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Convert degrees/minutes/seconds to decimal degrees

This is a very common task in the GIS/CAD field; a tool that allows you to convert geographical coordinates from heading format (degree, minute, second) to decimals (latitude, longitude).

Example:  8° 58′ 15.6” W  which requires conversion to decimal format:  -8.971 ° for use in programs such as Google Earth and ArcGIS.

The following image shows 8 coordinates:

Length Latitude
8° 58′ 15.6″ W 5 1 ° '40.8 "N
0° 54′ 7.2″ W 5 39 ° '57.6 "N
5° 43′ 44.5″ E 5 8 ° '24.12 "N
9° 46′ 55.2″ E 1 45 ° '28.8 "N
11° 39′ 28.8″ E 4° 33′ 7.2″ S
14° 59′ 45.6″ E 9° 53′ 42″ S
4° 56′ 9.6″ W 9 53 ° '42 "N
7° 48′ 0″ W 2° 30′ 0″ S

The data corresponds to the following polygon, which we have purposely used where the equator meets the Greenwich meridian. E longitudes mean that they are to the east of the Grewich Meridian, and W longitudes are to the west. N latitudes mean they are north of the equator, and S latitudes are south.

Converted to decimal degrees, if we require it with the point number it would be like the first column, and without the point number to import it into Google Earth it would be like the second column:

Point, lat, lon Lat, Lon
1,5.028,-8.971 5.028,-8.971
2,5.666,-0.902 5.666,-0.902
3,5.14,5.729 5.14,5.729
4,1.758,9.782 1.758,9.782
5,-4.552,11.658 -4.552,11.658
6,-9.895,14.996 -9.895,14.996
7,9.895,-4.936 9.895,-4.936
8, -2.5, -7.8 -2.5, -7.8

How the template works to convert geographic coordinates, degrees to decimals using Excel

The following image shows how the conversion table called ZC-046 works.

  • The columns in yellow are for entering data, including a point identifier number.
  • To the right of the longitude and latitude data you can see the conversion in decimal form, without rounding, with its respective negative symbol when appropriate.
  • The orange column contains the concatenated data, with the point number, latitude and longitude.
  • In the header of this column, you can enter the number of decimal places that we expect the concatenation to round off. Be careful, as truncating decimals of geographic coordinates can lead to significant inaccuracies.
  • The blue column shows the same data, but without the point number, as would be needed for a text file in latitude, longitude (lat,lon) form.
  • Additionally, the table has instructions for its use, both in English and Spanish.

How to send coordinates to Google Earth

To send them to a txt file, you just have to open a new file with notepad, copy the data from the blue column and paste it, adding a line with the text lat,lon

This file can then be uploaded from Google Earth with the file/import option. This option supports generic text with a txt extension.



How to download the Excel Template

Convert geographic coordinates, degrees to decimals

In our store you can purchase the template with Paypal or credit card.

It is symbolic if one considers the utility it provides and the ease with which it can be acquired.




Also, in our AulaGEO Academy course you can learn how to make this and other templates in the Excel-CAD-GIS tricks course. Available in Spanish o in English

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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  1. Hello Raul
    Each grade has 60 minutes and every minute 60 seconds. What happens is that when you mark them on the map or the sphere, they are only made at a certain distance so as not to overload the grid.

  2. Hi, how are you? I'm a bit confused with this of the degrees, minutes and seconds because in geography it is assumed that each meridian measures 15 degrees and each degree therefore measures 4 minutes, how is it possible then that 1 degree measures 60 minutes? Or measure 4 or measure 60, how's that? I hope someone can respond
    Thanks a lot and greetings

  3. Let's see.
    One degree has 60 minutes, but in this case you do not have minutes.
    But each grade also has 3,600 seconds (60 minutes for 60 seconds). So your 15 seconds are equivalent to:
    15 / 3600 = 0.004166
    Then 75.004166 would be degrees in decimal format.

    Let's take another example that includes degrees, minutes, and seconds:
    Grades: 75
    Minutes: 14, which are equivalent to 14 / 60 = 0.23333 degrees
    The seconds: 57 / 3600, equivalent to 0.0158333 degrees.

    Summed would be 75.249166 degrees.

  4. well, nothing I need to know how to pass 75 ° 15 ″ to value ,, that is to say, to decimal ,, please help

  5. Thanks for the info, surely someone can take advantage of it.

  6. I decided to send the code:

    Function GMS (DegreesDecimal)
    Az = Degrees Decimal
    g = Int (az): m = Int ((az - g) * 60): s = Round (3600 * (az - g - m / 60), 0): If s> = 60 Then s = 0: m = m + 1
    If m> = 60 Then m = 0: g = g + 1
    If g> = 360 Then g = 0
    MSG = g & “° ” & m & “' ” & s & “””
    End Function

  7. I made a complement for Excel whose function is to transform an angle Decimal degrees into a Grade 2 Minute text
    3.15218 = 3 ° 09'7.85 ″, but I don't know how to upload it to the forum. Someone help me please.

  8. I want a table to convert UTM PSAD56 to Degrees, decimal minutes
    Thank you

  9. Nu ma thank you very much for the auda nu knew nothing but graxiias

  10. many thanks!! You do not know how much was lost, hahaha, a saludooo !!!!!!!!!

  11. The first, first
    1 grade has 60 minutes, one minute 60 seconds.

    Divides 4,750 between 60 to know how many degrees there are, that gives 79.16

    Then, you would have 1 degree (for 60 minutes) but 19 minutes both add 79 grades.

    When totaling how many seconds there are in the closed 79 minutes, we would have 79 × 60 = 4,740. Which means you still have 10 seconds left to hit 4,750

    In conclusion:

    1 degree, 19 minutes, 10 seconds

  12. I need you to tell me the precedence to follow to express in degrees, minutes and seconds: 4750 seconds. I have not the slightest idea

  13. Pork do not put things to serve pure porkeria

  14. You can use "Convert a GPS file to plain text or GPX" from the webpage And transforms the points into a GPX file and loads it into GE or the Global Mapper and from there to the format you need.
    Greetings from Argentina and every day I check the blog is very interesting.

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