How to Get Coordinates From Google Maps

Get GPS Coordinates for Any Place on Earth

The Global Positioning System that delivers GPS coordinates to Google Maps and other location-based services on tech devices doesn't have its own positioning system. It 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 identified.

How to Get GPS Coordinates From Google Maps

The process of retrieving GPS coordinates from Google Maps in a computer browser has changed a little over the years, but the process is simple if you just know where to look.

How to get coordinates from Google Maps
You can easily obtain coordinates from Google Maps.
  1. Open the Google Maps website in a computer browser.
  2. Go to a location for which you want the GPS coordinates.
  3. Right-click (control-click on a Mac) the location.
  4. Click What's here? in the menu that pops up.
  5. Look at the bottom of the screen where you'll see the GPS coordinates.
  6. Click on the coordinates at the bottom of the screen to open a destination panel that displays the coordinates in different formats Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS) and Decimal Degrees (DD). Either can be copied for use 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 just 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 (").

How to Enter Latitude And Longitude Into Google Maps To Find A Location

If you have a set of GPS coordinates – for geocaching, for example – you can enter the the latitude and longitude into Google Maps to see where a location is and to get directions to that location.

Enter longitude and latitude into Google Maps.
  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:
    1. Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (DMS). Example: 36°59'21.2"N 84°13'53.3"W
    2. Degrees and Decimal Minutes (DMM). Example: 36 59.35333 -84 13.888333
    3. Decimal Degrees (DD). 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.
  4. Click the Directions icon in the side panel for a map to the location.

How to Get GPS Coordinates From the Google Maps App

If you are away from your computer, you can get GPS coordinates from the Google Maps app. It works on both the Android and the iPhone app, but the steps for each are a little different.

Coordinates from an Android phone.
Capture coordinates quickly using Android.

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 press-and-hold on a location until you see a red pin.
  2. Look in the search box at the top of the screen for the coordinates.
Screenshots of the Google Maps app showing coordinates
Google Maps iPhone App.

iPhone users need to pull open a menu to see the coordinates.

  1. With the Google Maps app open, hold your finger on a point on the map to drop the red pin.
  2. Scroll up from the menu at the bottom to see the coordinates.
    1. You can hold your finger down on the coordinates to copy them.