude zones C through W.

2.5. MAP PROJECTIONS, DATUMS, AND THE GRATICULE Example: Preliminary Screening of UTM Coordinate Specications for Out-of-Bounds Errors Problem: Quickly check each of the following UTM coordinate specications for out-ofbounds errors: NAD 27, UTM Zone 10, N. hemis., 150300mE, 9951192mN NAD 83, UTM Zone 12, S. hemis., 751334mE, 1116907mN NAD 83, UTM Zone 19, N. hemis., 833980mE, 192mN NAD 27, UTM Zone 17, N. hemis., 150300mE, 34602mN NAD 27, UTM Zone 18, N. hemis., 237811mE, 9328904mN NAD 83, UTM Zone 63, N. hemis., 623300mE, 9328904mN Specify which element or elements, if any, are incorrect and explain why. Solution: For a quick, preliminary screening of UTM coordinate data, use the 0 N./S. section of Table 2.3, and Table 2.4. Beware, however, that this approach will detect only extreme cases of out-of-bounds errors. More rened screening may be required to detect all out-of-bounds errors. NAD 27, UTM Zone 10, N. hemis., 150300mE, 9951192mN is incorrect. The easting coordinate is lower than the lower limit given in the 0 N./S. section of Table 2.3, and the northing coordinate exceeds the upper limit listed in Table 2.4. NAD 83, UTM Zone 12, S. hemis., 751334mE, 1116907mN is incorrect. The northing coordinate is out of range (too low). NAD 83, UTM Zone 19, N. hemis., 833980mE, 192mN is incorrect. The easting coordinate is out of range (too high). NAD 27, UTM Zone 17, N. hemis., 150300mE, 34602mN is incorrect. The easting coordinate is out of range (too low). NAD 27, UTM Zone 18, N. hemis., 237811mE, 9328904mN is incorrect. The northing coordinate is out of range (too high). NAD 83, UTM Zone 63, N. hemis., 623300mE, 9328904mN is incorrect. The zone number is too high (i.e., UTM zone 63 does not exist).

25

2.5

Map Projections, Datums, and the Graticule

The UTM grid system applies the secant form of the transverse Mercator projection to each UTM longitude zone. The two standard lines (also called lines of secancy) within each longitude zone are approximately 180 000 m east and west of the central meridian; these have coordinates of approximately 320 000 mE and 680 000 mE, respectively [DMA, 1990]. The scale factor of the projection varies with latitude and longitude within each UTM longitude zone; for mathematical details see DMA [1989]. The spatial variation of the scale factor within each UTM longitude zone can be summarized as follows [DMA, 1990]: The scale factor is 1.000 00 at both of the standard lines. The scale factor decreases as one moves inward from either of the two standard lines toward

26 the central meridian, where its equal to 0.9996.

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

The scale factor increases as one moves outward from either of the two standard lines toward the nearest bounding meridian. Where the bounding meridians intersect the equator, the scale factor is approximately equal to 1.0010. The projection parameters are based on the particular horizontal datum chosen. The horizontal datums most commonly used in North America are the following: the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD 27); the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83); and the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84). All three of these are based on an ellipsoidal, rather than spherical, representation of the globe. For most practical purposes then, the UTM grid system uses the ellipsoidal form of the transverse Mercator projection. DMA [1989] gives mathematical equations for ellipsoid parameters. The UTM grid declination (i.e., convergence of the meridians) varies with both latitude and longitude within each UTM longitude zone; for mathematical details see DMA [1989]. The spatial variation of grid declination within each UTM longitude zone can be summarized as follows [DMA, 1989]: The grid declination is zero at the central meridian. The (absolute) grid declination increases with distance from the central meridian. For those areas on either side of the central meridian, the (absolute) grid declination increases with distance from the equator. Because UTM grid north has a slight easterly or westerly declination, except right at the central meridian of each longitude zone, one should never use map neatlines or the graticule (meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude) as a substitute for UTM gridlines. Doing so introduces error.

2.6

Chapter Summary

Refer to Table 2.5. Each of the 60 regular UTM longitude zones has a separate UTM map projection associated with it, giving a total of 60 separate UTM map projections. Each regular zone has two local Cartesian (xy) coordinate systems associated with it one for each of the northern and southern hemispheres giving a total of 120 separate member coordinate systems. Each of the six irregular UTM zones (31V, 32V, 31X, 33X, 35X, 37X) has a separate UTM map projection associated with it, giving a total of six additional map projections. Each irregular zone has one local Cartesian coordinate system associated with it, giving a total of six additional member coordinate systems. Finally, consider the entire set of UTM longitude zones, both regular and irregular, collectively. The UTM grid system uses 66 separate UTM projections and comprises 126 member coordinate systems. The UTM grid system is, in eect, a hybrid system. It combines elements of the geographic coordinate system with numerous local Cartesian coordinate systems. For instance, both the UTM longitude zones and the local easting/northing coordinate system within each longitude zone are dened in terms of the graticule. This is why its important to master the principles of geographic and Cartesian (xy) coordinate systems before learning the UTM grid system.

2.6. CHAPTER SUMMARY

27

Table 2.5: Summary of UTM Map Projections and Local Coordinate Systems Number of Local Coordinate Systems Per Zone 2 1 Group Total 120 6

Zone Group

Member Zones

Number of Zones

Number of Map Projections Per Zone Group Total 60 6

Regular Irregular

01 - 60 31V, 32V, 31X, 33X, 35X, 37X 01 - 60, 31V, 32V, 31X, 33X, 35X, 37X

60 6

1 1

All

66

66

126

28

CHAPTER 2. THE UTM GRID

Chapter 3

The UTM Grid and USGS Topographic Maps


In this chapter we occasionally refer to the publication date for a particular map product (e.g., paper map, digital map). The publication date is the date on which the map product was released to the public. If a map has been revised, then the publication date of the original edition is earlier than that of the revised edition. If the map has been revised more than once, then each revision will have its own publication date.

3.1

Map Elements Supporting Use of the UTM Grid

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces topographic quadrangle maps and related products for public distribution. The maps have various elements that facilitate use of the UTM grid system, including the following: horizontal datum identier, UTM longitude zone identier, UTM grid tick marks and coordinate labels, UTM grid declination information, and UTM gridlines (some maps).

3.1.1

Horizontal Datum Identier

The horizontal datum is specied in the explanatory text on the map collar, typically on the left-hand side of the lower margin (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2).

3.1.2

UTM Longitude Zone Identier

The UTM longitude zone is specied in the explanatory text on the map collar, typically on the left-hand side of the lower margin (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2). 29

30

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Figure 3.1: UTM Grid Information Older Map. Source: USGS [1986]

Figure 3.2: UTM Grid Information Newer Map. Source: USGS [1987]

3.1. MAP ELEMENTS SUPPORTING USE OF THE UTM GRID

31

3.1.3

UTM Grid Tick Marks and Coordinate Labels

In general, a grid tick mark is a short, straight-line segment that marks the location of a gridline. Typically, grid tick marks are placed at points where gridlines intersect other lines, such as orthogonal gridlines (e.g., where an easting gridline crosses a northing gridline) or map neatlines.

UTM grid tick marks are displayed on USGS quadrangle topographic maps published since 1959, and on many quadrangles published before 1959 [Cole, 1977]. The UTM grid tick marks are displayed on the map collar adjacent to the neatline. Each tick mark indicates the point where a UTM gridline intersects the map neatline.

The distance between adjacent grid tick marks is called the grid-tick interval. On each map sheet the grid-tick interval is constant (uniform). All USGS quadrangles use either 1000-meter or 5000-meter grid-tick intervals [USGS, 2001]. In addition, on USGS quadrangles the UTM grid tick mark coordinates are positive integer multiples of 1000 m. The grid-tick interval is specied in the explanatory text displayed on the map collar (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2). On some maps, but not all, the color of the grid tick marks also is specied in the explanatory text on the map collar (e.g., compare Figures 3.1 and 3.2). Typically, UTM grid tick marks are displayed in blue on USGS quadrangle topographic maps.

32

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Example: Interpretation of Displayed Explanatory Text Background: The following explanatory text is displayed on the left-hand side of the lower margin of the Nine Mile Falls Quadrangle, Washington, 7.5-minute topographic map [USGS ; 1973b, photorevised 1986]: Mapped, edited, and published by the Geological Survey Control by USGS and NOS/NOAA Topography by photogrammetric methods from aerial photographs taken 1972. Field checked 1973 Underwater contours by Washington Water Power Co. Projection and 10,000-foot grid ticks: Washington coordinate system, north zone (Lambert conformal conic) 1000-meter Universal Transverse Mercator grid ticks, zone 11, shown in blue. 1927 North American datum To place on the North American Datum 1983, move the projection lines 15 meters north and 80 meters east as shown by dashed corner ticks There may be private inholdings within the boundaries of the National or State reservations shown on this map Problem: What is the horizontal datum? What is the UTM longitude zone? What is the UTM grid-tick interval? What color are the UTM grid tick marks? Solution: The horizontal datum is NAD 27. The UTM longitude zone is 11. The UTM grid-tick interval is 1000 m. The UTM grid tick marks are blue.

