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The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid

Fact Sheet 157-99

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Abstract

The most convenient way to identify points on the curved surface of the Earth is with a system of reference lines called parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. On some maps, the meridians and parallels appear as straight lines. On most modern maps, however, the meridians and parallels appear as curved lines. These differences sre due to the mathematical treatment required to portray a curved surface on a flat surface so that important properties of the map (such as distance and areal accuracy) are shown with minimum distortion. The system used to portray a portion of the round Earth on a flat surface is called a map projection.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
157-99
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Description:
2 p.
Country:
United States