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Newbie needs latitude and longitude info
dmuffler
I have a car GPS unit, but I need something to use to find an acre of land in the boondocks. I guess I need to know about plats and stuff, but I was wondering if the Utah county maps give out the co-ordinates for a particular piece of land that is not marked. I tried my Navigon 2100 car GPS, and walked about half a block, and the coordinates did not change!! Sooo, what is the best way to get an ACCURATE GPS product?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi dmuffler,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

A car GPS is not appropriate for this task, as you have discovered. To get the best accuracy for the job, you would require equipment surveyors use.
Ken in Cape Breton
A decent handheld GPS such as a Garmin GPSMap 76CSx or a GPSMap60Cx should get you to within 15' or so of any point you ask it to lead you to. Check with someone in your area who is into Geocaching, they'll have something like this. Garmin Mobile PC with a decent receiver will get you there as well, if you don't mind walking around the boondocks with a laptop. This is sufficent accuracy for a 200 acre lot and isn't too bad for a one acre lot. It should get you close enough to the survey markers (assuming they exist) that you should be able to find them, especially if they aren't too old or if you have access to a metal detector.

If you need more accuracy you will need survey quality equipment as Marvin said.

Now, where you are going to find accurate enough Latitude Longitude coordinates to input into a GPS for locating this lot is up to you...
Ken in Regina
The coordinates should have changed in half a block.

Could you see your walking progress on the map screen? If so, the unit is seeing different coordinates as you move.

Perhaps the coordinates it's displaying are not fine enough to show a small change. That is, perhaps it's only displaying degrees and minutes but not seconds?

A car GPS like the Navigon is good enough to find any acre of land as long as you have the coordinates for some spot on it. An acre is about 64 metres (70 yards) on a side and that's well within the gross accuracy of any reasonably decent consumer-grade personal navigation device.

It won't be good enough for survey quality and it won't be accurate enough for you to find the corners or the lot lines but it will get you standing on some part of it.

It's not going to work if the unit does not display the coordinates at a fine enough level, though.

...ken...
dmuffler
Thank you so much for this info, I only know my Navigon 2100 works for roads and stuff but it does not give me much info for latitude and longitude information.I can get a Garmin E-Trex H locally here at Wallmart in Hilo, Hawaii before I go to Utah to find these lots for sale but will that model be sufficient for what I need?Is that what surveyors use to find exact parcels of land in a barren place?
Again, thanks, you got me started in the right direction...I wonder if the county agencies have GPS info on these undeveloped parcels?
Ken in Cape Breton
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmuffler
Is that what surveyors use to find exact parcels of land in a barren place?
No, surveyors use GPS equipment that's referenced to very accurate ground based stations they set up and calibrate themselves. These sort of systems are worth thousands of dollars and require some training to use. This sort of thing: http://www.leica-geosystems.com/corporate/en/lgs_4231.htm

These survey systems are accurate to fractions of inches, while a Garmin E-Trex H will only get you within 10 to 15 foot of any point you've entered. That should be close enough to find a one acre lot and give you a pretty good idea of the edges but not close enough to precisely define the boundaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmuffler
I wonder if the county agencies have GPS info on these undeveloped parcels?
I really don't know the answer to this question. The plot plan for my property doesn't even show Lat & Long. I had to ask a surveyor friend to work the coordinates out for me when I was experimenting a few years ago. Perhaps today GPS Lat/Long coordinates are more common?
Ken in Regina
No, for lot planning and registration there is a different system used. It requires conversion. There are lots of sites on the internet that can do the conversions. Sorry to be so brief. Have to finish packing and head out of town in the morning for a few days.

...ken...
malaki86
It also depends on how much detail the GPS program is providing. With CoPilot, it saves locations down to about 10 decimal points, which is EXTREMELY accurate. However, if the program only goes to say 4 or 5 decimal points, that's a huge difference.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by malaki86
It also depends on how much detail the GPS program is providing. With CoPilot, it saves locations down to about 10 decimal points, which is EXTREMELY accurate. However, if the program only goes to say 4 or 5 decimal points, that's a huge difference.
Part of the problem is in how many characters the data entry screen will allow. Usually it is far fewer than the device is capable of working with. This is quite maddening.

...ken...
Ken in Cape Breton
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
No, for lot planning and registration there is a different system used. It requires conversion. There are lots of sites on the internet that can do the conversions. Sorry to be so brief. Have to finish packing and head out of town in the morning for a few days.

...ken...
Ken, do you mind suggesting a site that could do this sort of conversion or a search term that would result in a few useful hits?
Ken in Regina
Hi Ken,

That was entered on the run and was not well thought out. What I probably should have said was that relating the typical lot/block/plan identification on land titles to geographical coordinates can be a real rat's nest. There are lots of sites that will do various conversions but in retrospect I'm not sure if they will be helpful for this particular exercise.

The conversion programs and sites convert between various coordinate systems. Land location identification is not a coordinate system; it's simply a means of indexing the piece of dirt you occupy with the title/plan registration system of the local authority responsible for recording and storing such information.

As far as I know, there is nothing inherent in the typical land location identifiers used around the world to tie them directly to geographical coordinates. Here's a link to the city of Victoria in Australia for help finding specific plots of land in their jurisdiction. I offer it as a reference not for it's tutorial value but as an illustration of how complex a problem it is.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Here's a Google search term that will get you some interesting hits. They should be instructive but I don't guarantee any will be useful.

"convert land location coordinates"

...ken...
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