3.1. MAP ELEMENTS SUPPORTING USE OF THE UTM GRID Example: Explanatory Text Background: The following explanatory text is displayed in the lower margin of the Eagle Cap Quadrangle, Oregon, 15-minute topographic map [USGS, 1954]: Mapped, edited, and published by the Geological Survey Control by USGS and USC&GS Topography from aerial photographs by multiplex methods Aerial photographs taken 1953. Advance eld check 1954 Polyconic projection. 1927 North American datum 10,000-foot grid based on Oregon coordinate system, north zone 1000-foot Universal Transverse Mercator grid ticks, zone 11, shown in blue To place on the North American Datum 1983 move the projection lines 17 meters north and 79 meters east There may be private inholdings within the boundaries of the National or State reservations shown on this map Problem: What is the horizontal datum? What is the UTM longitude zone? What UTM grid-tick interval is reported in the explanatory text? Measure the map distance between adjacent UTM grid tick marks, and use the map scale to convert the map distance to the corresponding horizontal ground distance. What is the measured grid-tick interval? What UTM grid-tick interval is reported in the USGS UTM fact sheet [USGS, 2001]? Are the three results obtained above for the UTM grid-tick interval consistent? If not, suggest a possible explanation for any discrepancies. Solution: The horizontal datum is NAD 27. The UTM longitude zone is 11. The grid-tick interval reported in the explanatory text is 1000 feet. The measured UTM grid-tick interval is 1000 meters. The UTM grid-tick interval reported in the fact sheet is 1000 meters [USGS, 2001]. The UTM grid-tick interval reported in the explanatory text diers from both (1) that measured on the map and (2) that reported in the fact sheet. Apparently the grid-tick interval specication 1000-foot Universal Transverse Mercator grid ticks, . . . is a misprint.

33

34

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

A grid tick mark coordinate label is displayed on the map collar adjacent to each corresponding grid tick mark, except in those cases where it would interfere with the display of other map information (e.g., the name of an adjoining map sheet, commonly displayed in the margin adjacent to the neatline). In such cases the coordinate value is clearly implied from the grid-tick interval and the coordinate labels of adjacent grid tick marks. Reading long strings of numerical digits can be tiring and prone to errors. To facilitate their reading, the USGS displays the UTM grid tick mark labels on the map collar using two dierent font sizes. The units abbreviation (i.e., m.), and the three trailing (i.e., rightmost) digits of the numerical string are displayed in a small font. The two adjacent digits on the left of these are displayed in a large font, and the one or two leftmost digits are displayed in the small font.

Examples: Font-Size Convention for UTM Grid Tick Mark Coordinate Labels Problem: Suppose UTM grid tick mark labels for the following UTM grid coordinates are displayed in full on the collars of USGS topographic maps: 5289000 mN 9980000mN 2550000mN 360000 mE 604000mE 499000 mE How would the labels appear? Solution: The labels would appear as follows, respectively:
52 89000m. N 99 80000m. N 25 50000m. N 3 60000m. E 6 04000m. E 4 99000m. E

The dierence in font size makes it easier to visually distinguish the various digits of the string. The pair of digits displayed in the larger font are called the principal digits. The left and right principal digits correspond to the ten-thousands place and the thousands place, respectively. Coordinate labels for the UTM grid tick marks nearest to the northwest and southeast corners are displayed in full as described above [USGS, 2001]. Consequently, on each of the four map margins (upper, lower, left, right), one UTM grid tick mark label is displayed in full. The remaining grid tick mark coordinate labels are abbreviated by truncation. The abbreviated coordinate labels omit the following elements: the three trailing zero digits (i.e., 000), the units designator symbol (i.e., m or m.), and

3.1. MAP ELEMENTS SUPPORTING USE OF THE UTM GRID the direction designator (E for easting, N for northing). Example: Abbreviations for Grid Tick Mark Coordinate Labels Problem: Suppose UTM grid tick mark labels for the following UTM grid coordinates are displayed in abbreviated form on the collars of USGS topographic maps: 5274000 mN 748000mN 2110000mN 355000 mE 625000mE 589000 mE How would the labels appear? Solution: The labels would appear as follows, respectively:
52 74 7 48 21 10 3 55 6 25 5 89

35

3.1.4

UTM Grid Declination Information

The maps declination information, which includes information on grid declination and magnetic declination, is displayed in the lower margin. The declination information is conveyed in one of two ways, depending on the maps publication date. In older edition maps, such as those published prior to 1988, the declination information usually is conveyed via a declination diagram that appears near the lower left-hand corner [Burns and Burns, 2004]. Figure 3.1 shows an example of such a diagram. The declination diagram shows three arrows to indicate the directions of true north, grid north, and magnetic north and displayed numerical values of grid declination and magnetic declination. The declination diagram uses the abbreviations GN and MN, respectively, to denote grid north and magnetic north; the diagram uses a ve-pointed star to indicate the direction of true north. A note appears immediately below the diagram, indicating that the declination values indicated in the diagram are for the center of the map; away from the center of the map the declination values vary somewhat from these. In newer edition maps, such as those published in 1988 or later, the UTM grid declination usually is indicated by a statement in the maps explanatory text rather than a diagram [Burns and Burns, 2004]. Figure 3.2 shows a typical example of such a statement.

3.1.5

UTM Gridlines

Some USGS topographic maps (e.g., newer edition quadrangles), but not all, display UTM gridlines. For instance, USGS topographic maps published in 1988 or later usually display

36

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

UTM gridlines, while those published prior to 1988 usually do not [Burns and Burns, 2004]. When present, the gridlines are shown in black. Gridlines used for UTM coordinate determination are one of two types fully displayed or marked-only. A fully displayed gridline is one thats displayed directly on the map (e.g., either drawn or printed directly on a paper map). A marked-only gridline is one whose position is indicated by the corresponding pairs of grid tick marks displayed on opposite margins of the map sheet; the line itself isnt explicitly displayed. USGS topographic maps with UTM gridlines displayed on them use the same interval as the grid-tick interval. For example, if the grid-tick interval is 1000 meters, then the UTM easting and northing gridlines are displayed at intervals of 1000 meters. Displaying the UTM gridlines on a map is useful for the following purposes: Determining the UTM easting and northing coordinates of a known point on a topographic map. See Determining the UTM Coordinates of a Point on a Map (Section 3.3). Locating a point on a topographic map when its UTM coordinates are known. See Plotting a Point with Known UTM Coordinates on a Map (Section 3.4). Specically, displayed UTM gridlines make it possible to quickly and accurately complete the following map-based tasks: Visually locate those easting and northing gridlines that are nearest to a point of interest (POI). Measure the projected (perpendicular) distance from the nearest easting and northing gridlines, to the POI, using only a corner ruler (Figure 3.3). Thus, displayed (printed) UTM gridlines are especially convenient for using maps in the eld, where a drafting table and drafting instruments may not be available.

3.2

Using Topographic Maps Without Preprinted Gridlines

When one has to work with a paper map that doesnt have UTM gridlines printed on it, at least three options are available: Visually estimate gridline positions using the grid tick marks. Physically overlay a scaled UTM grid transparency on the map. Physically draw UTM gridlines on the map. Each of these options is discussed below.

3.2.1

Visual Estimation of Gridline Positions

Visually estimating (i.e., eyeballing) gridline positions using the corresponding pairs of grid tick marks on opposite margins of the map sheet is the least accurate of the methods considered here. Its only suitable for obtaining very rough estimates, so this method generally isnt recommended. However, this method is the least time-consuming, and with practice one can become more accurate.

3.2. USING TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS WITHOUT PREPRINTED GRIDLINES

37

Figure 3.3: A Basic Corner Ruler

38

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

3.2.2

Overlaying a UTM Grid Transparency

A UTM grid transparency is a sheet of transparent synthetic material (e.g., acetate lm, polyethylene lm), with sets of easting and northing gridlines printed or drawn on it. One overlays the transparency on the map so that the gridlines on the transparency align with the corresponding pairs of UTM grid tick marks on the map collar. Then one temporarily fastens the transparency to the map sheet so that the two remain xed in relative position. A separate transparency is required for each map scale. Accurately plotting features on a map while using a transparency is impractical, but one can read existing map features and measure their UTM coordinates. Using a transparency has the advantage that it doesnt require permanent modication of the map sheet. Grid transparencies can be a variety of sizes. A full-size transparency covers the entire map image, whereas a small transparency might only be 45 square centimeters (7 square inches). For serious map work, where high accuracy is desired, a full-size transparency should be used; the large size allows one to accurately align the transparency grid with the maps UTM grid tick marks. Using a full-size grid transparency in the eld can be awkward, for the following reasons: Large lm sheets are awkward to store and transport. Much more so than paper maps, lm sheets are damaged by folding, so transparencies should be stored at or loosely rolled. Unsecured large lm sheets are easily disturbed by wind gusts, which can easily dislodge or transport them. Using a large lm sheet requires a large level work surface, which may not be available. Thus, using full-size transparencies is recommended for oce use only. When using a transparency in the eld, take steps to protect it from unnecessary exposure to abrasive debris and degrading UV radiation. UTM grid transparencies can be constructed or purchased. Construction involves drawing or printing UTM gridlines on transparent lm. Transparent lm can be purchased in sheets and rolls of various widths, thicknesses, and compositions. Constructing a transparency by drawing the gridlines directly on lm requires drafting equipment, and is time-consuming and subject to error. Furthermore, constructing additional transparencies (e.g., to replace worn transparencies) requires repeating the drawing eort. Constructing a transparency by printing gridlines on lm involves several steps. First the lm is acquired, measured, and cut to size. Then an electronic image of the gridline overlay is acquired. Finally, the gridline overlay image is printed onto the lm. An electronic image of the gridline overlay can be acquired in various ways, including the following: Download a grid image le from the worldwide web. For example, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources [2007] makes some image les for small overlays available to the public in Portable Document Format (PDF). Draw the gridlines directly on a sheet of paper or lm, scan the drawing, and store it as an image le. Use basic computer drafting/graphing software to draw the grid, and store the drawing as an image le. This is the preferred alternative, because its possible to draw the gridlines more accurately and consistently using computer software than by hand.

