# What are the advantages / disadvantages of reporting location in decimal degrees versus degree min sec?

Geographic Information Systems## What is the difference between decimal degrees and degrees minutes seconds?

**One degree has 60 minutes and one minute has 60 seconds**. If you have 91.456 degrees you can see that your measurement is 91 whole degress plus 0.456 of a degree. To state the decimal 0.456 degrees in minutes multiply 0.456*60 to get 27.36 minutes. Now you have 27 whole minutes plus 0.36 of a minute.

## Why do we use decimal degrees in GIS?

For latitude-longitude coordinates, degrees can be expressed two ways: as degrees, minutes, seconds (DMS) or as decimal degrees (DD). In a GIS , decimal degrees are more efficient because **they make digital storage of coordinates easier and computations faster**.

## Why do geographers use degrees minutes and seconds?

**For positioning**, we can find any location on Earth using latitude and longitude coordinates. And we measure those coordinates using decimal degrees or degrees/minutes/seconds.

## What is degrees minutes seconds used for?

Traditionally positions are given using degrees, minutes, and seconds of angles in two measurements: one for latitude, the angle north or south of the equator; and one for longitude, the angle east or west of the Prime Meridian. Degrees, minutes and seconds are denoted by the symbols °, ‘, “.

## How accurate are degrees decimal minutes?

A value in decimal degrees to 5 decimal places is accurate to 1.11 meter at the equator. Because the earth is a spheroid and not flat, the accuracy of the longitude part of the coordinates increases the further from the equator you get.

## How accurate are decimal degrees?

Precision. A value in decimal degrees to a precision of 4 decimal places is precise to 11.1 metres (36 ft) at the equator. A value in decimal degrees to 5 decimal places is precise to 1.11 metres (3 ft 8 in) at the equator.

## What are the advantages of decimal number system?

The main advantages of Decimal Number System are **easy readable, used by humans, and easy to manipulate**. However, there are some disadvantages, like wastage of space and time.

## Why is decimal number system the best?

Decimal numbers are used in situations where more precision is required than the whole numbers can provide. For example, when we calculate our weight on the weighing machine, we do not always find the weight equal to a whole number on the scale.

## Why are more decimal places more accurate?

**The greater number of digits after the decimal point the more precision the number has**. Repeated results and right or wrong results have nothing to do with how precise a number is. 10.0000321 is a more precise number than 10,3.2 or 66.9999 for example.

## Are decimal degrees and DMS the same thing?

The key for knowing the difference is watching for the presence of a decimal in the coordinate string. **If there is no decimal, it is DMS**. If the decimal imme- diately follows the minutes coordinate (61° 34.25′ or 61 34.25) then it’s DM. If the decimal immediately follows the degrees coordinate (61.5708) then it’s DD.

## How to convert decimal degrees to degrees minutes and seconds?

**To convert 49.947 decimal degrees west into degrees minutes and seconds:**

- Subtract the whole number (this is the degrees)
- Multiply the decimal by 60 0.947 x 60.
- Subtract the whole number (this is the minutes)
- Multiply the decimal by 60 0.82 x 60.
- Subtract the whole number (this is the seconds)

## How do you convert degrees minutes seconds to decimal degrees manually?

**Decimal degrees = Degrees + (Minutes/60) + (Seconds/3600)**

- First, convert minutes and seconds to their degree equivalents and add the results. 25’/60 = 0.4167° 30″/3600 = .0083°
- Then, add this number to the number of degrees. 39° + 0.425° = 39.425°
- So, the final result is: 39° 25′ 30″ = 39.425°

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