# What is Easting and Northing?

## Understanding Easting and Northing

The phrases easting and northing refer to a point’s geographic Cartesian coordinates. The eastward-measured distance (or the x-coordinate) is referred to as easting, while the northward-measured distance is referred to as northing (or the y-coordinate).

Ordinarily, orthogonal coordinate pairs are measured in meters from a horizontal datum. This simple cartographic convention derives from the concept of latitudes and departures, a mechanism for computing coordinates and areas.

Eastings are the coordinates that run down the map’s bottom x-axis, whereas northings run along the map’s side y-axis.

When utilizing the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system, northing is the distance to the equator, while easting is the distance to the “false easting,” which is defined differently in each UTM zone.

Explorers have also used the term “northing” to signify a general advance toward the North Pole. In a speech to the New-York Geographical and Statistical Society in 1861, Isaac Israel Hayes used this phrase, noting, “The lack of steam power hampered my northing.”

## Conventions and Notation

Location coordinates are given using two sets of numbers on a simple Cartesian coordinate system. Locations can be found using easting/northing (or x,y) pairs in this manner. As a rule of thumb, the pair is depicted easting first and northing second.

In UTM Zone 11, the top of Mount Assiniboine (at 50°52′10′′N 115°39′03′′W) is represented as 11U 594934 5636174. Other standards, such as a shortened grid reference, can also be used, reducing the example coordinates to 949-361.

## What exactly is a false easting?

False easting is the linear value applied to all x-coordinates of a map projection in order to ensure that no values in the geographic region being mapped are negative.

The intersection of the equator and the central meridian of each zone is the point of origin of each UTM zone. To avoid dealing with negative values, each zone’s central meridian is fixed at 500,000 meters East.

## What exactly is false northing?

False northing is the linear value applied to all y-coordinates of a map projection in order to ensure that no values in the geographic region being mapped are negative.

The equator’s northing is set to 10,000,000 meters; thus, no point has a negative value.

To ensure that all x and y variables are positive, false easting and northing values are typically used.

## Converting North/East Coordinates to Longitude/Latitude

Geographers describe exact positions on the Earth’s surface using a variety of mathematics-based graphical techniques.

These systems can be used with great precision, pinpointing a location to fractions of a meter as long as enough decimal points are included in the data.

Most people are familiar with the latitude and longitude system, also known as the Lat-long system, which employs degrees, minutes, and seconds.

The State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS) is unique to the United States and employs northing and easting coordinates. It is presently mostly used in the field of civil engineering.

### Coordinates in Geographic Information Systems

Grids are used to describe coordinate mapping systems because they require both horizontal and vertical lines on a map, which is essentially a flat, two-dimensional representation of a spherical, three-dimensional surface.

Knowing how far “over” (east or west) or how far “up” or “down” (north or south) you are from a fixed reference point when given certain numbers called coordinates – or, alternatively, determining the coordinates from distance information – is exactly the point of these coordinate systems.

The most extensively used systems now are the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system and the latitude/longitude system. The ability to convert UTM to Lat-long is useful.

Other systems, such as the aforementioned SPCS in the United States and the Military Grid Reference System, are used to a lesser but significant extent (MGRS).

### The Latitude-Longitude Coordinate System

This system uses meridians, which are vertical lines, to indicate east-west position and parallels of latitude, which are horizontal lines, to indicate north-south position.

Lines of latitude remain the same distance apart from the equator running around Earth’s center to the poles because the Earth rotates about an axis running through its north and south poles, whereas lines of longitude converge from their widest points apart at the equator to where they meet at each pole.

Greenwich, England, was chosen as the reference point for 0 degrees longitude. Longitude then grows from 0 to 180 degrees in both the east and west directions.

The 0 line of latitude is simply the equator, and as one moves north or south, the values grow toward their maximum values at the poles.

Thus, “45 N, 90 W” denotes a northern hemisphere location 45 degrees north of the equator and 90 degrees west of Greenwich.

### The State Plane Coordinate System

The SPCS is unique to the United States in that it uses a point southwest of each state boundary as the zero-reference point for that state’s north-south coordinates, known as a northing, and east-west coordinates, known as an easting.

There is no need for “westings” or “southings” because any points west or south of the zero point are outside the state under consideration.

These measurements are commonly given in meters, which can be easily converted to kilometers, miles, or feet. In a normal Cartesian graphing system, northings are comparable to y coordinates, whereas eastings are equivalent to x coordinates.

The SPCS, unlike the Lat-long system, does not include any negative integers.

## Northing and Easting converted to latitude and longitude.

Because of the algebra required to convert state plane to Lat-long coordinates and vice versa, an online tool such as the one provided by the National Geodetic Survey is useful.

MGRS converter capabilities, among other things, are available in similar programs elsewhere on the Internet.

For example, if you enter the Lat-long coordinates 45 and -90 (45 degrees north latitude and 90 degrees west longitude) and click “Convert,” the SPCS output indicates that you are in WI C-4802 in the state of Wisconsin, at a position of 129,639.115 northings and 600,000 eastings, in meters.

These numbers correspond to 129 kilometers and 600 kilometers, or approximately 80 and 373 miles, respectively.

## What is the distinction between easting lines and northing lines?

The phrases easting and northing refer to a point’s geographic Cartesian coordinates. The eastward-measured distance (or the x-coordinate) is referred to as easting, while the northward-measured distance is referred to as northing (orthe y-coordinate).

Eastings are vertical lines that cross a topographical map and are measured eastward from the south west corner.

Northings are horizontal lines that run across a topographical map and are measured northwards from the southwest corner.

## FAQs

### What is easting and northing?

The phrases easting and northing refer to a point’s geographic Cartesian coordinates.

