Press "Enter" to skip to content

Projected Coordinates – HowNotTo Example #1

This is how the president of a geoscience consulting firm reported the location of an old undergound fuel tank to the Wisconsin DNR.

“Here are the coordinates for the center of the former tank basin using NAD_1983_HARN_Wisconsin_TM_US_Ft: 2,256,871.225 942,307.043 Feet”

The bad news is that they used a projected coordinate system different from the one specified by state statute. The good news is that they told us the name of the system they were using. Because we knew the input coordinate system up front, reprojecting it to the DNR’s official system only took a few minutes. There’s a little more bad new:

  • The way the coordinate pair is written, the reader can’t tell which number is the X and which is the Y.
  • The use of 3-decimal-place coordinate values implies that a big, ragged hole in the ground was measured so accurately that its center could be located within one one-thousandth of a foot.

The report’s shortcomings are not fatal. The problems are easy to detect and remedy. But that consultant received a hefty fee and owes their customer a report that doesn’t need patching.

Comments are closed.