Use Google Maps like an expert: this is how you navigate by coordinates


Google Maps is one of the most powerful applications of the American giant. Hundreds of options and very valuable information for individuals and professionals. Focusing on a more technical concept, it is interesting to work with geographic coordinates in Google Maps because it is data that does not give rise to errors.

Many of us agree that Google Maps is the most complete browser. It has the best information about all the places, routes, roads, and streets. You can see the default map, apply the satellite view in 2D or 3D, to make sure you open Street View and you will find the store, building, or portal you were looking for. For each commercial establishment or tourist place, you will have a file with all the relevant information (address, contact, website, reviews ...). And of course, you can access all the places through their coordinates or obtain them from any point on the globe.

Other GPS navigators may be more comfortable or intuitive in the interface for navigating a route when compared to Google Maps. Applications such as TomTom, Sygic, or Garmin are expressly designed for the best navigation experience on the road. But they do not have the best geographic information, in this case, Google Maps dominates.

What are geographic coordinates?

It is the way of representing by numbers a specific position on Earth. The planet is “sliced” with imaginary lines in both directions, horizontal (latitude) and vertical (longitude), numbered to be able to identify them.


Google Maps is based on the WGS84 (World Geodetic System 1984) coordinate system, which basically represents the latitude and longitude for North and East as positive by means of two figures, and for South and West as negative. The notations can be done in decimal and hexadecimal systems interchangeably, Google Maps is compatible with both systems.

However, it is important to take into account some small requirements that the application demands when indicating the coordinates. If we use the decimal system we will have to use the point "." as a symbol for decimals (the comma "," would be incorrect). For the hexadecimal system, we cannot use "g" to indicate degrees, but rather "º". We must also bear in mind that the latitude coordinates are indicated first (between -90º and 90º) and then the longitude coordinates (between -180º and 180º).

Some examples of supported coordinate formats in Google Maps:

  • 41 ° 24'12.2 ″ N 2 ° 10'26.5 ”E (Degrees, minutes and seconds).

  • 1 24.2028, 2 10.4418 (Degrees and minutes with decimals).

  • 41.40338, 2.17403 (Degrees with decimals).

What can they be used for?

It may be the case of having problems with the names of places or streets. Sometimes they are represented in a local language or dialect and even having the address in Spanish we may not find it. Another problem that can arise is when you want to go to a specific point in a national park, beach, or island. This type of place is not structured in streets or portals that you can search on Maps. For that are the geographic coordinates, which represent an exact point on the map using a standard and common language throughout the world.

Other interesting uses revolve around locating extreme places. Geographic areas that are not properly identified. This is the case of eclipses, in these cases, NASA reports the places from which the total eclipse will be appreciated. You can almost always see it from some city or municipality on the planet, but there are times when researchers must go to a lost point in a desert or ocean. In this case, the coordinates are the only tool to locate and go to those places. The best way to find those locations by coordinates is undoubtedly Google Maps. A free application that is available on all devices with internet access, either on the web or with the official application itself.

Navigate to some coordinates

One of the common situations, when you work with coordinates in Google Maps, is that instead of giving you the exact address, a road, or the name of a street, you have the coordinates as a reference.

From the web

It is done in the same way as when we enter the name of a place, a business premises or an address using the search engine on the upper left, only we will replace the postal information with coordinates. Generally, it is a process that should not give you any problem as long as the coordinates are correct and in the compatible format.

  • Go to the Google Maps website.

  • Enter in the search engine the coordinates that have been provided according to the supported formats.

  • Click on the button How to get there.

  • Choose the means of transport you are going to use to see the route.

From Android

The most common is that we use this type of tool from a mobile device when we are going to make the route and go to some coordinates. After all, if we use the home computer, we will see the location of the coordinates but we will not be able to use the real-time navigation tool. To do this, the steps to follow from an Android smartphone or tablet are:

  • Open the Google Maps application (you will have it pre-installed, otherwise download it from the Play Store ).

  • Enter the coordinates with the correct format on the search box located at the top.

  • On the screen with the result and the location of the coordinates, click on How to get there.

  • Choose the appropriate route: by car, public transport, on foot ...

From iOS

The process is similar on iPhone and iPad with the particularity that we must install the Google Maps APP, on Apple products it does not come pre-installed. Although Google products in the Apple ecosystem have an increasing degree of integration, it will never be the same as working with Google Maps on Android.

  • Open the Google Maps application.

  • Enter the coordinates in a supported format.

  • You will see the screen with the result, there click How to get there at the bottom.

  • Choose the means of transport that will take you there.

Find out the coordinates of a place

You may also need the reverse process. You know of a place, remote or not, of which you have all the information or not, and you have to know what its coordinates are.

From the web

This procedure is much simpler than the reverse. Perhaps you need to comment to a friend or a co-worker on an exact location and you cannot write all the explanations to guide them, in two mouse clicks you will have the coordinates ready to share. Obtaining the coordinates of a place on the map in Google Maps is done in this way:

  • Access the Google Maps website from your browser.

  • Place the mouse cursor at the exact point and right-click.

  • Please click on the coordinates (first item in the pop-up menu) to copy them to the clipboard.

  • Paste them in the text where you want to share them.

From Android

Although the process of going to coordinates in Google Maps for Android was already quite simple, the way to obtain them from a point on the map is even easier. Working with Google services in an Android environment is usually very fluid as you can see:

  • Open the Google Maps application.

  • Press and hold on to the chosen area of ​​the map.

  • In the pop-up marker, you will see the coordinates of that place.

  • Click on the coordinates to copy them to the clipboard and share them.

From iOS

With the Google Maps application installed, the process to obtain the coordinates of a point on the map is similar to the rest. In this case, instead of obtaining the coordinates with a single click, we will have to access the tab with the red marker, let's see:

  • Open the Google Maps APP.

  • Choose the desired point on the map and hold.

  • Raise the lower " blind " and you will see the coordinates.

  • Hold down on them and click Copy.


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