Latitude/longitude references in text?

Subject: Latitude/longitude references in text?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 08:29:46 -0500

Justin Ressler wonders: <<what is the proper way to reference
latitude/longitude in text?>>

The proper way is the one that communicates the meaning unequivocally. Thus:

<<Our document currently reads... "...the database gamin are extends from
(lattitude, longitude) 25.00.00N, 124.00.00E to 42.00.00N, 143.00.00E as
shown in..." In this case, degrees is inferred.>>

In my scientific communication work, we don't consider the degrees symbol to
be inferred, any more than units of length or mass are inferred; thus, we
always insert it. We do consider the two descriptors (latitude and
longitude) unnecessary and thus optional; if you don't already know that
North represents latitude and East represents longitude, adding these words
won't help much, and anyone working in this field should already know the

I haven't seen the double decimal point used before in the actual degrees;
the format is usually either HHoMM'SS" or HH.HHHHo (with the lower-case o
representing a degree symbol in both cases). The meaning is reasonably
clear, but doesn't seem to be standard. Also have a look at "gamin"; not a
word I'm familiar with in this context. (Gamut?)

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
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