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ONLIne tools and definitions

This page contains links to resources and tools for interpreting maps and measuring the Earth's surface

General Information | Grids | Latitude/Longitude & Distances | Projection | Scale

 

General information - Click on an arrow Click on an arrow to go to a link! to go to a link

Map History/History of Cartography: Measuring and Defining Space Map History/History of Cartography: Measuring and Defining Space
From the Map History/History of Cartography site; contains links to resources on distance; longitude, latitude and Prime Meridians; map projections; mountains; and scale

National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Tool Kit National Geodetic Survey Geodetic Tool Kit
An online interactive computation of geodetic values; includes links to a variety of conversion utililities

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Grids - Click on an arrow Click on an arrow to go to a link! to go to a link

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) (article from the National Atlas) The Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM); this article tells the history of the PLSS and explains how it works

The State Plane Coordinate System (GIS Lounge) The State Plane Coordinate System (GIS Lounge)
The State Plane Coordinate System is a set of more than 100 different coordinate systems using different projections; this article from the GIS Lounge explains its origins and how it works

The State Plane Coordinate System (Virtual Terrain Project) The State Plane Coordinate System (Virtual Terrain Project)
The State Plane Coordinate System is a set of more than 100 different coordinate systems using different projections; this article from the Virtual Terrain Project explains its origins and how it works

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid (USGS Fact Sheet 088-01, August 2001) The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid
Explains the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid and how to determine a UTM grid value for a map point

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Latitude/Longitude & Distances- Click on an arrow Click on an arrow to go to a link! to go to a link

Latitude/Longitude Conversions Latitude/Longitude Conversions
From the FCC, this utility permits the user to convert latitude and longitude between decimal degrees and degrees, minutes, and seconds

NADCON NAD27 - NAD83 Coordinate Conversions NADCON NAD27 - NAD83 Coordinate Conversions
From the National Geodetic Survey's NADCON program, this utility allows conversions between the NAD83 / WGS84 coordinate system and the older NAD27 coordinate system

Surface Distance Between Two Points of Latitude and Longitude/ Great Circle Distances Between Two Cities Surface Distance Between Two Points of Latitude and Longitude
Tools for calculating distance between two points on the Earth's surface

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Projection - Click on an arrow Click on an arrow to go to a link! to go to a link

Map Projection Overview Map Projection Overview
An overview of map projection developed by Peter H. Dana, Department of Geography, University of Texas at Austin, 1995, rev. 2000

National Geographic's Round Earth, Flat Maps National Geographic's Round Earth, Flat Maps
An overview of map projection created by National Geographic

U.S. Geological Survey Map Projections U.S. Geological Survey Map Projections
An overview of the issues of map projection, which is used to portray all or part of the round Earth on a flat surface; includes definitions and explanations of a variety of commonly used projections

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Scale - Click on an arrow Click on an arrow to go to a link! to go to a link

Bureau of Economic Geology's GIS Tools Online Bureau of Economic Geology's GIS Tools Online
Tools for converting various map-related measures; includes a scale calculator

Oregon State University Scale Calculator Oregon State University Scale Calculator
Calculates American standard, metric and miscellaneous conversions

Map Scales (USGS Fact Sheet 015-02, February 2002) Map Scales
An overview of map scales with a focus on common scales used by the U.S. Geological Survey

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