Attracted by virtual constructs

November 8, 2011

Help needed: how to write geographic coordinates in $YOUR language?

Filed under: KDE,Marble — by frinring @ 5:15 pm

As blogged about before, in KDE Apps 4.8 you will be able to enter geographic coordinates in Plasma Runner and then have Marble show it to you.

But there is a problem: the current code is only detecting coordinates where more or less the symbols for degree, minutes and seconds are °, , and and where the directions are given as a single word/letter (with letter the first letter of the word, like North, South, East and West in English).

But looking e.g. at the Wikipedia pages about London in some different languages, where the coordinates is given in the DMS format (degree-minutes-seconds), I can see that the parser will fail, perhaps:

Japanese: 北緯51度30分28秒 西経0度07分41秒
Persian: ‏۳۹″ ۷′ ۰°غربی ‏۲۶″ ۳۰′ ۵۱°شمالی
Russian: 51°30′26″ с. ш. 0°07′39″ з. д.
Czech: 51°30´25´´ s. š. 0°07´37´´ z. d.
Georgian: 51°30′00″ ჩ. გ. 0°07′00″ ა. გ.

(no idea why the center of London is different in each language ;) ).

So, to support as many languages as possible and to know what is needed, could you please help me with yours?

Please post a comment with a sample how the geographic coordinates are constructed in your language, and which symbols for degrees, minutes and seconds are used and which terms to describe the directions?

Template to use:

Language (in English):
Degree symbol:
Minutes symbol:
Seconds symbol:
Term(s) for North:
Term(s) for South:
Term(s) for East:
Term(s) for West:
Some example(s) (e.g. London):

Examples could be also additionally in DM or D format.

Looking forward to many examples, best today/tomorrow :)

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34 Comments »

  1. Language (in English): Dutch
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ”
    Term(s) for North: Noord
    Term(s) for South: Zuid
    Term(s) for East: Oost
    Term(s) for West: West
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): N 52° 8′ 32.14″ , E 5° 24′ 56.09″

    As you can see the E is used for Oost to prevent confusion with the zero.

    Comment by radoeka — November 8, 2011 @ 6:39 pm |Reply

    • There’s not really one defined way to write down coordinates in Dutch. On Wikipedia there’s a big discussion as well: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Opinielokaal/Schrijfwijze_van_co%C3%B6rdinaten_sjablonen

      The N 52° 8′ 32.14″ , E 5° 24′ 56.09″ example above is more like the international way of writing it (with N, E, S, W), so it’s always good, but it’s not really Dutch… In coordinates in Dutch one would for example use NB (“noorderbreedte”) for North, ZB (“zuiderbreedte”) for South, WL (“westerlengte”) for West, and OL (“oosterlengte”) for East. The example above would become: 52° 8′ 32.14″ NB , 5° 24′ 56.09″ OL

      And then you could also decide to use dots (N.B., O.L., Z.B. W.L.), or just use the first letter (N, O, Z, W), etc. :-)

      Comment by ben — November 9, 2011 @ 11:35 pm |Reply

  2. Russian:
    Degree: ° or град or градусов (degs/degrees)
    Minutes: ‘ or ′ or мин or минут (mins/minutes)
    Seconds: ” or ” or ″ or сек or секунд (secs/seconds)
    North: с. ш., северной широты (north lat.)
    South: ю. ш., южной широты (south lat.)
    East: в. д., восточной долготы (east long.)
    West: з. д., западной долготы (west long.)
    Example: 51°30′26″ с. ш. 0°07′39″ з. д.

    Comment by K900 — November 8, 2011 @ 6:41 pm |Reply

    • Also, there’s no ‘ symbol on Russian keyboard layout, but most people switch to English for that. And no backticks either.

      Comment by K900 — November 8, 2011 @ 6:42 pm |Reply

    • I have never seen ‘ used as the minutes sign.

