Part One
  Map Reading


  Reading Topographical Maps Introduction 1. HOME

  Topographical Maps - Definition, Purpose and Categories 2. Maps

  Information in the margins of an army map 3. Marginal Information    and Symbols

  Latitude, Longitude and Other Methods to Locate Points on Topographic Maps 4. Grids

  Translating Distance on a Topographic Map to Distance on the Ground 5. Scale and Distance

  Grid North, Azimuth, Declination And Other Concepts Used To Find Direction With Topographic Maps 6. Direction

  Overlays - Used Primarily In Army Map Reading 7. Overlays

  Aerial Photographs - Supplements And Substitutes For Topographic Maps 8. Aerial Photographs

 Part Two
  Land Navigation


  Using Compass, GPS, Sun, Shadows, and Stars in Land Navigation 9. Navigation Equipment    and Methods

  Reading The Shape Of The Land In Topographic Maps 10. Elevation and Relief

  Orienting and Navigating With Topographic Maps 11. Terrain Association

  Mounted Land Navigating With Motorized Vehicles 12. Mounted Land    Navigation

  Land Navigation In Different Types of Terrain 13. Navigation in    Different Types of    Terrain



  Sketching Topographic Maps A. Field Sketching

  Folding Topographic Maps B. Map Folding     Techniques

  Units of Measure and Conversion Factors Used in Reading Topographic Maps C. Units of Measure and      Conversion Factors

  Units of Measure and Conversion Factors Used in Reading Topographic Maps D. Joint Operations      Graphics

  US Army Training Material for Map Reading and Land Navigation E. Exportable Training      Material

  Orienteering F. Orienteering

  US Army M2 Compass G. M2 Compass

  Additional Aids such as Night Vision Goggles and Global Positioning System or GPS H. Additional Aids      (GPS, Night Vision)

  Global Positioning System -  GPS J. Global Positioning      System - GPs

 

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4-5. LOCATE A POINT USING GRID COORDINATES

Based on the military principle for reading maps (RIGHT and UP), locations on the map can be determined by grid coordinates. The number of digits represents the degree of precision to which a point has been located and measured on a map— the more digits the more precise the measurement.

a.   Without a Coordinate Scale. Determine grids without a coordinate scale by referring to the north-south grid lines numbered at the bottom margin of any map. Then read RIGHT to the north-south grid line that precedes the desired point (this first set of two digits is the RIGHT reading). Then by referring to the east-west grid lines numbered at either side of the map, move UP to the east-west grid line that precedes the desired point (these two digits are the UP reading). Coordinate 1484 locate the 1,000-meter grid square in which point X is located; the next square to the right would be 1584; the next square up would be 1485, and so forth (Figure 4-15). Locate the point to the nearest 100 meters using estimation. Mentally divide the grid square in tenths, estimate the distance from the grid line to the point in the same order (RIGHT and UP). Give complete coordinate RIGHT, then complete coordinate UP. Point X is about two-tenths or 200 meters to the RIGHT into the grid square and about seven-tenths or 700 meters UP.

RESULTS: The coordinates to the nearest 100 meters are 142847.

Figure 4-15.  Determining grids without coordinate point.

Figure 4-15. Determining grids without coordinate point.

b.   With a Coordinate Scale (1:25,000). In order to use the coordinate scale for determining grid coordinates, ensure that the appropriate scale is being used on the corresponding map, and that the scale is right side up. To ensure the scale is correctly aligned, place it with the zero-zero point at the lower left corner of the grid square. Keeping the horizontal line of the scale directly on top of the east-west grid line, slide it to the right until the vertical line of the scale touches the point for which the coordinates are desired (Figure 4-16). When reading coordinates, examine the two sides of the coordinate scale to ensure that the horizontal line of the scale is aligned with the east-west grid line, and the vertical line of the scale is parallel with the north-south grid line. Use the scale when precision of more than 100 meters is required. To locate the point to the nearest 10 meters, measure the hundredths of a grid square RIGHT and UP from the grid lines to the point. Point X is about 17 hundredths or 170 meters RIGHT and 84 hundredths or 840 meters UP. The coordinates to the nearest 10 meters are 14178484.

Figure 4-16.  Placing a coordinate scale on a grid.

Figure 4-16. Placing a coordinate scale on a grid.

NOTE: Care should be exercised by the map reader using the coordinate scale when the desired point is located within the zero-zero point and the number 1 on the scale. Always prefix a zero if the hundredths reading is less than 10. In Figure 4-17, the desired point is reported as 14818407.

Figure 4-17.  Zero-zero point.