3.2. USING TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS WITHOUT PREPRINTED GRIDLINES

39

Additional, identical transparencies can be printed at will using the saved overlay image le without repeating the drawing eort. Once a gridline image le is created for one map scale (e.g., 1:24 000), its relatively easy to make a similar additional image le suitable for a dierent map scale (e.g., 1:100 000) by copying the original image le and then editing the copy.

3.2.3

Drawing UTM Gridlines on Maps

UTM gridlines can be drawn on a map in the drafting room prior to entering the eld. Once the gridlines are drawn, no transparent overlay is required, nor is one present to interfere with plotting. Thus, using a map with pre-drawn gridlines is a convenient and reliable option for eld work. In some cases, permanently modifying a map sheet by drawing UTM gridlines on it might be considered undesirable, for the following reasons: The gridlines change the maps overall appearance, possibly degrading its aesthetic appeal. The gridlines might make it dicult or impossible to read small graphic symbols, alphanumeric labels or other details, thus degrading the maps usefulness. Drawing UTM gridlines on maps should be completed prior to entering the eld, and under controlled conditions, so that the gridlines can be drawn neatly and accurately. Select a work area that has good lighting and good ventilation, with a comfortable, adjustable chair and a large, clean work surface such as a professional drafting table. Wash your hands before you handle the map sheet and drafting equipment. Then fasten the map sheet securely to the drafting table. If you have access to professional drafting equipment, use a good T-square as your straightedge. Otherwise, use a straightedge with a thin cork backing so that (1) the straightedge doesnt slip during use, and (2) the lower surface of the straightedge is slightly elevated o the map surface so the ink doesnt wick under the straightedge during drawing. For drawing gridlines on USGS 7.5-minute quadrangle maps, the straightedge should be at least 60 cm (24 in.) long; for 15-minute quadrangles it should be at least 45 cm (18 in.) long. For larger maps, a longer straightedge is required. If the straightedge is too long, it will be awkward to use. A 60-cm (24-in.) straightedge is suitable for use with both 7.5-minute and 15-minute USGS quadrangle maps. Use a technical pen with a ne point so the resulting UTM gridlines are thin and uniform. Excessively thick gridlines reduce a maps usefulness by (1) needlessly concealing details on the map, and (2) reducing the precision of the gridline locations. Use waterproof ink so the gridlines wont smear or wash out if the map is inadvertently exposed to moisture. Prior to drawing any gridlines, ll the pens ink reservoir so that the ink supply wont be exhausted while drawing a gridline. If the ink supply is exhausted midway through the drawing of a gridline, it may be dicult to draw the gridline neatly. Before you begin drawing, practice drawing a few gridlines on an old map sheet or scratch paper. Try to determine (1) the optimum amount of downward pressure to apply to the pen, (2) the optimum speed to move the pen tip across the paper, and (3) the best position for holding the pen, for drawing gridlines neatly. For optimum results, practice using the same type of paper as the map sheet. Visually locate all of the UTM grid tick marks on the map before you begin. It helps to systematically plan the order in which you draw the gridlines to minimize the time spent waiting for the ink to dry and to minimize contact with the nished parts of the map. The UTM gridlines

40

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

that run east-west across the width of the map should be drawn in order from most northerly (i.e., top of map sheet) to most southerly (i.e., bottom of map sheet). This will eliminate the need to lean over the gridlines after theyve been drawn. Similarly, the UTM gridlines that run north-south across the height of the map should be drawn in order from right to left, or vice versa. Allow each gridline to dry thoroughly before touching it with your hands or any drafting tools (e.g., straightedge), to prevent accidental smearing. After drawing the rst set of gridlines (i.e., those that run east-west across the width of the map), allow the ink to dry thoroughly before drawing the second set (i.e., those that run north-south across the height of the map). While waiting for the ink to dry, check the pens ink reservoir and rell it if necessary.

3.3

Determining the UTM Coordinates of a Point on a Map

Suppose one knows the plotting position of a point on a topographic map, and wishes to determine its UTM coordinates (all ve elements). This section describes the basic procedure for doing so, and gives some tips for measuring the UTM easting and northing coordinates of the point. Well assume that UTM gridlines have been drawn or printed on the topographic map. Before proceeding further, some readers may nd it helpful to review the basic procedure for accurately measuring the distance between a point and a line (Appendix C).

3.3.1

Basic Procedure

The basic procedure for determining the UTM coordinates of a point on a topographic map is as follows: 1. Locate the point of interest (POI) on a topographic map. For tips on selecting an appropriate USGS topographic map, see Appendix D. 2. Determine the horizontal datum. In North America, typical choices are NAD 27, NAD 83, or WGS 84. For USGS quadrangle maps, see the explanatory text displayed on the map collar, typically on the left-hand side of the lower margin. 3. Determine the UTM longitude zone. The choices are from 01 to 60, inclusive. For USGS quadrangle maps, see the explanatory text displayed on the map collar, typically on the left-hand side of the lower margin. 4. Determine whether the POI is located in the northern hemisphere (N. hemis.) or the southern hemisphere (S. hemis.). All of North America is located in the northern hemisphere. 5. Determine the POIs UTM easting coordinate. (a) Locate the nearest UTM easting gridline lying east or west of the POI (i.e., the nearest vertically oriented UTM gridline) on the map. (b) Read the gridlines easting coordinate (xEgridline ) o the corresponding grid tick mark coordinate label, and record the result.

3.3. DETERMINING THE UTM COORDINATES OF A POINT ON A MAP

41

(c) Determine the projected easting distance (x) in meters between the POI and the gridline (see details in following section), and record the result. Remember, easting (x) increases to the east and decreases to the west. If the POI lies east of the gridline, then the easting distance is positive (i.e., x > 0); if the POI lies west of the gridline, then the easting distance is negative (i.e., x < 0). (d) Calculate the POIs easting coordinate as the sum of the meridians easting coordinate and the projected easting distance:

xPOI = xEgridline + x

(3.3.1)

and record the result.

6. Determine the POIs UTM northing coordinate.

(a) Locate the nearest UTM gridline lying north or south of the POI (i.e., the nearest horizontally oriented UTM gridline) on the map. (b) Read the gridlines northing coordinate (yNgridline ) o the corresponding grid tick mark coordinate label, and record the result. (c) Determine the projected northing distance (y) in meters between the POI and the gridline (see details in the following section), and record the result. Remember, northing (y) increases to the north and decreases to the south. If the POI lies north of the gridline, then the northing distance is positive (i.e., y > 0); if the POI lies south of the gridline, then the northing distance is negative (i.e., y < 0). (d) Calculate the POIs northing coordinate as the sum of the gridlines northing coordinate and the projected northing distance:

yPOI = yNgridline + y

(3.3.2)

and record the result.

7. Record all ve components of the UTM coordinates.

42

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Example: Determining UTM Coordinates of a Point on a Topographic Map Problem: Determine the UTM coordinates of the gaging station at Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Use the Nine Mile Falls Quadrangle, Washington (7.5-minute) topographic map [USGS, 1973b]. This example is illustrated graphically in Figure 3.4. On this gure, the UTM easting and northing gridlines nearest to the POI were overlain. These are the heavy, solid black lines that cross the entire image area, one oriented vertically and the other horizontally. Also, an image of a semitransparent corner ruler was overlain. This is the light gray, L-shaped object. Solution: In this example the POI is the gaging station at Nine Mile Falls. Determination of Horizontal Datum and UTM Longitude Zone The explanatory text on the left-hand side of the lower border of the map sheet indicates the horizontal datum is NAD 27, and the area of map coverage is within UTM Zone 11. Determination of Hemisphere All of North America lies in the northern hemisphere, so the POI is in the northern hemisphere. Determination of Easting Coordinate xEgridline = 459 000 m x = +288 m (= 12 mm 24 m/mm) xPOI = 459 288 m Determination of Northing Coordinate yNgridline = 5 291 000 m y = +192 m (= 8 mm 24 m/mm) yPOI = 5 291 192 m The conversion factor (24 m ground distance per 1 mm map distance) corresponds to a map scale of 1:24 000. This scale, which is displayed on the collar of the Nine Mile Falls Quadrangle, Washington map, is the standard scale for the USGS 7.5-minute series quadrangle maps. Therefore, the UTM coordinates for the POI are specied as follows: NAD 27, UTM Zone 11, N. hemis., 459288mE, 5291192mN The following is an acceptable alternative specication: NAD 27, Zone 11T, 459288mE, 5291192mN

3.3. DETERMINING THE UTM COORDINATES OF A POINT ON A MAP

43

(See separate image file: use_ruler.pdf)

Figure 3.4: Using a Corner Ruler with a Topographic Map

3.3.2

Measuring Projected Easting and Northing Distances

The method described in this section uses the corner ruler to ensure that the distances from the POI to nearby gridlines are measured along perpendicular segments. Position the corner ruler so that both of the following conditions are satised simultaneously: The entire length of one outside edge is accurately aligned with one of the two nearest gridlines. The other outside edge intersects the POI. After positioning the corner ruler, hold it steady while you read the distances x and y, in map units, along the outside edges of the corner ruler. One distance (x or y, depending on how the ruler is oriented) is measured along the outside edge thats aligned with a gridline; the distance is measured from the outside corner to the point where the nearby orthogonal gridline crosses this same outside edge. The other distance is measured along the other outside edge, from the outside corner to the POI. Proper positioning of the corner ruler is critical for accurate results. Using the entire length of the outside edge in (1) minimizes alignment error. The two nearest gridlines consist of the nearest easting gridline and the nearest northing gridline. Using the nearest gridlines minimizes

44

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

the perpendicular distances x and y to be added or subtracted. Also, if the corner ruler is small, it will still be long enough to make the measurements. With this method there will always be at least two ways to measure the easting and northing coordinates of the POI on a topographic quadrangle map aligning the outside edge of the corner ruler with the nearest easting gridline, or with the nearest northing gridline. The following examples, and the accompanying gures (Figures 3.5 through 3.8), illustrate the method.

