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Lat Long to UTM Converter

Created by Steven Wooding
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

This lat long to UTM converter takes the familiar latitude and longitude coordinates and converts them to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system. To convert between different formats of lat and long, see Omni's coordinates converter.

The article below explains what UTM is and how to use this UTM coordinates converter. So, let's get going and convert lat long to UTM coordinates.

What is Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)?

UTM is a grid-based mapping system made up of 60 separate transverse Mercator projections (called zones), each is 6° wide to cover the full 360° of longitude (east/west direction). Due to the increased curvature of the Earth near the poles, UTM only covers latitudes (north/south direction) from 80° south to 84° north. You can discover more in the Earth curvature calculator.

The first part of a UTM coordinate is the zone number (1 to 60). Zone 1 is placed at 180° W longitude (at the International Date Line) and counts up going eastward.

Simplified view of contiguous US UTM zones, projected with Lambert conformal conic.
UTM zone numbers for continental America, Chrismurf at English Wikipedia / CC BY

The second part indicates whether the position is north or south of the equator. UTM indicates north by the letter "N" and south with the letter "S". That's simple enough.

Now things start to get complicated. The next part of a UTM coordinate is called the easting, which is the distance in meters from the central meridian (which in the middle of a zone along the east/west axis). However, to avoid negative numbers, an easting is measured from 500,000 meters west of a zone's central meridian. At the equator, easting values ranges from 166,021 m to 833,978 m. As you move away from the equator, the zone width gets narrower and so this range decreases.

The final part of a UTM coordinate is the northing. For coordinates in the northern hemisphere, the northing is the number of meters from the equator, up to a maximum of 9,329,005 m at 84° N. For the southern hemisphere, northing is measured from 10 million meters south of the equator. Since UTM does not apply to positions south of 80° S, a northing in the southern hemisphere ranges from 1,116,915 m to 10,000,000 m at the equator.

Easting and northing values are rounded to the nearest meter. There is not much point using more precision than that, as then plate tectonic movements start to become important.

Latitude band letters and grid zone designator

There is another, non-standard, component of a UTM called a latitude band. It is part of another system of representing UTM coordinates called the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS). However, because many resources give the latitude band as part of the UTM, we also provide it as one of the outputs of this lat long to UTM converter.

There are 20 latitude bands, each 8° tall (except band "X", which is 12° tall). We letter the bands from "C" in the south (at 80° south) to "X" at 84° north. Note that we skip the letters "I" and "O" to avoid any confusion with the numbers one and zero.

In the MGRS system, a combination of the UTM zone and latitude letter is called the grid zone designator (GZD), which is what the UTM coordinates converter also reports.

How to use this UTM coordinates converter? - convert lat long to UTM coordinates

So, this is how you convert lat long to UTM coordinates with our calculator:

  1. Enter the latitude of the location you want to convert to UTM. Use positive values up to 84° for positions in the northern hemisphere and negative values down to -80° for locations in the southern hemisphere.
  2. Enter the longitude of the geographical coordinate you wish to convert to UTM. Use positive values for points east of Greenwich, London (up to a value, but not including, 180°) and negative values for longitudes west of Greenwich, down to a value of -180°.
  3. The lat long to UTM converter then displays the UTM zone, hemisphere, easting, and northing separately.
  4. This UTM coordinates converter also shows the complete UTM coordinate standard notation.
  5. As a bonus, the converter shows the grid zone designator from MGRS, as some non-standard UTM notations include it.
Steven Wooding
Coordinate type
decimal degrees
Latitude & longitude (GPS coordinates)
UTM parameters
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