GPS vs Postal Addrssing

Why using GPS Coordinates are always better

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. A GPS unit will translate its reading the location it finds into geographic coordinates. This is NOT the Postal Address of street name and state

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on the Earth to be specified by a set of numbers or letters. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents vertical position, and two or three of the numbers represent horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation.


Unfortunately there is not one standard of way to write the coordinates. All of the following are valid and acceptable ways to write geographic coordinates: 

    •  40:26:46N,079:56:55W
    • 40:26:46.302N 079:56:55.903W
    • 40°26′47″N 079°58′36″W
    • 40d 26′ 47″ N 079d 58′ 36″ W
    • 40.446195N 79.948862W
    • 40.446195, -79.948862
    • 40° 26.7717, -79° 56.93172 


There are three basic forms of a coordinate

    • Coordinate containing degrees (integer), minutes (integer), and seconds (integer, or real number) (DMS)
    • Coordinate containing degrees (integer) and minutes (real number) (MinDec)
    • Coordinate containing only degrees (real number) (DegDec) 

 All forms of coordinates are capable of representing the same amount of data and the same precision. Depending on which type of coordinate you are provided with and which type you would like to work with, you may have to do some conversion.

Go to  for more detail.

GPS Devices for the Car

Most GPS units designed for use in automobiles these days allow the user to input the Postal Street/State address. The road database stored in the GPS is a vector map of some area of interest. Street names or numbers and house numbers are encoded as geographic coordinates so that the user can find some desired destination by street address in the vector map.

Postal Address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used for describing the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or apartment numbers. Note that there is no reference of the GPS coordinates here.

The bottom line on why GPS coordinates over Postal Address

Therefore postal addresses are reference to an area of land. This area of land can be a building or a whole park. The use of a postal address in a GPS in your automobile works some accuracy when you are in an urban area. This is because postal addresses in cities are broken up by each building on a street. This is not true in the country where the postal address can represent several acres of land

Most of the locations we are going to on our Event are in the country or in a park. This is where the use of GPS coordinates comes in handy. GPS Coordinates refer to a particular point on a map. If you use GPS coordinates for mapping your location you will get to that point. If you use a Postal address there is some doubt as to exact location.

We have made available GPS Coordinates on all directions. USE GPS COORDINATES INSTEAD OF THE POSTAL ADDRESS WHEN POSSIBLE. It is less likely that you will get lost. EVERY GPS unit on the market today has a way for you to input GPS coordinates instead of the postal address. It might not be obvious at first but it is there. If you need help figuring out this process we will gladly help you.

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