Example: Measuring UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates Problem: What are the UTM easting and northing coordinates of the POI shown on Figure 3.5? Solution: The measurements and calculations are performed in the sequence recorded below. Determination of Easting Coordinate xEgridline = 265 000 m x = +624 m (= 26 mm 24 m/mm) xPOI = 265 624 m Determination of Northing Coordinate yNgridline = 6 125 000 m y = 456 m (= 19 mm 24 m/mm) yPOI = 6 124 544 m In this example, y is negative because the POI lies south of the northing gridline.

Example: Measuring UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates Problem: What are the UTM easting and northing coordinates of the POI shown on Figure 3.6? Solution: The measurements and calculations are performed in the sequence recorded below. Determination of Easting Coordinate xEgridline = 265 000 m x = +384 m (= 16 mm 24 m/mm) xPOI = 265 384 m Determination of Northing Coordinate yNgridline = 6 124 000 m y = +300 m (= 12.5 mm 24 m/mm) yPOI = 6 124 300 m

3.3. DETERMINING THE UTM COORDINATES OF A POINT ON A MAP

45

Figure 3.5: Using a Corner Ruler to Measure the UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates of a Point on a Map 1st of 4

46

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Figure 3.6: Using a Corner Ruler to Measure the UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates of a Point on a Map 2nd of 4

3.4. PLOTTING A POINT WITH KNOWN UTM COORDINATES ON A MAP Example: Measuring UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates Problem: What are the UTM easting and northing coordinates of the POI shown on Figure 3.7? Solution: The measurements and calculations are performed in the sequence recorded below. Determination of Easting Coordinate xEgridline = 266 000 m x = 432 m (= 18 mm 24 m/mm) xPOI = 265 568 m Determination of Northing Coordinate yNgridline = 6 125 000 m y = 720 m (= 30 mm 24 m/mm) yPOI = 6 124 280 m In this example, x is negative because the POI lies west of the easting gridline, and y is negative because the POI lies south of the northing gridline.

47

Example: Measuring UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates Problem: What are the UTM easting and northing coordinates of the POI shown on Figure 3.8? Solution: The measurements and calculations are performed in the sequence recorded below. Determination of Easting Coordinate xEgridline = 263 000 m x = +276 m (= 11.5 mm 24 m/mm) xPOI = 263 276 m Determination of Northing Coordinate yNgridline = 6 125 000 m y = 792 m (= 33 mm 24 m/mm) yPOI = 6 124 208 m In this example, y is negative because the POI lies south of the northing gridline.

3.4

Plotting a Point with Known UTM Coordinates on a Map

Suppose one knows the UTM coordinates (all ve elements) of a point of interest (POI), and wishes to plot its position on a topographic map. This section describes a procedure for plotting

48

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Figure 3.7: Using a Corner Ruler to Measure the UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates of a Point on a Map 3rd of 4

3.4. PLOTTING A POINT WITH KNOWN UTM COORDINATES ON A MAP

49

Figure 3.8: Using a Corner Ruler to Measure the UTM Easting and Northing Coordinates of a Point on a Map 4th of 4

50

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

the position, subject to the following conditions: The POI lies within the U.S. A paper version of the appropriate USGS topographic map has been acquired. At this point some readers may nd it helpful to review the procedure for obtaining an appropriate USGS topographic map (Appendix D). The basic procedure for plotting the position of the POI is as follows: 1. Verify that the acquired USGS topographic map is consistent with the following elements of the UTM coordinate specication: horizontal datum, UTM longitude zone, and hemisphere, or UTM latitude zone. 2. On the map, locate the marked-only or fully displayed UTM easting gridline thats nearest to the POI. Read the gridlines easting coordinate (xEgridline ) o the corresponding grid tick mark coordinate label, and record the result. 3. Calculate the projected easting distance (x) from the POI to the gridline as the dierence between the easting coordinate of the POI (xPOI ) and that of the gridline, i.e., x = xPOI xEgridline and record the result. 4. On the map, locate the marked-only or fully displayed UTM northing gridline thats nearest to the POI. Read the gridlines northing coordinate (yNgridline ) o the corresponding grid tick mark coordinate label, and record the result. 5. Calculate the projected northing distance (y) from the POI to the gridline as the difference between the northing coordinate of the POI (yPOI ) and that of the gridline, i.e., (3.4.1)

y = yPOI yNgridline and record the result.

(3.4.2)

6. Measure the projected easting distance (x) perpendicularly from the easting gridline, and mark the location by making a small, faint pencil mark. 7. Measure the projected northing distance (y) along a line segment that both (a) is perpendicular to the northing gridline, and (b) intersects the pencil mark. Mark the location. This is the location of the POI. 8. Verify that the POIs location has been plotted accurately. First, determine the UTM coordinate specication of the POI by following the procedure given earlier. Does the coordinate specication you determined match the location you have plotted?

3.5. SOFTWARE FOR USING THE UTM GRID WITH TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

51

3.5

Software for Using the UTM Grid with Topographic Maps

Some commercially available software products have features for using the UTM grid system with topographic maps. Such features typically include one or more of the following options: Display the USGS topographic map image, and auxiliary information, on the users monitor. Select a specic horizontal datum for the graticule and UTM grid. Overlay the corresponding graticule or UTM grid on a USGS topographic map (i.e., display the UTM gridlines). The resulting map image appears on the users monitor. Print the USGS topographic map image, with or without the graticule and UTM gridlines. Display the UTM easting and northing coordinates, in meters, for any point on the map, by maneuvering the cursor over the POI. For instance, the coordinates might appear in a small window on the monitor, adjacent to the map image. Plot a point with known UTM coordinates on the map, by entering the numerical values of the easting and northing coordinates.

3.6

Chapter Summary

Chapter 3 discussed the following topics: those elements of USGS topographic maps that support use of the UTM grid, basic procedures for using topographic maps without preprinted gridlines, a procedure for determining the UTM coordinates of a point on a topographic map, a procedure for plotting a point with known UTM coordinates on a topographic map, and software for using the UTM grid with topographic maps.

52

CHAPTER 3. THE UTM GRID AND USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

Chapter 4

Horizontal Distance and Bearing Determination


Given the UTM coordinates for two points P1 and P2 , how does one determine the horizontal distance, and bearing, between them? The answer to this question depends on whether or not the two points lie within the same UTM longitude zone and the same hemisphere. This is one example of why the full UTM coordinate specication includes not only the easting and northing coordinates, but also the UTM longitude zone and hemisphere.

4.1

Points in the Same UTM Longitude Zone and Hemisphere

If the two points P1 and P2 lie within the same UTM longitude zone and the same hemisphere, then one or both of the following methods can be used to determine the horizontal distance and bearing between them.

4.1.1

Measurement Using a Paper Map

If the two points P1 and P2 plot on the same quadrangle map, then one can plot the two points on the map and measure the horizontal distance and bearing between them. The procedure is as follows: 1. Determine if the two points plot on the same map (e.g., the same USGS topographic quadrangle). 2. If the two points plot on the same map, then identify the particular map. 3. Obtain a paper version of the map. 4. Plot the two points on the paper map. 5. Measure the map distance between the two plotted points (e.g., using a scale). 6. Convert the map distance to a horizontal ground distance, using the map scale. 7. Use a protractor to measure the bearing between the two plotted points. 53

54

CHAPTER 4. HORIZONTAL DISTANCE AND BEARING DETERMINATION

4.1.2

Calculation Using Plane Geometry

The two points P1 and P2 share the same local system of easting and northing coordinates because they lie within the same UTM longitude zone and the same hemisphere. In this case, the horizontal distance and bearing between the two points are calculated using plane analytic geometry. The horizontal distance (D) between the points is calculated using the two-point distance formula [Eves, 1984]:

D=

(x2 x1 )2 + (y2 y1 )2

(4.1.1)

where x1 and x2 are the UTM easting coordinates, and y1 and y2 are the UTM northing coordinates, respectively, of points P1 and P2 . The distance formula is based on the Pythagorean theorem. If the easting and northing coordinates are given in meters, then the distance will be in meters. The bearing () from point P1 to point P2 is calculated as follows [Langley, 1998]:

= arctan

x2 x1 y2 y1

(4.1.2)

Equation (4.1.2) is based on the two-point slope formula [see Eves, 1984]. Here the angle is measured clockwise from the positive y (northing) axis, and is measured in units of radians (rad). To obtain the bearing in units of degrees, multiply by the conversion factor (180 / rad). The UTM easting and northing coordinates of the two points must be expressed relative to a common horizontal datum, or the use of equations (4.1.1) and (4.1.2) will give erroneous results. Equations (4.1.1) and (4.1.2) are convenient to use because of their simplicity. Suppose one has multiple pairs of points for which the horizontal distances and bearings must be calculated. If the number of point pairs is relatively small, then one can easily perform the calculations using a handheld electronic calculator. On the other hand, its also possible to write a computer program or to congure a computer spreadsheet to perform the calculations quickly and accurately for thousands of point pairs, if necessary. Calculating the horizontal distance and bearing using equations (4.1.1) and (4.1.2) is more versatile than measuring the distance and bearing on a paper map, in that it doesnt require that the two points plot on the same quadrangle map. For additional discussion of horizontal distance and bearing calculations, see Langley [1998].