      Comment by Alexander Potashev — November 9, 2011 @ 8:01 pm |Reply

  3. Language (in English): Polish
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ‘ , ′
    Seconds symbol: ” , ″
    Term(s) for North: północnej, Pn. (also without .), N (English notation is most popular)
    Term(s) for South: południowej, Płd., S
    Term(s) for East: wschodniej, Wschod., Wsch., Ws., E
    Term(s) for West: zachodniej, Zach., Z, W
    Some example(s) (e.g. London):
    52°13′56″N 21°00′30″E (Warsaw)

    Comment by mikmach — November 8, 2011 @ 6:59 pm |Reply

  4. Language (in English): Turkish
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ”
    Term(s) for North: Kuzey
    Term(s) for South: Güney
    Term(s) for East: Doğu
    Term(s) for West: Batı
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51° 30′ 28″ K, 0° 7′ 41″ B

    Comment by oblivion — November 8, 2011 @ 7:00 pm |Reply

  5. Language (in Italian):
    Degree symbol:°
    Minutes symbol:’
    Seconds symbol:”
    Term(s) for North:Nord
    Term(s) for South:Sud
    Term(s) for East:Est
    Term(s) for West:Ovest

    Comment by roby.vnm — November 8, 2011 @ 7:24 pm |Reply

  6. Language (in English): Spanish
    Degree symbol: º
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: Norte
    Term(s) for South: Sur
    Term(s) for East: Este
    Term(s) for West: Oeste
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′25″N 00°07′39″O

    Comment by Naproxeno — November 8, 2011 @ 7:25 pm |Reply

    • Minutes should be ′. For simplicity, ‘ and ” should be used for input and the ″ ’ characters for presentation. The ′ key is a dead key in spanish keyboards, you have to press it twice to get the character. I do not think ″ is available in any keyboard.

      Comment by David — November 8, 2011 @ 7:41 pm |Reply

      • Nevermind, the comments are being reformatted. I will shut up now.

        Comment by David — November 8, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  7. Language: Spanish (Latin America, I guess the exclusive Spain too)
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ”
    Term(s) for North: Norte, N
    Term(s) for South: Sur, S
    Term(s) for East: Este, E
    Term(s) for West: Oeste, O
    Example: Bogotá: 4°35’53″N 74°4’33″O (4°35’53″N 74°4’33″W)
    London: 52° 8′ 32.14″ N, 5° 24′ 56.09″ W

    Comment by acidrums4 — November 8, 2011 @ 7:29 pm |Reply

  8. Language (in English): French
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ′
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: Nord
    Term(s) for South: Sud
    Term(s) for East: Est
    Term(s) for West: Ouest
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51° 30′ 18″ N 0° 04′ 43″ O

    Comment by grim7reaper — November 8, 2011 @ 7:31 pm |Reply

  9. Language (in English): Portuguese
    Degree symbol: º
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ”
    Term(s) for North: Norte
    Term(s) for South: Sul
    Term(s) for East: Este, Leste
    Term(s) for West: Oeste
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 52° 8′ 32.14″ N, 5° 24′ 56.09″ E

    Comment by Pedro — November 8, 2011 @ 7:31 pm |Reply

    • Just to be clear, as Pedro’s almost correct:

      Language (in English): Brazilian Portuguese
      Degree symbol: ° = U+00B0
      Minutes symbol: ′ = U+2032
      Seconds symbol: ″ = U+2033
      Term(s) for Noth: Norte
      Term(s) for South: Sul
      Term(s) for East: Leste ['Este' is only used in compounds like Sudeste = Sul + Leste, Nordeste = Norte + Leste]
      Term(s) for West: Oeste
      Some example(s) (e.g. London): 52° 8′ 32,14″ N; 5° 24′ 56,09″ L

      Note that in Brazilian Portuguese:
      Decimal separator: , = U+002C
      Group separator: . = U+002E
      List separator: ; = U+003B

      It should be allowed, for it’s more easely typed on Brazilian’s keyboards:
      Minutes symbol: ‘ = U+0027
      Seconds symbol: ” = U+0022

      Abreviations (not all used in coordinates) are used like this:
      North = Norte = N
      South = Sul = S
      East = Leste = L
      West = Oeste = O
      Northeast = Nordeste = NE
      Southeast = Sudeste = SE
      Northwest = Noroeste = NO
      Southwest = Sudoeste = SO

      * I used unicode notations for the characters as the blog’s commenting engine might mess with them, as can be seen on other’s comments.