The eastward-measured distance (or the x-coordinate) is referred to as easting, while the northward-measured distance is referred to as northing (or the y-coordinate).

### Is easting and northing the same as longitude and latitude?

“Easting and northing” are the conventional designations for the x and y coordinates in any projected (i.e., planar) coordinate system. Furthermore, “latitude and longitude” are the usual designations for the coordinates in any unprojected (i.e., geographic) coordinate system.

### What is the difference between easting and northing lines?

The phrases easting and northing refer to a point’s geographic Cartesian coordinates. The eastward-measured distance (or the x-coordinate) is referred to as easting, while the northward-measured distance is referred to as northing (orthe y-coordinate).

### How do you read easting and northing?

The numbers that go across the map from left to right are termed eastings because they increase in value eastwards, while the numbers that run up the map from bottom to top are called northings because they increase in value northwards.

### What is a false easting and False northing?

False easting is a linear value applied to the origin of the x coordinates.

False northing is a linear value applied to the origin of the y coordinates. False easting and northing values are commonly used to ensure that all x and y values are positive.

### When giving a grid reference which should be given first?

When providing a four-figure grid reference, always begin with the eastings number and end with the northings number. An easy method to remember this is to recall the letters HV (High Voltage), which means that horizontal reading comes first, followed by vertical reading.

### How do you do a 6-grid reference?

Grid reference in six figures:

• To begin, locate the four-figure grid reference, but leave a gap after the first two digits.
• Estimate or measure how many tenths of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a
• Next, calculate how many tenths up the grid square your symbol is located.
• You now have a grid reference of six figures.

### Is latitude equal to northing?

Following transformation, latitude is represented by Y (north) and longitude by X. (Easting). Meters and feet are the most often used units of measurement in projected coordinate systems.

### How do you convert coordinates?

Experiment with Community Mapping: Converting Latitude and Longitude to Map Coordinates

• Step 1: Divide the “degrees” by 60.
• Step 2: Increase the “minutes” by (+).
• Step 3: Use a minus sign (“-“) in front of the Latitude (Longitude) degrees if they are S (W).
• Step 4: Subtract the converted Reference Location in Minutes.

### Can you use OS grid references on Google Maps?

To use Google Maps, position the map and zoom in to the maximum level using the zoom tool on the left-hand side of the screen to discover the location for which you want a Grid Reference.

Then, either: select “Grid Reference Tools” and then “Get Grid Reference from Map” If a place name is found, the map will center on it.

### How do we use grid references?

Grid references are used to pinpoint a certain square on a map. This is significant because it is a universal way for us to define the location of things on a map.

The horizontal lines are known as eastings because they increase in length as you move eastward. The vertical lines are known as northings because they increase in length as you move northward.

### What is the purpose of grid references?

A grid reference is a map position that may be found by utilizing the northing and easting numbered lines. Grid references can assist a map user in locating certain areas.

### How close will an eight-digit grid get you to your point?

Read to the right and above, then carefully plot your eight-digit grid coordinate to the spot you’re navigating to on the 1/50,000 map scale.

Remember that four-digit grids will get you to within 1000 meters, six-digit grids will get you to within 100 meters, and an eight-digit grid will get you to within 10 meters.

### What is the precision of a 6-digit grid?

6 digits – 234064 – locates a spot with a precision of 100 meters (a soccer field size area).

### How accurate is a 6-digit grid coordinate?

The issue arises when soldiers attempt to utilize a map to obtain a 10-digit grid coordinate with a precision of one meter.

Because a 1:50,000 scale map is only accurate to 50m 90% of the time, a 6-digit (100m precision) or an 8-digit (10m precision) scale map is preferable.

### Are Eastings vertical or horizontal?

The vertical lines are referred to as eastings. They’re numbered, and the numbers go higher as you move east. As the numbers increase in a northerly direction, the horizontal lines are referred to as northings.

### How do you calculate UTM coordinates?

Here’s how it works:

• UTM zones are all 6 degrees broad and grow in width from west to east beginning at -180 degrees.
• By multiplying the zone number by 6 and subtracting 180, you may find the eastern limit of any UTM zone.
• To get the western limit, subtract 6 degrees.

### How do I find out my coordinates?

You may also find the coordinates of previously discovered locations.

• Obtain the coordinates of a location.
• Open the Google Maps app on your Android phone or tablet.
• To drop a red pin, touch and hold an area on the map that isn’t labeled.
• The coordinates can be found in the search box.

### How do you write longitude and latitude?

When writing latitude and longitude, write latitude first, followed by a comma, and then longitude. For example, the above latitude and longitude lines would be written as “15°N, 30°E.”

### What are Eastings and Northings in a topographical map?

Eastings are lines that run vertically across a topographical map in a grid system of a topo sheet. They are measured eastwards from the grid’s origin. Northings are lines that run horizontally across a topographical map in a grid system of a topo sheet.

### What purpose do the contours serve on Toposheet?

Elevation contours are imaginary lines linking places on the land’s surface that have the same elevation above or below a reference surface, which is commonly mean sea level.

Contours allow you to see the height and shape of mountains, the depths of the ocean floor, and the steepness of slopes.

### What is every 5th contour line called?

A contour interval is the vertical distance or elevation difference between two contour lines. Index contours are bigger or bolder lines that emerge every fifth contour line.

### Why do contour lines never touch or cross?

They may get quite close to one other (for example, along a cliff), but they must never cross each other. This is due to the fact that one point on the Earth’s surface cannot be at two different heights!

### Is Spot a height?

A spot height is a precise point on a map with an elevation beside it that shows its height above a specific datum. This is known as the Ordnance Datum in the United Kingdom.