Military Grid Reference System

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The Military Grid Reference System is the geographic standard used by the United States Armed Forces and NATO for locating any point on the earth with a 2 to 10 character geocode. A two digit code implies a precision of 10km and a ten digit code corresponds to a 1m precision with intermediate steps of 1km, 100m, and 10m. It is always displayed in an even number of characters preceded by an alpha-numeric code describing the larger Earth area to which it belongs.

For instance, 38 S MC12345678 would be read as:

Section: 38
Sub Section: S
Map Section: MC
Map Point: 12345678

The map point is broken down further into to equally sized parts of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 digits. In this example it would be 1234 and 5678.

As with other mapping standards, one reads the map point from West to East first, then from South to North. So 1234 would be the latitudinal equivalent and 5678 would be the longitudinal equivalent.

The Military Grid Reference System is a derivative of the Universal Transverse Mercator mapping system.

(from Wikipedia)

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