4.1. POINTS IN THE SAME UTM LONGITUDE ZONE AND HEMISPHERE Table 4.1: Data for Distance and Bearing Calculation Example 1st of 2 Easting x (m) 458 576 459 288 Northing y (m) 5 294 756 5 291 192

55

Point P1 P2
Notes:

Description Spring Gaging Station

(1) Horizontal datum: NAD 27 (2) Both points lie in UTM lon. zone 11, in N. hemis.

Example: Horizontal Distance and Bearing between Points in Same Zone and Hemisphere Problem: Determine the horizontal distance, and bearing, between the unnamed spring near the mouth of Sandy Canyon, Washington and the gaging station at Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Assume that the points have the UTM coordinates listed in Table 4.1. Solution: Note that the UTM coordinates of the two points are expressed relative to the same horizontal datum. Also, both points are known to reside in UTM longitude zone 11, in the northern hemisphere. Therefore, one can use equations (4.1.1) and (4.1.2) to calculate the horizontal distance and bearing, respectively, between the points. Substituting the numerical values tabulated above for the corresponding variables in equation (4.1.1) gives D = (9288 8576)2 + (1192 4756)2 m

= 3634 m Substituting the numerical values tabulated above for the corresponding variables in equation (4.1.2) gives = 180 rad arctan 9288 8576 1192 4756

= 168.7 That is, the bearing is approximately 169 east of north.

56

CHAPTER 4. HORIZONTAL DISTANCE AND BEARING DETERMINATION

Example: Verication by Direct Map Measurement Problem: How can one verify the horizontal distance calculated in the previous example? Solution: In this particular example, both points lie within the coverage area for the Nine Mile Falls Quadrangle, Washington (7.5-minute) topographic map [USGS, 1973b]. Therefore, one can use a paper map to physically measure the map distance between the two points, and then use the map scale to convert the map distance to the equivalent horizontal ground distance. Finally, one can compare the results from the two methods to see if theyre consistent. I obtain the following result for the measured map distance: Dmap = 151 mm Converting to the equivalent horizontal ground distance, D = Dmap u 24 m mm

= 151 mm = 3624 m

Here u denotes the map scale. This result (3624 m) diers from that obtained in the previous example (3634 m) by only 10 m. Suppose one can directly measure map distance with a precision of about 1 mm. For a map scale of 1:24 000 the equivalent measurement precision of horizontal ground distance is then about 24 m. The dierence one obtains using the two methods (i.e., computation versus direct measurement), 10 m, is well within this precision. Therefore, the distance results from the two methods are consistent.

4.1. POINTS IN THE SAME UTM LONGITUDE ZONE AND HEMISPHERE

57

Table 4.2: Data for Distance and Bearing Calculation Example 2nd of 2 Easting x (m) 448 496 459 288 Northing y (m) 5 298 673 5 291 192 Quadrangle Name (7.5-minute series) Four Mound Prairie, WA [USGS, 1973a] Nine Mile Falls, WA [USGS, 1973b]

Point

Description

P1 P2

Summit Gaging Station

Notes: (1) Horizontal datum: NAD 27 (2) Both points lie in UTM lon. zone 11, in N. hemis.

Example: Determining Horizontal Distance and Bearing Between Points in Same Zone and Hemisphere Problem: Determine the horizontal distance, and bearing, from the summit of Eagle Rock (Stevens County, Washington) to the gaging station at Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Assume that the points have the UTM coordinates listed in Table 4.2. Solution: The points lie in areas covered by two dierent USGS quadrangle maps, but are in the same UTM longitude zone and hemisphere, and their UTM coordinates are expressed relative to the same horizontal datum. Therefore one can use equations (4.1.1) and (4.1.2) to calculate the horizontal distance and bearing, respectively, between the points. Substituting the numerical values tabulated above for the corresponding variables in equation (4.1.1) gives D = (59 288 48 496)2 + (1192 8673)2 m

= 13 130 m Substituting the numerical values tabulated above for the corresponding variables in equation (4.1.2) gives = 180 rad arctan 59 288 48 496 1192 8673

= 124.7 That is, from the summit, the gaging station is on a bearing of approximately 125 east of north.

58

CHAPTER 4. HORIZONTAL DISTANCE AND BEARING DETERMINATION

4.2

Points Not in the Same UTM Longitude Zone and Hemisphere

If the two points P1 and P2 lie in dierent UTM longitude zones or in dierent hemispheres, or both, then one can use either spherical trigonometry or ellipsoidal trigonometry to calculate the horizontal distance and bearing between them. The following sections briey discuss the two approaches.

4.2.1

Spherical Earth

Assuming the earth is spherical, then the great-circle distance (D) between the two points P1 and P2 is given by the geographic formula [Snyder, 1987]: D = r arccos [sin 1 sin 2 + cos 1 cos 2 cos(2 1 )] where 1 and 2 are the latitudes (in radians) of the points P1 and P2 , respectively; 1 and 2 are the longitudes (in radians) of the points P1 and P2 , respectively; and r is the radius of the earth. Although equation (4.2.1) is mathematically exact, as a computational algorithm its practicality is limited. Specically, if D << r, then direct calculation of D using equation (4.2.1) gives inaccurate results. Snyder [1987] presents an alternate equation by Sinnott [1984] thats more accurate for this case: D = 2 r arcsin sin2 2 1 2 1 + cos 1 cos 2 sin2 2 2 (4.2.2) (4.2.1)

See Snyder [1987] for a more in-depth discussion of the computational limitations of equations (4.2.1) and (4.2.2). In the present context (i.e., points P1 and P2 lying in dierent UTM longitude zones or dierent hemispheres, or both), this situation (D << r) could arise in one of the following ways: The points P1 and P2 lie in two separate, adjacent, UTM longitude zones, but both lie very near the bounding meridian that separates the two zones, and there is little or no dierence in their latitudes. The points P1 and P2 lie in dierent hemispheres (N and S), but both lie very near the equator (i.e., the bounding parallel that separates the two hemispheres), and there is little or no dierence in their longitudes. The points P1 and P2 satisfy both of the previous conditions. The earth isnt spherical, but more nearly ellipsoidal, so its not a priori clear what value should be used for r in equations (4.2.1) and (4.2.2). Various types of mean radius have been dened (e.g., see Wikipedia [2007a]), and these may be suitable for some purposes. National Imagery and Mapping Agency [2000] reports that the mean value of the WGS 84 ellipsoids semi-axes is 6371.009 km (to the nearest 0.001 km). Snyder [1987] also presents equations for the azimuth (or bearing) between two points on a spherical earth.

4.3. CHAPTER SUMMARY

59

To use equations (4.2.1) and (4.2.2), one must rst convert the UTM coordinates of the two points to geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude). DMA [1989] gives detailed formulas for the conversion of UTM coordinates to geographic coordinates, and the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) [2007] has an interactive online geographic/UTM coordinate conversion utility suitable for this purpose. The NGS utility is publicly available and free to use.

4.2.2

Ellipsoidal Earth

For more accurate estimation of horizontal distance and bearing, one can perform calculations that take into account the approximately ellipsoidal shape of the earth. Vincenty [1975] gives formulas for this purpose. These formulas are much more complicated than their counterparts for a spherical Earth (e.g., the geographic formula and its variants), and require knowledge of the major and minor semi-axes of the ellipsoid in addition to the geographic coordinates of the two points. Thomas and Featherstone [2005] have numerically veried the formulas of Vincenty [1975].

4.3

Chapter Summary

Chapter 4 began by considering the following question: Given the UTM coordinates for two points P1 and P2 , how does one determine the horizontal distance between them? The answer to this question depends on whether or not the two points lie in the same UTM longitude zone and the same hemisphere (N. or S.). If the two points lie in the same UTM longitude zone and hemisphere, then one can determine the distance either by measuring it on a map (if the two points plot on the same quadrangle), or by calculation via the equations of plane analytic geometry. If the two points dont lie in the same UTM longitude zone and hemisphere, then one can calculate the distance via the equations of spherical trigonometry or ellipsoidal trigonometry.

60

REFERENCES

References
Burns, B. and M. Burns. 2004. Wilderness Navigation. 2nd ed. The Mountaineers Books. Seattle, WA. Central Intelligence Agency. 2007 (Retrieved Jun 22). Svalbard (territory of Norway). The World Factbook. Langley, VA. (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/theworld-factbook/geos/sv.html). Cole, W.P. 1977. Using the UTM Grid System to Record Historic Sites. U.S. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. National Register Bulletin 28. Crawford, R.L. 1983. Grid systems for recording specimen collection localities in North America. Systematic Zoology 32(4):389-402. DOI:10.2307/2413166. Dana, P.H. 2007 (Retrieved Aug 07). Map Projection Overview. The Geographers Craft Project, Department of Geography, The University of Colorado. Boulder, CO. (http: //www.pdana.com/PHDWWW.htm). Dean, D.J. 2007 (Retrieved Aug 07). Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Coordinate System. Colorado State University. Fort Collins, CO. (http://www.warnercnr.colostate. edu/class_info/nr502/lg3/datums_coordinates/utm.html). Defense Mapping Agency. 1989. The Universal Grids: Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) and Universal Polar Stereographic (UPS). Fairfax, VA. Technical Manual 8358.2. Defense Mapping Agency. 1990. Datums, Ellipsoids, Grids, and Grid Reference Systems. Fairfax, VA. Technical Manual 8358.1. Department of the Army. 2001. Map Reading and Land Navigation. Washington, DC. Field Manual No. 3-25.26. Dracup, J.F. 2007 (Retrieved Aug 09). Geodetic Surveying 1940-1990. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/geod1. html). Edwards, R.L. 1969. Archaeological use of the Universal Transverse Mercator grid. American Antiquity 34(2):180-2. DOI: 10.2307/278049. Eves, H. 1984. Analytic Geometry. Section VII in CRC Standard Mathematical Tables. 27th ed. W.H. Beyer, editor. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, FL. Federal Geographic Data Committee. 2001. United States National Grid. Reston, VA. FGDC-STD-011-2001. 61

