There are times when you need the exact coordinates for a specific location, but most mapping applications do not display such data because this is not something that you need very often. I found out that getting GPS coordinates can be very handy if your GPS device cannot find a specific address.
If you’re like me and haven’t updated your Garmin or TomTom in years, then a lot of the new areas just won’t show up when you search for them. Also, if you are short on data, you probably shouldn’t use your smartphone to get directions. In cases like this, I just use a service like Google Maps ..to get the coordinates of the address I’m looking for and then just connect them to the GPS in my car.
In this article, I will show you several different ways to get GPS coordinates of a location. I’ll even show you how to find out the latitude and longitude of your current location using your smartphone (iPhone and Android).
First go to maps.google.com and enter the address or location you are interested in. Once downloaded, you can simply look at the address bar and see that the coordinates are contained in the URL itself.
What if the location you are trying to get coordinates does not have an address displayed on Google Maps? This is not a problem either. In this case, you can simply right-click anywhere on the screen and select “What’s here?”
This will bring up a small window right below the search box. At the bottom of this field, you will see a list of decimal coordinates.
I also mention Bing Maps because they show the coordinates front and center, which is nice. Just search for any location and you will see the coordinates on the left.
For a location without an address, you can simply right-click anywhere on the map and the coordinates will be displayed automatically. So Bing is definitely easier to use when looking up GPS coordinates.
If you’re looking for a quick way to tell someone the current coordinates of your iPhone, you can easily do so with the Compass app. However, before you simply open the Compass app on your phone, you first need to change some location settings. To do this, click on “Settings” and then “Privacy”.
Now click on Geolocation Services at the very top.
Scroll down until you see Compass and click on it. If you see that on the right is already written “In use”, then everything is ready.
If not, tap on it and select “When using an app”.
Now open the Compass app and you will see your current location and current GPS coordinates at the bottom of the screen.
Unfortunately, Android doesn’t have an official built-in way to get GPS coordinates from Google Maps I have no idea why this option is not enabled, but it is not. However, there is a little trick you can follow to get the coordinates, which will take a few extra steps.
First, open Google Maps ..on your Android device and find the location you’re interested in. Once you’ve found the location, make sure you zoom in as far as possible.
Now press and hold anywhere on the screen and Google Maps ..will place a pin in that spot. An information card or card with details will appear at the bottom, and you can swipe up on it. You should see the Share option on the info card, but if you don’t, you may have to click on the three dots in the upper right corner. This will bring up a menu with the Share option. This sharing method differs depending on your version of Android and Google Maps, but it’s pretty easy to find.
Choose any service or app you want to share, no matter which one. The thing is, Google Maps ..will generate a link and all you have to do is copy that link and paste it into Chrome.
When the map is loaded, it will automatically show you the coordinates in the search box and in the info card below. The link will look something like this:
Please note that you can also perform the same operation on Google Maps ..and on iOS. It’s a pretty long way to get coordinates, but at least you don’t need to install any additional applications.