Convert from about any system to about any other system.
Our main interest in this utility is to gain the capability of converting from the MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) to the Geodetic System (lat/long).
Obtaining and installing the program:
- On your C: drive (or drive of your choice), create the subdirectory \geotrans
- Download GEOTRANS from site http://earth-info.nga.mil/GandG/geotrans/ to some convenient location on your harddrive (I put all such downloads in C:\downloads and for this one I created the subdir C:\downloads\geotrans).
- Use Windows Explorer to locate win_user.zip wherever you downloaded it and click on it. Whatever you use to unzip files should automagically cut in. Extract the zip file to C:/geotrans.
- Using Windows Explorer, drill down to C:\geotrans\geotrans2.2.6\geotrans2\win
- Right-click on geotrans2.exe
- Click on "send to" Desktop (to create shortcut on desktop). You may, if you so chose, drag the desktop shortcut to a grouping of similar shortcuts (in my case, a group named "Mapping").
Converting MGRS to Lat/Long:
- Double-click on the Geotrans2 icon, wherever you put it
and the program will appear.
- Click on Options, Geodetic Units, Degrees (unless you prefer a different choice)
- Leave the datum in both the upper and lower blocks on WGE: World Geodetic System 1984
- Click the center drop-down menu in the upper block and select Military Grid Reference System (MGRS)
- Select and copy the MGRS input value, e.g., 17SPU713879, from your souce document.
- Select the entire contents of the "Coordinate string" box in the upper box (so it will be replaced), place the cursor at the left edge of the "Coordinate string" box, right-click and then click on "paste". [Note: if needed, the contents can be selected, then a new entry can be manually typed in.]
- In the lower box, in the center drop-down menu, select Geodetic
- Click on the left green bar labelled Convert Upper -> Lower
- The converted longitude and latitude will appear in the boxes so labelled in the lower box, in selected format (in the above case with the above choices, 79.28651W, 35.13989N). These results may individually be selected, right-click and click "copy", then pasted wherever appropriate.
- The WiS&C° Online Converter from MGRS to... only converts from 1951 Unified European Geodetic System so is not of use to us.
- The Mentor Software MGRS Conversion Utility would likely be simple to use, but downloads require username and password and I have been unable to find out how to obtain such.
- On my Garmin GPS V, I was able to make the conversion by changing the configuration setup to MRGS, making a waypoint, revising the location to that which I wanted to convert (in this case, 17SPU713879, except it was expecting 5 digits easting and northing so I had to (or thought I had to) enter it as 17SPU7130087900 by adding 2 zeroes to both values). In order to make the conversion, I then had to change the gps configuration back to my usual DD.DDD position display.
- In OziExplorer GPS s/w, I was able to use configuration to change the "alternate grid" to MGRS. The sites of interest fell on the Raleigh 1:250k topo map (NAD27), so I used TZ "View maps" to convert the 3 calibration points from NAD27 to WGS84 and recalibrated the map to WGS84. In addition to the lat/long display for the current cursor position (or "jump to" location), there is also an MGRS position displayed. This is not very handy for MGRS-to-lat/long conversions but is a good confirmation tool.