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REFERENCES Grubb, T.G. and W.L. Eakle. 1988. Recording Wildlife Locations with the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid System. USDA Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, CO. Research Note RM-483. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 1993. Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry. 2nd ed. Blackwell Science Ltd. London. Lambert, J.H. 1772. Beitrge zum Gebrauche der Mathematik und deren Anwwneung: Part a III, section 6: Anmerkungen und Zustze zur Entwerfung der Land- und Himmelscharten: a Berlin. Translated and introduced by W.R. Tobler, Univ. Michigan, 1972. Langley, R.B. 1998. The UTM grid system. GPS World 9(2):46-50. Libre Map Project. 2008 (Accessed Jan 09). (http://libremap.org/). Moore, L. 1997. Transverse Mercator projections and U.S. Geological Survey digital products. U.S. Geological Survey. Mid-Continent Mapping Center. Rolla, MO. National Geodetic Survey. 2007 (Accessed Jun 18). Universal Transverse Mercator Coordinates. Interactive Conversions. (http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/TOOLS/utm.html). National Imagery and Mapping Agency. 2000. Department of Defense World Geodetic System 1984. Its Denition and Relationship with Local Geodetic Systems. Technical Report 8350.2. 3rd ed. Amendment 1. New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Accessed 2007 Jul 19. The Global Positioning System - UTM Overlay Grids. Socorro, NM. (http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/ publications/maps/gps). OBrien, L.P. 1986. The Universal Transverse Mercator Formulas for Cartographic Applications Programmers. Defense Mapping Agency Inter American Geodetic Survey APO Miami 34033 Chile P Project. Accession Number ADA176624. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and The Interministerial Committee on Geographical Referencing. 1981. The Ontario Geographical Referencing Grid (The Universal Transverse Mercator Grid System). Ministry of Natural Resources, Surveys and Mapping Branch, Geographical Referencing Section. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Shalowitz, A.L. 1964. Shore and Sea Boundaries. Volume 2, Interpretation and Use of Coast and Geodetic Survey Data. U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. U.S. GPO. Washington, DC. Publication 10-1. Sinnott, R.W. 1984. Virtues of the haversine. Sky and Telescope 68(2):159. Snyder, J.P. 1987. Map Projections A Working Manual. U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. GPO. Washington, DC. Professional Paper 1395. Snyder, J.P. and P.M. Voxland. 1989. An Album of Map Projections. U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. GPO. Washington, DC. Professional Paper 1453. Taylor, B.N. 1995. Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI). U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Science and Technology. Gaithersburg, MD. Special Publication 811.

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Thomas, C.M. and W.E. Featherstone. 2005. Validation of Vincentys formulas for the geodesic using a new fourth-order extension of Kiviojas formula. Journal of Surveying Engineering. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9453(2005)131:1(20). U.S. Air Force. 2001. Air Navigation. Washington, DC. Pamphlet 11-216. U.S. Geological Survey 1954. Eagle Cap Quadrangle, Oregon. 15-minute series topographic map. Denver, CO. 1 sheet. 1973a. Four Mound Prairie Quadrangle, Washington. 7.5-minute series topographic map. Denver, CO. 1 sheet. 1986 (1973; photorevised 1986). Nine Mile Falls Quadrangle, Washington. 7.5-minute series topographic map. Denver, CO. 1 sheet. 1987. Yakutat (B-4) NW, Alaska. 7.5-minute series topographic map. Provisional edition. Denver, CO. 1 sheet. 1998. United States Map Indexes. Fact Sheet 190-95. Denver, CO. 2001. The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid. Fact Sheet 077-01. Denver, CO. 2008a (Retrieved Jan 06). Availability of USGS Geospatial Data. Reston, VA. (http: //nationalmap.gov/gio/status.html). 2008b (Retrieved Jan 09). USGS Topographic Maps. Reston, VA. (http://topomaps. usgs.gov/). 2008c (Retrieved Jan 10). View USGS Maps and Aerial Photo Images Online. Reston, VA. (http://nationalmap.gov/gio/viewonline.html). Vincenty, T. 1975. Direct and inverse solutions of geodesics on the ellipsoid with application of nested equations. Survey Review 22(176): 88-93. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2007a (Retrieved Jul 24). Earth radius. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_ radius). 2007b (Retrieved Aug 05). Extreme Points of the United States. (http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Extreme_points_of_the_United_States). 2007c (Retrieved Aug 05). Alaska. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska). 2007d (Retrieved Aug 05). Hawaii. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii).

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REFERENCES

Appendices

65

Appendix A

Approximate Ranges for UTM Easting Coordinates


A.1 Crude Approximation, for Nonspecic Latitude

Each UTM longitude zone is widest at the equator and becomes narrower as one moves poleward, so the maximum possible range of values for the easting coordinates corresponds to the range of values at the equator. In addition, each longitude zone is symmetric about its central meridian. Neglecting distortion, the range can be approximated as the length of the arc extending from one bounding meridian to the adjacent bounding meridian, along the equator: xcm Sequator Sequator x xcm + 2 2 (A.1.1)

where xcm denotes the easting coordinate of the zones central meridian, and Sequator denotes the arc length as measured at the equator. Assuming the equator is circular, the arc length is given by Sequator = requator rad1 (A.1.2)

where requator is the equatorial radius and is the positive angle subtended by the arc (i.e., the angular width of the UTM longitude zone). The easting coordinate of each zones central meridian is xcm = 500 000 m, and the subtended angle is = 6 = /30 rad (see Chapter 2). The equatorial radius is given by the semimajor axis of the ellipsoid, the numerical value of which depends on the particular datum used. Hence, the numerical value of Sequator depends on the particular datum used. For the 1984 World Geodetic System (WGS 84) geoid, the value of the semimajor axis is a = 6378.137 km [National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), 2000]. Substituting these numerical values for and requator in equation (A.1.2) gives Sequator = 667.9169 km (WGS 84) (A.1.3)

That is, the UTM longitude zones are approximately 668 km wide at the equator, and narrow as one moves poleward. Substituting the corresponding numerical values for the variables in expression (A.1.1) yields the following: 166 042 m x 833 958 m (WGS 84) 67 (A.1.4)

68

APPENDIX A. APPROXIMATE RANGES FOR UTM EASTING COORDINATES

based on the WGS 84 datum. The range of values derived here is specic to the equator; at more northerly and more southerly latitudes the range would be narrower. In deriving the approximate range (A.1.4), distortion was neglected. Incorporating distortion into the calculation isnt simple, because the scale factor is a function of the UTM easting coordinate. Exercise: Approximate Range of UTM Easting Coordinates for NAD 27 Problem: Repeat the procedure above, for the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD 27). Use a = 6378.068 km. First calculate Sequator , then estimate the maximum range of easting coordinates using expression (A.1.1). Solution: Sequator = 667.9097 km (NAD 27) (A.1.5)

166 045 m x 833 955 m (NAD 27)

(A.1.6)

Note that the procedure gives a slightly narrower range for NAD 27 than that obtained above for WGS 84.

Exercise: Low-Precision Approximation for Range of UTM Easting Coordinates For quick error screening of coordinate data, an easy-to-remember, low-precision approximation is useful. Several datums used in the U.S. are based on ellipsoids whose semimajor axes are approximately 6378 km (to four signicant digits). These include NAD 27, NAD 83, and WGS 84. Use the equations given above to show that if the semimajor axis is a = 6378 km, then to three signicant digits the maximum possible range of values for UTM easting coordinates is approximately 166 000 m x 834 000 m This approximation is valid for the NAD 27, NAD 83, and WGS 84 datums. (A.1.7)

A.2

Rened Approximation, for Nonspecic Latitude

More accurate estimates of the range of UTM easting coordinates can be obtained by (1) explicitly accounting for the ellipsoidal, rather than spherical, shape of the earth, and (2) incorporating distortion in the calculations. The calculations are rather involved, so this appendix wont discuss the mathematical details. However, that doesnt mean one cant perform them. Several coordinate conversion utilities are available on the worldwide web for online public use. To verify and rene the approximations (A.1.4) and (A.1.7), well use the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) online UTM coordinate conversion utility. As of 2007 July 09, the NGS utility was available on the worldwide web [see NGS, 2007]. This utility is convenient to use, and

A.2. REFINED APPROXIMATION, FOR NONSPECIFIC LATITUDE

69

Table A.1: Output from NGS Utility, for NAD 83 Latitude N000000.00000 EAST(X) METERS 833978.557 166021.443 ZONE Longitude W0060000.00000 CONVERGENCE DD MM SS.ss 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 Datum NAD83 SCALE

