Posted on October 7th, 2013

Free For All – UTM to Geographic Coordinate Convertors

There are many applications out there that you might find to convert between datums and coordinate systems. In this Free for All, I have put together a list of the most reputable and/or wide-ranging convertors that I could find. As a side note, converting a datum and/or coordinate system is inherently an inaccurate process so it’s always best to work with the original coordinates you were given. When this is not possible, check out these free applications as one of them will surely solve your conversion needs.

TWCCA screengrab of the World Coordinate Convertor online application.
  • The World Coordinate Convertor
    • This online application has a mind blowing number of coordinate systems and datums you can convert between – the list is truly impressive.
    • The drawback of this site is that it is unclear how much expertise the builders have in cartography.
  • RCN Utilities & Tools
    • This online application was built by two reputable sources, Montana State University and the National Parks. It is easy to use and is good for conversions of data in North America.
    • There are only a limited number of datums and coordinate systems supported.
  • Land Information New Zealand Online Conversions
    • This web-based conversion tool is specific to New Zealand datums and is reputable as it was created by a local government agency. If you have highly specific local projections, I suggest you try to find a convertor like this was created and is maintained by a local government agency.
    • One drawback is that this convertor only has a small set of projections and geography it will help you with.
  • Europe Transverse Mercator Calculator
    • This is another region-specific online tool with UTM zones defined by European countries.
    • As with other region-specific tools, it is limited in its scope. The experience of the author is not apparent but he does seem to be a PhD.
  • Earth Point Batch Convertor
    • This online service has the traditional conversion tools with a variety of coordinate systems but what I like here are the batch conversion tools they offer.
    • A serious drawback to this service is the lack of control over the datum used for conversions.
  • CORPSCON
    • This is an offline convertor created by a reputable source, the US Army Corps of Engineers. It offers a wide variety of coordinate systems and datums. There is also a beta spreadsheet version as well.
    • The drawback of this application is usability, it has a lot of options and a user interface that is not intuitive.
  • MSP GEOTRANS
    • Another offline, reputable convertor build by the US government (i.e. the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). It also offers a wide variety of datums and coordinate systems.
    • Similar to CORPSCON, this application is not user friendly and only works on Windows’ based machines.

Until my next edition of Free For All, happy hunting for free geospatial goodies!

Brock Adam McCarty
Map Wizard
(720) 470-7988
brock@apollomapping.com

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