How to Get Coordinates From Google Maps

Find GPS coordinates of any place on earth

Google Maps splash screen on mobile phone

 

Clayton Kroh

The Global Positioning System that delivers GPS coordinates to Google Maps and other location-based services on tech devices uses the existing latitude and longitude system. The latitude lines indicate distance north or south of the equator, while longitude lines indicate distance east or west of the prime meridian. Using a combination of latitude and longitude, any location on Earth can be uniquely pinpointed.

How to Get GPS Coordinates From Google Maps

Retrieving GPS coordinates from Google Maps on a computer browser is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Maps website in your browser. Any browser will work.

  2. Go to a location for which you want the GPS coordinates.

  3. Right-click (or control+click on a Mac) the location.

  4. Click What's here? in the menu that pops up.

    What's here? contextual menu item in Google Maps
    Clayton Kroh 
  5. Look at the bottom of the screen where you'll see the GPS coordinates.

    Latitude and longitude coordinates in Google Maps
    Clayton Kroh
  6. Click on the coordinates at the bottom of the screen to open a destination panel. This displays the coordinates in two formats: Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS) and Decimal Degrees (DD). Either can be copied for use elsewhere.

    Informational panel for longitude and latitude in Google Maps
     

More About GPS Coordinates

Latitude is divided into 180 degrees. The equator is situated at 0 degrees latitude. The north pole is at 90 degrees and the south pole is at -90 degrees latitude.

Longitude is divided into 360 degrees. The prime meridian, which is in Greenwich, England, is at 0 degrees longitude. Distance east and west is measured from this point, extending to 180 degrees east or -180 degrees west. 

Minutes and seconds are smaller increments of degrees. They allow for precise positioning. Each degree is equal to 60 minutes and each minute can be divided into 60 seconds. Minutes are indicated with an apostrophe (') seconds with a double quotation mark (").

Using Coordinates to Find a Location in Google Maps

If you have a set of GPS coordinates, such as for geocaching, you can enter the latitude and longitude into Google Maps to see find the location get directions to it.

  1. Go to the Google Maps website.

  2. Type the coordinates you have in the search box at the top of the Google Maps screen in one of the three acceptable formats:

    • Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS).
      Example: 36°59'21.2"N 84°13'53.3"W
    • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DMM).
      Example: 36 59.35333 -84 13.888333
    • Decimal Degrees (DD).
      Example: 36.989213,-84.231474
  3. Click the magnifying glass next to the coordinates in the search bar to go to the location on Google Maps.

    Magnifying glass to find a place via longitude and latitude in Google Maps
    Clayton Kroh
  4. Click the Directions icon in the side panel for a map to the location.

How to Get Coordinates in the Google Maps App

You can get GPS coordinates from the Google Maps mobile app on your mobile device as well. It works on both the Android and the iPhone app, but the steps for each are slightly different.

If you're on an Android, you can see the coordinates at the very top of the screen.

  1. Open the Google Maps app and tap-and-hold on a location until you see a red pin.

    Place marker in Android version of Google Maps
    Clayton Kroh
  2. Look in the search box at the top of the screen for the coordinates.

iPhone users will find coordinates at the bottom of the screen when opening the location's information.

  1. With the Google Maps app open, hold your finger on a point on the map to drop the red pin.

    Two iOS screens showing dropped pin and copy button for coordinates in Google Maps app
    Clayton Kroh
  2. Tap the top of the information card at the bottom of the screen to bring up details of the location, including its coordinates.

  • Tap and hold on the coordinates to copy them.