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Determining Marker Coordinates

Tips for Determining the Geographic Coordinates of a Proposed Marker

The marker coordinates should give the proposed location of the marker within a few feet. Be sure to record the coordinates in decimal degrees, not degrees, minutes, and seconds.

  • DO: 30.438659, -84.284451 (decimal degrees)

  • DON'T: 30° 26' 19.1724" N, 84° 17' 4.0236" W (degrees, minutes, seconds)

Using an Online Map

Some online map services allow you to record the decimal coordinates of a specific point. Here are some tips for getting the most accurate numbers.

  • Zoom in as far as possible.
  • Use satellite view where possible, sometimes streets may not line up.
  • Verify your results. You can try a couple different services to get consensus or you can do a search based on the coordinates you just recorded to see if you get back to the same place.

Use the list below to find a map service that works for you.

  • -
    • Enter a place name to center the map in the general area.
    • Scroll and zoom to your specific location.
    • Click on a point to see a popup with the coordinates.
  • "Classic" Google maps -
    • Right click and select "Drop LatLng Marker" to see the coordinates on the map.
    • Right click and select "What's Here" to populate the search box.
    • Note: As of this writing these techniques don't work on the "new" Google maps however you can return to the classic map to use these features.
  • Bing Maps -
    • Right click on a point to see the coordinates

Using a GPS Device

A GPS device is any device with a global positioning system built into it. They can be stand-alone devices or a smartphone. Smartphones may require an application but there are many free and easy to use ones in the Apple and Android app stores.

Once you have your GPS device, and it is set up to give your coordinates, just stand where you expect to place the marker and record the results. Be aware that depending on your device, you may only get to within a few feet.

For More Information

Michael Hart
State Historical Marker Coordinator
[email protected] 

Division of Historical Resources
Bureau of Historic Preservation
R.A. Gray Building
500 S. Bronough Street, Room 416
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250