This post was written by
Geoff Bessin

Representing Latitude and Longitude in Geocoded Datasets

Representing Latitude and Longitude in Geocoded Datasets

As mentioned in my previous entry, the IntuiFace Map Collection now supports all commonly accepted geocoordinate formats and thus can work with virtually all geocoded open datasets. In this blog entry let’s talk a little bit more about what the heck a geocoordinate format actually is.

As we all know, every location on earth has an associated latitude and longitude coordinate. There could be more information about that point, like elevation, but every geocoordinate is comprised of at least two numbers, one for latitude and one for longitude. The trick is in how to write those two numbers. Thankfully - with some exceptions we won’t go into - the values for a given point are always the same, they can just be written in a variety of formats.

The most literal representation of a point is written as Degrees Minutes Seconds. For example, Big Ben in London is located at

  • 51°30'2.5" North, 0°7'28.5" West

In Composer’s Edit Mode, manual entry of a latitude/longitude coordinate requires use of a degree and decimal representation. The following is the same Big Ben location:

  • 51.500705, -0.124575

Through binding, however, IntuiFace could use any format. Here are a few more, all equivalent:

  • 51°30'2.5", -0°7'28.5"
  • 51°30'2.5" N, 0°7'28.5" W
  • N51°30'2.5", W0°7'28.5"
  • N51d 30’ 2.5",W0d 7’ 28.5"
  • N51:30:2.5, W0:7:28.5
  • 51.500705N, 0.124575W
  • 51500705, 124575

IntuiFace supports them all. IntuiFace goes even further by supporting supersets of these format in location fields (like “(DD,DD)”) as found in open data platforms such as Socrata® andJunar® or in KML. IntuiFace even automatically discovers the location information in your datasets. Take a look at these examples, all supported:

  • (48.866667;2.3265)
  • (51° 31’ 17,54’’ N,0° 4'42,85’’ W)
  • It’s here : 38°53′42.37″N 77°2′11.64″W
  • Buenos Aires (-34.608331°, -58.371151°)
  • coord = (15:48:00 S 47:54:00 W)
  • “N19° 25′ 57.16″; W 99° 7′ 53.89″”
  • Beijing = 39903546;116387578
  • S41.298734 E174.781237
  • (35 d 18’ 29,86" S, 149 d 7’ 27,8" E)
  • Parlement [S33d55'31" ;E18d25'26"]

The beauty of IntuiFace is that you don’t need to be a developer to create, within minutes, experiences that bring geocoded open (real-time) datasets into interactive maps and let your design creativity explode.

The next step for you is to rapidly learn how to put the new Map Collection into practice. You’ll learn that IntuiFace gives you the choice between OpenStreeMap and Microsoft Bing Map as a map provider (depending on your needs). To get started, check out the Interactive Map sample available through the Composer start-up panel that shows up-to-the-minutes city bikes rental locations and availability in Paris, Luxembourg and Göteborg.

Have fun showing off!

Geoff Bessin
Geoff Bessin

I'm Chief Evangelist at Intuiface, which means I think about the intersection of digital interactivity with signage and presentations. Pearls of wisdom? Well...

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