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 the distance north or south of the equator, while longitude lines indicate the 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 a web browser and go to the Google Maps website. 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) on the location.

  4. Select What's here? from the menu.

    What's here? contextual menu item in Google Maps
  5. Find the GPS coordinates at the bottom of the screen.

    Latitude and longitude coordinates in Google Maps
  6. Select the coordinates at the bottom of the screen to open a destination panel.

    Informational panel for longitude and latitude in Google Maps
  7. The destination panel displays the coordinates in two formats: Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS) and Decimal Degrees (DD). Either can be copied and used elsewhere.

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 (").

Use Coordinates to Find a Location in Google Maps

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

  1. Go to the Google Maps website.

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

    • Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS): for example, 36°59'21.2"N 84°13'53.3"W
    • Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DMM): for example, 36 59.35333 -84 13.888333
    • Decimal Degrees (DD): for example, 36.989213,-84.231474
  3. Select 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
  4. In the side panel, select Directions to view a map with directions to the location.

How to Get Coordinates in the Google Maps App

It's also possible to get GPS coordinates from the Google Maps mobile app on your mobile device. It works on both the Android and the iPhone app, and the steps for each are slightly different.

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

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

    Place marker in Android version of Google Maps
  2. Look in the search box at the top of the screen to find the coordinates.

If you use an iPhone, you'll find the coordinates at the bottom of the screen when you open the location's information.

  1. With the Google Maps app open, select and hold a point on the map where you want to place the red pin.

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

  3. Select and hold the coordinates to copy them.