blankblank blank

Easy Ways To Get Latitude/Longitude For A Screen Point In Google Earth

In the lower left-hand corner of Google Earth, there’s a latitude/longitude readout that shows the position at the cursor position:

9-21-2008-9.02.12 PM

But if you want to record this position, the screen readout is graphical, so you can’t copy the numbers directly from Google Earth using a copy-and-paste operation; you have to write them out manually. One way around this is to create a placemark in Google Earth, and drag it to the desired location; the latitude and longitude will show up in the placemarks properties window, from which you can copy and paste them into a different app:

9-21-2008-9.06.51 PM

Another option is to use David Tryse’s Google Earth Position application. No installation, just run the program at the same time as Google Earth:

9-21-2008-9.15.26 PM

With Auto checked, it will update the position at the center of your Google Earth display continuously; unchecked, you’ll need to click the “GetPos” button to update the position. Clicking on the various “Copy” buttons copies position data into your clipboard for pasting into various programs:

Copy LatLong: 34.756012    -111.495048

Copy LookAt: 34.756012    -111.495048    0    812729.99    0.00    -9.43

Copy LatLong KML: <coordinates>-111.495048,34.756012,0</coordinates>

Copy LookAt KML: <LookAt>

With Auto unchecked, you can also enter a position into the Latitude and Longitude boxes at the top, and “FlyTo” that position in Google Earth. The numbered boxes at the bottom can save a current location (Shift-Click on the button), fly to a saved position (click on the button), or recall a saved position without flying to it (Alt-Click).

One big problem: there’s no center cursor or marker in Google Earth to indicate the center of the screen, so finding the position of a specific location might be difficultFixed in the latest version. But here’s a simple little KMZ file that puts a crosshair overlay at the center of the Google Earth screen, getting around this problem:

9-21-2008-9.24.55 PM

David’s website has several other apps worth a look. Google Earth Photo Tag lets you use Google Earth to embed location information into JPEG pictures (note: requires the Exiv2.exe command-line program in the same directory) . While I prefer Picasa for this task, GE Photo Tag does let you modify the balloon style for KML image files, which Picasa doesn’t. LatLong Conversion converts from degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees and vice-versa, supporting more formats for the input data than other similar converters.

Looking for something else? Enter some keywords below, then click "Search".    

4 Responses to “Easy Ways To Get Latitude/Longitude For A Screen Point In Google Earth”

  1. 1 Greg

    “Google Earth Position application” should be changed to “Google Earth Position application if you have Windows”

  2. 2 SEWilco

    If you don’t have MS-Windows but do have Google Earth, Wikipedia’s geographic coordinate tips point out the hjl_get_Coor tool, a KMZ file which shows a crosshair and coordinates. Remember to toggle it off when not using it, to reduce your need for that server.

  3. 3 David Tryse

    Many thanks for the blog post, and for the crosshair idea – I’ve added it as an option to the right-click menu in the latest version of the tool now.


  1. 1 southstep's me2DAY
Comments are currently closed; feel free to contact me with questions/issues.