GPS software for a battlefield
I am a Civil War historian and writer living in Washington, DC.

My goal is to visit the battlefield of Five Forks, Va. outside Petersburg and to visit key points on the field. I would like to record those points with latitude and longitude settings, so that other people will be able to locate those exact points.

I thought GPS navigation devices would be adequate for this task but apparently they don't record lat. and long.

My next thought is to bring a laptop with me and to acquire some sort of software that will indicate on the computer that my latitude and longitude is.

Is there such a computer friendly software?

Bryce A. Suderow
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Bryce, and welcome to the forums. While some navigation devices may record latitudes and longitudes, for your project it may indeed be more suitable to use a PC mapping software which will allow you to not just enter lat/long, or mark your location on the map, but it will also let you use annotation tools to add notes to the map, add links to your computer files with relevant information or links to websites, draw on the map, and more. Look into products such as Microsoft Streets & Trips (info here) and DeLorme Street Atlas (info here).
Walking around a battlefield with a laptop might be a little awkward.

Actually, even the cheapest handheld GPS devices will allow you to save waypoints with full coordinate data. You would then bring the device back to your computer and import the data. Afterwards, you could add any annotation that you want.

But just realize the consumer GPS devices only have accuracy of about +/- 5 meters. That might not be good enough, depending on your expectations.
In other words, about musket range.
There may also be freeware and trialware that may suit your purposes... It would not surprise me, if you were able to find a geological survey program for free at a, or open code/source site. Also, there are nav programs for commercial farming applications that may have trial programs... They might have grid layout functions that you would find useful... (Yes, put your tractor on autopilot and enjoy the ride... For real!)

You may also want to learn about "layering" various images on top of each other. I can invision different layers for text, map, topo and satellite images...

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