      Comment by Ari — November 8, 2011 @ 10:02 pm |Reply

  10. That Spanish minutes symbol should be: ′

    Comment by David — November 8, 2011 @ 7:34 pm |Reply

  11. Language (in English): Hindi
    Degree symbol: º
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: उत्तर
    Term(s) for South: दक्षिण
    Term(s) for East: पूर्व
    Term(s) for West: पश्चिम
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′25″उ 00°07′39″पू

    Comment by kumanna — November 8, 2011 @ 7:35 pm |Reply

  12. Language (in English): Tamil
    Degree symbol: º
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: வடக்கு
    Term(s) for South: தெற்கு
    Term(s) for East: கிழக்கு
    Term(s) for West: மேற்கு
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′25″N 00°07′39″S

    Comment by kumanna — November 8, 2011 @ 7:38 pm |Reply

  13. Language (in English): Bulgarian
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ′
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: север
    Term(s) for South: юг
    Term(s) for East: изток
    Term(s) for West: запад
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′26″ с. ш. 0°07′39″ и. д.

    Comment by Dimitar — November 8, 2011 @ 8:17 pm |Reply

  14. Language (in English): Czech
    Degree symbol: ° (U+00B0 DEGREE SIGN)
    Minutes symbol: ′ (U+2032 PRIME)
    Seconds symbol: ″ (U+2033 DOUBLE PRIME)
    Term(s) for North: sever
    Term(s) for South: jih
    Term(s) for East: východ
    Term(s) for West: západ
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′42″ s. š., 0°02′56″ z. d.
    Sydney: 33° 52′ j. š., 151° 13′ v. d.

    The terms for directions need to be made into adjectives and conjugated when used as full words: s. š = „severní šířka“ but 51° s. š. = „51° severní šířky“.

    For simplicity, ‘’’´′ etc. and “””¨″ etc. (or doubled ‘’’´′), and English direction abbreviations, should be used for input. The ′ ACUTE ACCENT and ¨ DIAERESIS are dead keys on Czech keyboards; you have to press one twice to get the spacing character. But it’s easier to use the ASCII quotes.

    Consider just displaying the English notation, though: GPS devices often aren’t localized. The English notation seems to be most popular with power users (and naïve users won’t need coordiates!)

    Comment by Petr Viktorin — November 8, 2011 @ 8:18 pm |Reply

  15. Language (in English): Arabic
    Degree symbol: º
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ″
    Term(s) for North: شمال
    Term(s) for South: جنوب
    Term(s) for East: شرق
    Term(s) for West: غرب
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 52°13′56″ شمال 21°00′30″ شرق
    (LTR)

    Comment by Amine27 — November 8, 2011 @ 10:16 pm |Reply

  16. Language (in English): Esperanto
    Degree symbol: ° = U+00B0
    Minutes symbol: ′ = U+2032 or ‘ = U+0027
    Seconds symbol: ″ = U+2033 or ” = U+0022
    Term(s) for Noth: Nordo N
    Term(s) for South: Sudo S
    Term(s) for East: Oriento Or
    Term(s) for West: Okcidento Ok
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 52° 8′ 32,14″ N; 5° 24′ 56,09″ Or

    And, for Esperanto handling of numbers:
    Decimal separator: , = U+002C
    Group separator:   = unbreakable space U+202F or U+00A0
    List separator: ; = U+003B

    Comment by Ari — November 8, 2011 @ 10:32 pm |Reply

  17. Your ‘japanese’ is actually Chinese.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 8, 2011 @ 11:30 pm |Reply

  18. Language (in English): English
    Degree symbol:
    Minutes symbol:
    Seconds symbol:
    Term(s) for North:
    Term(s) for South:
    Term(s) for East:
    Term(s) for West:
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 52.4482842633, 13.3072583377

    Comment by foo — November 9, 2011 @ 1:55 am |Reply

  19. #17 Emm, Actually not, Japanese also use some Chinese character. (I’m Chinese).

    I’m not sure, how would this cord be used in krunner? Copy and paste from wiki? since symbol like “º” is not so easy to input. And krunner input accept localization I don’t think is a good idea. People use Chinese, Japanese, Korean (and maybe other languages), will take more effort to input character and might not match your built-in pattern.

