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Coordinate tools

Our software can help you convert coordinates from one format to another and also transform from one coordinate reference system to another.

You can carry out common calculations with our coordinate calculations spreadsheet (xls). It includes a full set of Transverse Mercator projection functions, so you can easily:

  • Project latitude and longitude to grid eastings and northings for any Transverse Mercator map projection, including the Ordnance Survey National Grid – and vice versa.
  • Compute local scale factor and grid convergence at any point on the grid, and compute t-T and true azimuth between any pair of points on the grid.
  • Convert latitude and longitude coordinates to cartesian XYZ coordinates and vice versa.
  • Perform simple ("Helmert" style) coordinate transformations. E.g. between WGS84 and OSGB36 with an accuracy of about 3 metres.
  • Reformat latitude and longitude coordinates between:
    • Degrees, minutes and seconds.
    • Decimal degrees.
    • Degrees and decimal minute formats.

Our guide to coordinate systems in Great Britain (PDF) acts as the user manual for some of the calculations you can perform using the spreadsheet. It explains the limitations of the type of datum transformation included in the spreadsheet, which you should bear in mind. If you need transformation accuracy better than the 3 metres, you should use OSTN15 and OSGM15 instead of the simple transformation in the spreadsheet.

Scale factors, convergence and t-T are included in the spreadsheet but are not covered in the guide.

The map reference conversion spreadsheet (xlsm) will help convert between full national grid references and map tile references that use the 100km square letters.

Coordinate transformation software

Our Grid InQuestII software transforms between the ETRS89 (WGS84) and OSGB36 National Grid coordinate systems. Find our more about transformation software.