INPUT = NORTH(Y) METERS 0.000 0.000

29 30

1.00098106 1.00098106

there is no charge to the user. One drawback of the NGS utility is that it will only convert the coordinates of one point at a time, so uploading a dataset consisting of coordinates of multiple points for batch processing isnt supported. The user accesses the web page and enters the geographic (or UTM) coordinates of a single point, and the NGS utility responds by displaying the UTM (or geographic) coordinates. In addition, a version of the NGS utility is available for downloading. After accessing the NGS UTM tools web page (for relevant URI, see NGS [2007]), select the Latitude / Longitude UTM interactive conversion feature. Note that the NGS online utility only supports two horizontal datums, NAD 27 and NAD 83. In North America, WGS 84, NAD 83, and NAD 27 are the most widely used geodetic datums. Furthermore, WGS 84 and NAD 83 are very similar [e.g., see NIMA, 2000], so this limited choice of datums is not, in practice, overly restrictive for our purpose. Enter the geographic coordinates for a point located on the equator, at 6 W. lon., using horizontal datum NAD 83. As per the online format instructions, select NAD83, and enter N000000.00000 for the latitude and W0060000.00000 for the longitude. Then select Submit. The NGS utility then displays the information shown in Table A.1. Note that in this particular example the output consists of two sets of UTM coordinates. The NGS utility is telling us that the point whose geographic coordinates were entered lies on the meridian that separates adjacent UTM longitude zones 29 and 30. Relative to zone 29 this point has the UTM easting coordinate 833 978 mE. Relative to zone 30 this point has the UTM easting coordinate 166 022 mE. You can repeat this exercise using the same latitude, but with a dierent longitude consisting of a positive integer multiple of 6 (e.g., 42 ). The NGS utility should display results that are identical to these except that the two adjacent UTM longitude zones will dier from these. Evidently the maximum range of UTM easting coordinates for any UTM longitude zone, and both the WGS 84 and NAD 83 datums, is as follows: 166 022 m x 833 978 m (A.2.1)

Comparing expressions (A.1.4) and (A.2.1), its clear that the approximation (A.1.4) is valid to four signicant digits. Next, repeat the procedure above using NAD 27 as horizontal datum. The NGS utility displays the information shown in Table A.2. As before, repeating this procedure using a dierent positive integer multiple of 6 for the longitude gives similar results. Evidently the maximum range of UTM easting coordinates for any UTM longitude zone, and the NAD 27 datum, is as

70

APPENDIX A. APPROXIMATE RANGES FOR UTM EASTING COORDINATES

Table A.2: Output from NGS Utility, for NAD 27 Latitude N000000.00000 EAST(X) METERS 833982.202 166017.798 ZONE Longitude E0060000.00000 CONVERGENCE DD MM SS.ss 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 Datum NAD27 SCALE

INPUT = NORTH(Y) METERS 0.000 0.000

31 32

1.00098116 1.00098116

follows: 166 018 m x 833 982 m (A.2.2)

Comparing expressions (A.1.6) and (A.2.2), its clear that the approximation (A.1.6) is valid to four signicant digits. Finally, comparing expressions (A.2.1) and (A.2.2) to the crude approximation (A.1.7) conrms that the approximation (A.1.7) is valid to three signicant digits, as claimed.

A.3

Crude Approximation, for Specic Latitude

The width of each UTM longitude zone decreases poleward from the equator (see Figures 2.3 and 2.7), so the range of UTM easting coordinates depends on the latitude. We can exploit this dependence to rene (narrow) the range approximation derived in Section A.1. Consider any xed latitude, the corresponding parallel, and the coincident arc that extends between the two adjacent bounding meridians. Neglecting distortion, the range of UTM easting coordinates at that latitude is approximated by the length of the arc. Assuming the longitude zone is symmetric about its central meridian, we obtain the following approximation for the range: xcm where is the latitude angle (|| /2 rad), with positive and negative values corresponding to northern and southern latitudes, respectively; and S is the arc length as measured at the parallel of latitude . Assuming that every parallel of latitude is circular, the length of an arc measured along a parallel is given by S = r rad1 (A.3.2) S S x xcm + 2 2 (A.3.1)

where r is the radius of the circle coincident with the parallel of latitude . As a rst approximation assume the earth is spherical; then from trigonometry the radius of the circle is related to the radius of the sphere (rsphere ), and to the latitude angle, as r = rsphere cos (A.3.3)

A.3. CRUDE APPROXIMATION, FOR SPECIFIC LATITUDE

71

This result is valid for both positive and negative values of (i.e., both northern and southern latitudes), because the cosine function is symmetric about the angle = 0. Substituting the right-hand side of equation (A.3.3) for r in equation (A.3.2) gives

S = rsphere cos rad1

(A.3.4)

The earth is not spherical, but is more closely approximated by an ellipsoid with its equatorial radius (a) slightly larger than its polar radius (b). For example, for the WGS 84 datum a = 6378.137 km and b = 6356.752 km [NIMA, 2000]. One can see from equation (A.3.4) and expression (A.3.1) that using the equatorial radius to estimate rsphere will result in a greater estimate of the arc length, and hence a more conservative (wider) estimate for the range of easting coordinates, so thats what well do. Thus, the result obtained for the arc length depends in part on the particular datum used.

Example: Ranges of UTM Easting Coordinates, for Regular UTM Zones, at Extreme Latitudes Problem: What are the approximate ranges of UTM easting coordinates at the most southerly and most northerly limits of regular (6 -wide) UTM zones? Base your results on the WGS 84 geoid. Solution: Use = /30 rad, rsphere = a = 6378.137 km (WGS 84), and xcm = 500 000 m. Part 1: Most Northerly Limit At the most northerly limit the latitude is 84 N., so = 84 = 7 /15 rad. Substituting these results for the corresponding variables in equation (A.3.4) gives S = 69 816.33 m. Substituting the above values for the corresponding variables in expression (A.3.1) yields 465 092 m x 534 908 m (WGS 84) Part 2: Most Southerly Limit At the most southerly limit the latitude is 80 S., so = 80 = 4 /9 rad. Substituting these results for the corresponding variables in equation (A.3.4) gives S = 115 982.6 m. Substituting the above values for the corresponding variables in expression (A.3.1) yields 442 009 m x 557 991 m (WGS 84) As expected, the range of easting coordinates is wider for the most southerly limit than for the most northerly limit.

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APPENDIX A. APPROXIMATE RANGES FOR UTM EASTING COORDINATES

Example: Ranges of UTM Easting Coordinates for 12 -wide Irregular UTM Zones Problem: Estimate the maximum range of easting coordinates for those irregular UTM zones that are 12 wide (i.e., UTM zones 33X and 35X). Base your results on the WGS 84 geoid. Solution: UTM zones in the northern hemisphere are widest at their most southerly limits. For UTM zones that lie within UTM latitude zone X, this corresponds to 72 N. lat. Like all regular UTM zones, the 12 -wide irregular zones 33X and 35X are symmetric about their respective central meridians. Therefore, the range expression (A.3.1) applies to zones 33X and 35X as well. Use = 72 = 2 /5 rad, = 12 = /15 rad, rsphere = a = 6378.137 km (WGS 84), and xcm = 500 000 m. Substituting these numerical values for the corresponding variables in equation (A.3.4) gives S = 412 795.374 m. Substituting the above numerical values for the corresponding variables in equation (A.3.1) yields 293 603 m x 706 397 m (WGS 84) Thus, the maximum range is more than 3.5 times that of the regular UTM zones at the same latitude (see previous example).

Exercise: Low-Precision Approximation for Range of UTM Easting Coordinates at Specied Latitude For quick error screening of coordinate data, an easy-to-remember, low-precision approximation is useful. Several datums used in the U.S. are based on ellipsoids whose semimajor axes are approximately 6378 km (to four signicant digits). These include NAD 27, NAD 83, and WGS 84. Use the expressions given in Section A.2 to show that if the semimajor axis a = 6378 km, then to three signicant digits the range of values for UTM easting coordinates at latitude , for all regular UTM zones, is approximately 500 000 m where S = (668 000 m) cos This approximation applies to UTM longitude zones both northern and southern latitudes. S 2 x 500 000 m + S 2

Appendix B

Approximate Ranges for UTM Northing Coordinates


Ignoring distortion, one can assume the UTM northing coordinate is measured parallel to the central meridian of the corresponding UTM longitude zone. Then the dierence between the zones maximum and minimum northing coordinates is approximated by the length of the arc that extends from the zones most southerly parallel to its most northerly parallel, along the central meridian. As a rst approximation we assume the earth is spherical; then the meridian is circular so the arc length is given by Smeridian = rmeridian rad1 (B.0.1)

where rmeridian denotes the radius of the circle coincident with the meridian and denotes the positive angle (i.e., the latitude increment) subtended by the arc. The earth is not spherical, but is more closely approximated by an ellipsoid with its equatorial radius (a) slightly larger than its polar radius (b). For example, for the WGS 84 datum a = 6378.137 km and b = 6356.752 km [NIMA, 2000]. Using the equatorial radius to estimate rmeridian will result in a greater estimate of the arc length, and hence a more conservative (wider) estimate for the range of northing coordinates, so thats what well do. Thus, the result obtained for the arc length depends in part on the particular datum used.

