Convert Degrees Minutes Seconds to Decimal Degrees in Didger

KB no longer maintained - Didger is a Legacy Product. Legacy Products are still supported, but no longer receive new features or updates. The majority of Didger's features have been moved to Surfer. Please contact with any questions.


Latitude and Longitude coordinates are often presented in degrees, minutes, and seconds, such as 39° 45' 30" (39 degrees, 45 minutes, 30 seconds). However, Didger can only plot values in decimal degrees. So, for example, 39° 45' is referred to as 39.75° in Didger. Didger does not currently have a way to do this conversion, and the conversion must be done manually. 

Converting from degrees, minutes, and seconds is actually quite easy. Consider the latitude value 39° 25' 30". This value needs to be converted to use it in Didger. There are 60 minutes in one degree and 3600 seconds in one degree. To convert minutes and seconds to decimal degrees, divide minutes by 60, divide seconds by 3600, and then add the results to obtain the decimal equivalent.

Use the following formula to make the conversion:

Decimal degrees = Degrees + Minutes/60 + Seconds/3600

For Example:

To convert 39° 25' 30" to decimal degrees

1. First, convert minutes and seconds to their degree equivalents and add the results
25'/60 = 0.4167°
30"/3600 = .0083°
and 0.4167° + 0.0083° = 0.425°

2. Then, add this number to the number of degrees.
39° + 0.425° = 39.425°

3. So, the final result is:
39° 25' 30" = 39.425°

Once your coordinates are in decimal degrees, you can use the data in Didger. Surfer is able to convert DMS to DD directly in the worksheet.


Updated: August 06, 2018

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