Using The WB8YLO Location Tool

Use an on-line map to find your decimal latitude and longitude and convert them to degrees, minutes, seconds, and, to a Maidenhead grid location.

The WB8YLO Location Tool takes your location, in decimal latitude/longitude format and converts that location to degree, minute, second notation and constructs a Maidenhead Grid for that location. The tool is quite easy to use. You just enter the decimal latitude and decimal longitude into the appropriate entry boxes then click the 'Get Grid' button. The results are displayed immediately below the button.

Most people won't know their decimal latitude and longitude off the top of their heads. Finding your decimal latitude and longitude is quite easy. There are several easy-to-use on-line maps available to find your location information in the proper format. When trying this for the first time, open a new browser tab and select the location tool then open a third tab with the map you wish to use. This will make it easy to switch between these instructions, the tool, and the map.

The general procedure is to bring up the map, find the location you are interested in, zoom in to that spot, and click on the spot (usually a right-click) to display the latitude and longitude. The usual format will be 'latitude, longitude'. Once you see the coordinates, copy them to the appropriate input boxes on the WB8YLO location tool. Press the 'Get Grid' button and the coordinates you entered will be converted and displayed as degree, minute, second and as an eight character Maidenhead grid.

Let's use OpenStreetMap as a specific example. The map comes up centered on the United States. Left-click the 'X' on the welcome message to expose the entire map. Left-click on a point near your location and drag it to the center of the display. Zoom in, keeping your location near the center of the screen, until you have a good view of the exact place you want to use for your location. Place the tip of the middle finger of the pointer icon at that place and right-click. Select 'Show Address' from the displayed list. A box will show up on the left of the screen containing the latitude and longitude separated by a comma of the place you clicked on in decimal format. Copy these to the location tool, press the 'Get Grid' button, and, see the results immediately below the input boxes.

Other on-line maps you can use are Google Maps. Bing Maps, and the U. S. government's EarthExplorer web site. They all differ in the exact details as to how they work, but, all will provide the desired coordinates.

Note that each map website uses slightly different procedures and provides slightly different information. What actions are needed to produce the desired results may differ depending on which map web site you are using and whether you are using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Posted: July 16, 2023

Last Updated: July 25, 2023