B.1

Northern Hemisphere

Each UTM longitude zone in the northern hemisphere extends from the equator northward to the parallel of 84 N. lat. The northing coordinate is assigned a value of y = 0 m at the equator and increases poleward, so it (approximately) satises the following: 0 m y Smeridian Substituting = 84 = 7 /15 rad and rmeridian = a in equation (B.0.1) leads to Smeridian = 7 a 15 (B.1.1)

Combining this result with equation (B.1.1) yields the following approximation for the maximum possible range of northing coordinates within any UTM longitude zone in the northern 73

74

APPENDIX B. APPROXIMATE RANGES FOR UTM NORTHING COORDINATES

hemisphere: 0m y 7 a 15 (B.1.2)

For example, using the numerical value of the equatorial radius corresponding to the WGS 84 datum in expression (B.1.2) gives the following approximation: 0 m y 9 350 837 m (N. hemis., WGS 84)

B.2

Southern Hemisphere

Each UTM longitude zone in the southern hemisphere extends from the equator southward to the parallel of 80 S. lat. The northing coordinate is assigned a value of y = 10 000 000 m at the equator and decreases poleward, so it (approximately) satises the following: 10 000 000 m Smeridian y 10 000 000 m Substituting = 80 = 4 /9 rad and rmeridian = a in equation (B.0.1) leads to Smeridian = 4 a 9 (B.2.1)

Combining this result with equation (B.2.1) yields the following approximation for the maximum possible range of northing coordinates within any UTM longitude zone in the southern hemisphere: 10 000 000 m 4 a y 10 000 000 m 9 (B.2.2)

For example, using the numerical value of the equatorial radius corresponding to the WGS 84 datum in expression (B.2.2) gives the following approximation: 1 094 440 m y 10 000 000 m (S. hemis., WGS 84)

Appendix C

Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Gridline


C.1 Introduction

The projected, or shortest, distance from a point to a line is measured along a line segment that (1) intersects the point of interest, and (2) intersects the line at a 90 angle (i.e., perpendicularly). Measuring the distance along a nonperpendicular segment will result in a positive error (i.e., the distance will be overestimated), and the more the angle diers from 90 , the greater the error. Therefore, its best to measure the distance along a segment that intersects the line at an angle as near as possible to 90 . The following discussion refers to the point as the point of interest (POI), the line as the gridline of interest (GOI), and the line segment along which the distance between the point and the line is measured as the segment. The following sections describe procedures for measuring the map distance from a POI to a GOI. To determine the corresponding horizontal ground distance, divide the map distance by the map scale. Each of the gridlines used for UTM coordinate determination is one of two types fully displayed or marked-only. A fully displayed gridline is one that is displayed explicitly; for a paper map this means a gridline that is either drawn or printed directly on the map. A marked-only gridline is one whose position is indicated by the corresponding pairs of grid tick marks displayed on opposite margins of the map sheet; the line itself is not explicitly displayed. The dierence between fully displayed and marked-only gridlines is important because the measurement procedures for the two dier.

C.2

Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Fully Displayed Gridline

Each local UTM grid is orthogonal. That is, within any particular UTM longitude zone, the easting gridlines are perpendicular to the northing gridlines. This property enables us to measure the projected distance in two ways, using a corner ruler. I call these the direct method and the indirect method. The corresponding procedures are described below. 75

76

APPENDIX C. MEASURING THE DISTANCE FROM A POINT TO A GRIDLINE

C.2.1

Direct Method

1. Position the corner ruler so that one outside edge (rst) aligns with the GOI, and the other (second) outside edge intersects the POI. 2. Read the corner ruler where the second outside edge intersects the POI. This is the map distance. This simple procedure can be learned quickly.

C.2.2

Indirect Method

1. Position the corner ruler so that one outside edge (rst) aligns with a nearby orthogonal gridline (instead of the GOI), and the other (second) outside edge intersects the POI. 2. Read the corner ruler where the rst outside edge intersects the GOI. This is the map distance. For instance, if you wish to measure the distance from the POI to a particular northing gridline, position the corner ruler so that one of the outside edges aligns with a nearby easting gridline, and the other outside edge intersects the POI. Then read the corner ruler where the rst outside edge intersects the northing gridline. This procedure is useful in those situations where the goal is to measure both the easting and northing coordinates of a POI (see below).

C.2.3

Combined Method for Measuring Easting and Northing

Once the corner ruler is properly positioned to measure a distance from the POI to a nearby gridline (either easting or northing), by either the direct or the indirect method, its automatically properly positioned to measure the other distance (i.e., to a nearby orthogonal gridline) using the other method. Thus, one needs to position the corner ruler only once to measure the two orthogonal distances. This saves time in those situations where the goal is to determine both the easting and northing coordinates of a POI.

C.3

Measuring the Distance from a Point to a Marked-only Gridline

In this situation, the procedure is similar to that of the direct method, except that one rst uses a straightedge to temporarily mark the location of the GOI. 1. Carefully align a straightedge with the GOIs corresponding pair of grid tick marks on opposite margins of the map sheet. Hold the straightedge rmly in place. 2. Position the corner ruler so that one outside edge (rst) aligns with the GOI, and the other (second) outside edge intersects the POI. 3. Read the corner ruler where the second outside edge intersects the POI. This is the map distance.

C.3. MEASURING THE DISTANCE FROM A POINT TO A MARKED-ONLY GRIDLINE77 The procedure for marked-only gridlines is less practical to implement in the eld than those for fully displayed gridlines, because it requires a large at work surface and a long straightedge. Its also more time consuming, for two reasons. First, it requires an extra step (i.e., aligning the straightedge with the GOI). Second, unlike the combined method described above, the entire procedure must be executed twice in those situations where the goal is to determine both the easting and northing coordinates of a POI. The extra step also creates an additional opportunity for error. For these reasons, maps with preprinted or predrawn gridlines are preferred, especially for working in the eld.

78

APPENDIX C. MEASURING THE DISTANCE FROM A POINT TO A GRIDLINE

Appendix D

Obtaining an Appropriate USGS Topographic Map


This appendix describes a general procedure for obtaining a USGS topographic quadrangle map appropriate for plotting a point of interest (POI) whose UTM coordinates are known. This description assumes that the POI lies within the U.S., which includes the lower 48 states, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii.

D.1

Basic Procedure

The basic steps of the procedure are as follows: 1. Identify the relevant USGS topographic quadrangle maps (i.e., those whose areas of coverage include the POI). Normally these would include several maps, each with a dierent scale (e.g., 1:24 000, 1:100 000, 1:250 000). USGS topographic quadrangle maps are identied by the state name, quadrangle name, and map scale. 2. Identify the relevant USGS topographic quadrangle map that has the most appropriate scale for the particular application. 3. Acquire a copy of the USGS topographic quadrangle map. 4. Attempt to verify that the acquired USGS topographic quadrangle map is relevant.

D.2

Resources for Identifying Relevant Topographic Maps

Resources available to help identify relevant USGS topographic maps include the following: USGS status graphics, USGS State Indexes to Topographic Maps, commercial products, and other online (worldwide web) tools for viewing geospatial imagery. 79

80

APPENDIX D. OBTAINING AN APPROPRIATE USGS TOPOGRAPHIC MAP

USGS status graphics are map-based images depicting the current availability of USGS digital cartographic data products [USGS, 2008a]. USGS status graphics may be viewed on the worldwide web using the USGS Status Graphics Viewer [see USGS, 2008a]. USGS State Indexes to Topographic Maps (state index maps) are paper maps. Each state index map consists of a state base map depicting the major physiographic features of the state, with the boundaries of USGS topographic maps (quadrangles) and other maps overprinted. Each quadrangle is identied by reference code, map name, and scale [USGS, 1998]. State index maps are available for viewing in public libraries, for purchase from book and map sellers (e.g., private bookstores), and free on request from the USGS. Commercial products useful for the identication of topographic quadrangle maps include digital or print publications, and software/database products. Useful publications include state and national atlases and gazetteers, which consist of collections of topographic maps with overprinted graticule lines or UTM gridlines. Other web-based tools for viewing geospatial imagery may be helpful for the identication of topographic quadrangle maps. Numerous online viewing tools are available at the websites of USGS partners. USGS [2008c] provides a compilation of links to such websites. The approach taken to identify the relevant topographic quadrangle maps depends on the context. How much geographic information, in addition to the UTM coordinates, is available about the POI and its surrounding area? One approach is to determine the corresponding state rst, and then to use USGS status graphics or a state index map to nd the corresponding quadrangle(s). Depending on the particular resources available, it may be preferable to convert the UTM coordinates of the POI to geographic coordinates to facilitate the search for relevant topographic maps. If so, numerous online conversion coordinate programs are available for public use [e.g., NGS, 2007].

D.3

Selecting an Appropriate Map Scale

Selecting an appropriate map scale generally involves a compromise. A large-scale (small-area) map provides more spatial detail to illustrate relevant local features, and may make it easier to accurately plot the POI. A small-scale (large-area) map shows more of the surrounding area to illustrate the larger spatial context. Experience and professional judgment should guide the selection. The limited number of available map scales narrows the selection. In some cases personal preference may also play a minor role in the selection process.

D.4

Acquiring USGS Topographic Maps

USGS topographic quadrangle maps are available in both paper copies and digital les. Paper copies can be purchased directly from the USGS and from its business partners (i.e., authorized private-sector retailers) [USGS, 2008b]. Digital image les (e.g., digital raster graphics, or DRGs) for many USGS topographic quadrangle maps are available online from various sources. For instance, individual 1:24 000 scale DRGs, and the accompanying metadata, from all 50 states, are available free of charge from Libre Map Project [2008]. However, large le sizes and limited le formats may practically limit their usefulness for some applications and for some users. Commercial software/database products for viewing and printing USGS topographic quadrangle maps are available also.

D.5. VERIFYING THE AREA OF COVERAGE

81

D.5

Verifying the Area of Coverage

If the maps horizontal datum is identical to that specied in the UTM coordinates of the POI, and the POI is not too close to the edge of the map coverage area (e.g., 1000 m from the neatline), then one can perform the verication as follows: 1. Verify that the POIs UTM easting coordinate falls between the minimum and maximum easting coordinates of the map coverage area. 2. Verify that the POIs UTM northing coordinate falls between the minimum and maximum northing coordinates of the map coverage area. If the POI lies near the edge of the maps coverage area (e.g., within 1000 m of the neatline), then one should take extra care to verify that the POI actually lies within the maps coverage area. Remember, the UTM grid may be rotated slightly relative to the graticule, and the neatlines coincide with the graticule, not with the UTM grid. The most reliable way to perform this step is to use the map to estimate the UTM coordinates of the POI after it has been plotted on the map, and then compare these estimates to the known coordinates. Any discrepancy should be consistent with map measurement errors.