Map Tools Tutorials
If you are not sure which geographic coordinate system to use, or if you've been using latitude / longitude just because that's what your GPS came set to from the factory, I'd suggest you start with the Choosing a Geographic Coordinate System tutorial.Choosing a Geographic Coordinate System
If your already clear about the coordinate systems you'll be using, go directly to the desired tutorial.
Using Latitude / Longitude CoordinatesYou can also learn to use UTM / MGRS coordinates with the "UTM Booklet"
The booklet contains everything you need to know to use UTM with your maps and GPS.
Why should I buy a booklet, when the information is right here online?
- The booklet contains more details than the online tutorial.
- The graphics are much sharper on the printed page than on the web pages.
- The booklet is portable. Toss it in your day pack. Read it outside on a nice day, or crawl under the covers on a rainy day.
- The booklet comes with a 1:24,000 Pocket Grid Reader that you can use with the practice map in the booklet, or with your USGS topo maps in the field.
Here's what some other folks have to say about the "UTM Booklet"...
"Thanks you for the helpful UTM information. I just got my first GPS unit and your clear
instructions really helped me understand how the grid system works."
"...I bought a Garmin and was mystified at using UTM coordinates. Your book and tools have
made the issues crystal clear to me. Thanks!"
Map, Compass and GPS Tutorials
North References for Navigating with Map, Compass and GPS
- Bearings, Azimuths, Headings, and Course
- Some reasons to plot bearings onto your map
- Location by Resectioning or "Where am I?
- Location by Intersection or "Where is the ______ that I can see in the distance?
- Plotting straight line course segments for route finding
- The example problem used in this tutorial
- Understand your north references
- Understanding forward and back bearings
- Techniques for plotting a bearing:
- Plotting a bearing using a protractor
- Plotting a bearing using a baseplate compass
- Plotting a bearing using a baseplate compass adjusted for declination
- Plotting a bearing using a straight edged lensatic compass
- Plotting a second and third bearing to confirm your position
- Using bearings to locate a distant target