View Full Version : USNG coordinates and signing - request for comment

September 29th, 2009, 07:40 AM
Hi all,

I got an email from a search and rescue group I am part of. Minnesota has a document out seeking comment on its proposal to add USNG grid coordinates to all sorts of signs, from Freeway mile markers and signs, to back county trail markers. I thought this group may be interested and it may be worth following since Michigans signing of trails is limited. I could see this being a big help overall, but expensive to complete.


I have no affiliation with this, but wanted to pass along. If this should be elsewhere, feel free to move. Land use seemed the most appropriate.



September 29th, 2009, 09:00 AM
Leave it up to the government to reinvent the wheel ... again.

The concept of locational reference signage is a good one. They do need to adopt a standard for marking the signs. They will also need a massive education plan for regular citizens to get any useful meaning from those signs.

This country really needs to settle on a geospatial coordinate reference system. I just wish it wouldn't have been this hybrid because it is so counterintuitive.

So far our land survey, geographical reference, and navigation systems have used both polar coordinate systems and grid systems for location and property delineation. Measurement methods include latitude and longitude, metes and bounds, distance and direction from known benchmarks or section corners, using both magnetic north and true north as references, township and range, county and state boundaries, zip codes, census tracts, radio pulse time delays (in LORAN systems), 'quarter' systems (SW 1/4 of NW 1/2 of section 3 in Grant township), highway mileage markers, and just plain ole street names and addresses.

We have grown up with the normal cartesian coordinate way of thinking. That is, everything on an X,Y, and sometimes Z axis. The larger the coordinate value the farther along the axis you go. To my thinking. this makes sense. To me, 200 is greater than 20. To this system, it can be the same thing.

Yep, its definitely a government project. Just be prepared to spend a few hours understanding it. And many more cursing it.