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Using the BC MTO Online System

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Coordinates from your GPS and MTO Maps

A set of Geographical Coordinates specifies a location - they refer to a place on Earth.

MTO and GPS Latitude and Longitude

MTO and GPS latitude and longitude are usually a little different.

Latitude and Longitude are the basic coordinates for locations. It would all be nice and simple if the Earth was perfectly round, but it isn't. A "Datum" is a way map-maker's deal with this.

MTO latitude and longitude use the "NAD83" datum (I think). The basic datum for your GPS is WGS84. They are very similar.

If you set the Datum on your GPS to NAD83, it may display MTO latitudes and longitudes.

Some Different Coordinates

MTO latitude and longitude - coordinates for a round world. They can be different than GPS Lat/Longs (depending on GPS settings). They shouldn't be mixed with GPS Lat/Longs.

UTM - coordinates used for many maps, including most of the kind of topographical maps that you have to pay for. They are commonly used to record, report and exchange location information. They are can be used for locations in Work Reports. Your GPS can probably display UTM coordinates.

UTM coordinates have two numbers plus a Zone, like "10" or "10N" (Zone 10 North of the Equator). Most claims are all in one zone. The zone must be recorded or the coordinates are meaningless.

BC Albers - coordinates used by the old MTO mapping system (and some other mapping systems in BC). These coordinates are not good for reports, publishing or exchanging data except in special cases (ex. making Shapefiles to display points/lines/shapes on a BC Albers map).

If you want to get the best match between GPS and MTO coordinates, use UTM coordinates.


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