    Language (in English): Chinese
    Degree symbol: º / 度
    Minutes symbol: ‘ / 分
    Seconds symbol: ″ / 秒
    Term(s) for North: N / 北纬
    Term(s) for South: S / 南纬
    Term(s) for East: E / 东经
    Term(s) for West: W / 西经
    Some example(s) (e.g. London): 51°30′25″N 00°07′39″S

    Comment by csslayer — November 9, 2011 @ 5:46 am |Reply

  20. Language (in English): Norwegian
    Degree symbol: °
    Minutes symbol: ‘
    Seconds symbol: ”
    Term(s) for North: N
    Term(s) for South: S
    Term(s) for East: Ø (Ø)
    Term(s) for West: V
    Some example(s) (e.g. London):
    London: 51° 30′ 25” N 0° 7′ 39” W
    My hometown Ålgård (Ålgård) in Rogaland: 58° 45′ 53.38″ N 5° 51′ 19.74″ E

    Note: A shorthand notation is perhaps more practical, especially as the degree symbol isn’t easily available on my (most?) keyboards.
    In the shorthand notation your London example would be given as “N051 30.150′ W000 07.234′”, i.e. a notation of the form “[N/S]ddd mm.mmm’ [E/W]ddd mm.mmm’” where there is no need for any special characters.
    The shorthand notation form is becoming more common. It can of course be easily translated to the old DMS notation by multiplying the decimal part of the minutes by 60 to obtain the number of seconds.
    One has also taken it one step further for a notation in the form “[N/S]ddd.ddddd [E/W]ddd.ddddd” where reverse calculation is a two-step process multiplying the decimal part by 60 to get the minutes first and then multiplying the decimal part of the minutes by 60 to get the seconds.

    Then of course there are other formats, such as UTM which most GPS units can understand, and . Sometimes the coordinates are only available in one format – then

    My hometown in alternative notations (all in the WGS84/EUREF89 datum):
    DMS: 58° 45′ 53.38″ N 5° 51′ 19.74″ E
    Shorthand DMS: N58.764828 E5.855483
    UTM 32V E 318152 N 6518134

    Comment by Kjetil Kilhavn — November 9, 2011 @ 8:34 am |Reply

    • Talk about pressing “Post Comment” prematurely….
      As I was saying, there are other formats such as UTM and the Swedish Grid, where negative numbers represent the southern and western hemispheres (after they moved the zero east/west point to Greenwich). Like UTM the numbers indicate distance (a number of meters from the zero points), and there’s an offset to be considered (“false easting”).

      I’m not suggesting all the world’s formats should be supported, but perhaps the design could take the format as a parameter, with a default if none is specified.

      As I was also saying, sometimes the co-ordinates are only available in one format. What’s worse is that sometimes the co-ordinates are only available in another datum than WGS84/EUREF89 – e.g. if one has an old map.
      Just thought i’d mention it – perhaps some work on it could be a task for a GSoC student :-)

      Comment by Kjetil Kilhavn — November 9, 2011 @ 8:53 am |Reply

  21. I agree with those who adds that the shorthand notation is more used and more useful: N58.764828 E5.855483
    So you should add as a parameter the decimal separator:
    In French, the normal decimal separation is ‘,’ but we’re also used to use ‘.’.

    Comment by renoX — November 9, 2011 @ 9:16 am |Reply

  22. Language (in English): Greek
    Degree symbol:°
    Minutes symbol:΄
    Seconds symbol:΄΄
    Term(s) for North:Β ,Βοράς
    Term(s) for South:Ν ,Νότος
    Term(s) for East:Α ,Ανατολή
    Term(s) for West:Δ ,Δύση
    Some example(s): Χαλκίδα 38° 28′ Β 23° 36′ Α

    Comment by Antonis — November 9, 2011 @ 12:13 pm |Reply

    • Sorry correction:

      Degree symbol:°
      Minutes symbol:’
      Seconds symbol:″

      Degrees, minutes and seconds are the same as English.
      Also note that in Greek N stands for South and not North!!
      Btw thanks for your work with integration marble to krunner looks really cool!

      Comment by Antonis — November 9, 2011 @ 12:21 pm |Reply

      • the correct is Βορράς with 2 ρ’s!!!!!!!!!

        Comment by vespas — November 9, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  23. Thanks so far for your input, keep it coming. I see already lots of useful information, and all your examples will also make it into the test database. So the more you give, the better things will get. Well, hopefully :)

    Comment by frinring — November 9, 2011 @ 2:03 pm |Reply

  24. list of coordinate systems:

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/coordsys/coordsys_f.html

    Comment by guest — November 10, 2011 @ 6:38 pm |Reply

  25. [...] few days ago I asked for help how to design the parser used in Marble to try to turn a text string into some geographical [...]

    Pingback by Thanks for help with writing geographic coordinates in $YOUR language « Attracted by virtual constructs — November 16, 2011 @ 10:19 pm |Reply


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