[APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Wed Oct 27 19:09:07 MDT 2010

Funny, but I was thinking of writing a message saying exactly that. We keep 
referring to GPS coordinates, but originally I was saying degrees of 
latitude and longitude.  I prefer to think of them that way (latitude and 
longitude) rather than "GPS coordinates"

But you have said it more clearly than I would have done anyway.  It isn't 
just something to do with GPS devices at all.  And odds are they will never 


----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Stephen Danko
  To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org ; apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org
  Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 6:20 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] [APG Members] place names

  One thing to realize about the coordinates that can be obtained from 
either Google Maps or a GPS device is that the numbers refer to degrees 
latitude and longitude.  Unless mathematicians decide to change the number 
of degrees in a circle or cartographers decide to change the location of the 
equator or the prime meridian, the actual latitude and longitude of a place 
won't change even when GPS technology changes.  Furthermore, these 
coordinates can be used to find locations on both electronic maps and paper 
maps (such as US Topo Maps) that display the latitude and longitude.

  Kind regards,
  Stephen J. Danko

  From: Mark Rabideau <genealogy at eirenicon.org>
  To: Janice Sellers <janicemsj at gmail.com>
  Cc: apgpubliclist Posting <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>; jhrabideau at gmail.com; 
apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org; becky at pep-inc.com
  Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 9:24:18 AM
  Subject: Re: [APG Members] [APG Public List] place names

  It is probably worth noting that commerical GPS is really only about 10 
years old and is primarily a US national system for establishing global 
location. To quote the ever popular WIkipedia "GPS is owned and operated by 
the U.S. Government as a national resource."   As new GPS systems develop, 
there is likely to be change in nomenclature and other characteristics, as 
competing & complimentary global positioning systems reconcile and move 
towards international standards (at least that is how everything else seems 
to work in the technology realm).  It is worth noting that there are at 
least two competing and one non-competing GPS system online or soon to be 
online- competing systems will be from the Chinese (Compass) and Europe 
Galileo (Europe); the non-competing system is a Russian military system.

  To me the biggest benefit of the current US GPS is that it makes the use 
of Google Earth and the like for genealogy software packages possible.  But 
to my mind, maps continue to be a more stable and reliable long-term form of 
locational documentation for genealogical purposes. 
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