Figure 4-17. Zero-zero point.

c.   1:50,000 Coordinating Scale. On the 1:50,000 coordinate scale, there are two sides: vertical and horizontal. These sides are 1,000 meters in length. The point at which the sides meet is the zero-zero point. Each side is divided into 10 equal 100-meter segments by a long tick mark and number. Each 100-meter segment is subdivided into 50-meter segments by a short tick mark (Figure 4-18). By using interpolation, mentally divide each 50-meter segment into tenths. For example, a point that lies after a whole number but before a short tick mark is identified as 10, 20, 30, or 40 meters and any point that lies after the short tick mark but before the whole number is identified as 60, 70, 80, or 90 meters.

Figure 4-18.  1:50,000 coordinating scale.

Figure 4-18. 1:50,000 coordinating scale.

d.   Example of Obtaining an Eight-Digit Coordinate Using 1:50,000 Scale. To ensure the scale is correctly aligned, place it with the zero-zero point at the lower left corner of the grid square. Keeping the horizontal line of the scale directly on top of the east-west grid line, slide the scale to the right until the vertical line of the scale touches the point for which the coordinates are desired (Figure 4-19). Reading right, you can see that the point lies 530 meters to the right into the grid square, which gives a right reading of 7853. Reading up, you can see that the point lies 320 meters up into the grid square, giving an up reading of 0032.

Figure 4-19.  Example of obtaining an eight-digit coordinate using 1:50,000 scale.

Figure 4-19. Example of obtaining an eight-digit coordinate using 1:50,000 scale.

e.   Recording and Reporting Grid Coordinates. Coordinates are written as one continuous number without spaces, parentheses, dashes, or decimal points; they must always contain an even number of digits. Therefore, whoever is to use the written coordinates must know where to make the split between the RIGHT and UP readings. It is a military requirement that the 100,000-meter square identification letters be included in any point designation. Normally, grid coordinates are determined to the nearest 100 meters (six digits) for reporting locations. With practice, this can be done without using plotting scales. The location of targets and other point locations for fire support are determined to the nearest 10 meters (eight digits).

NOTE: Special care should be exercised when recording and reporting coordinates. Transposing numbers or making errors could be detrimental to military operations.

4-6. LOCATE A POINT USING THE US ARMY MILITARY GRID REFERENCE SYSTEM

There is only one rule to remember when reading or reporting grid coordinates— always read to the RIGHT and then UP. The first half of the reported set of coordinate digits represents the left-to-right (easting) grid label, and the second half represents the label as read from the bottom to top (northing). The grid coordinates may represent the location to the nearest 10-, 100-, or 1,000-meter increment.

a.   Grid Zone. The number 16 locates a point within zone 16, which is an area 6° wide and extends between 80° S latitude and 84° N latitude (Figure 4-8).

b.   Grid Zone Designation. The number and letter combination, 16S, further locates a point within the grid zone designation 16S, which is a quadrangle 6° wide by 8° high. There are 19 of these quads in zone 16. Quad X, which is located between 72° N and 84° N latitude, is 12° high (Figure 4-8).

c.   100,000-Meter Square Identification. The addition of two more letters locates a point within the 100,000-meter grid square. Thus 16SGL (Figure 4-11) locates the point within the 100,000-meter square GL in the grid zone designation 16S. For information on the lettering system of 100,000-meter squares, see TM 5-241-1.

d.   10,000-Meter Square. The breakdown of the US Army military grid reference system continues as each side of the 100,000-meter square is divided into 10 equal parts. This division produces lines that are 10,000 meters apart. Thus the coordinates 16SGL08 would locate a point as shown in Figure 4-20. The 10,000-meter grid lines appear as index (heavier) grid lines on maps at 1:100,000 and larger.

Figure 4-20.  The 10,000-meter grid square.

Figure 4-20. The 10,000-meter grid square.

e.   1,000-Meter Square. To obtain 1,000-meter squares, each side of the 10,000-meter square is divided into 10 equal parts. This division appears on large-scale maps as the actual grid lines; they are 1,000 meters apart. On the Columbus map, using coordinates 16SGL0182, the easting 01 and the northing 82 gives the location of the southwest corner of grid square 0182 or to the nearest 1,000 meters of a point on the map (Figure 4-21).

Figure 4-21.  The 1,000-meter grid square.

Figure 4-21. The 1,000-meter grid square.

f.   100-Meter Identification. To locate to the nearest 100 meters, the grid coordinate scale can be used to divide the 1,000-meter grid squares into 10 equal parts (Figure 4-22).

Figure 4-22.  The 100-meter and 10-meter grid squares.

Figure 4-22. The 100-meter and 10-meter grid squares.

g.   10-Meter Identification. The grid coordinate scale has divisions every 50 meters on the 1:50,000 scale and every 20 meters on the 1:25,000 scale. These can be used to estimate to the nearest 10 meters and give the location of one point on the earth's surface to the nearest 10 meters.

EXAMPLE: 16SGL01948253 (gas tank) (Figure 4-22).

h.   Precision. The precision of a point's location is shown by the number of digits in the coordinates; the more digits, the more precise the location (Figure 4-22, insert).

4-7. GRID REFERENCE BOX

A grid reference box (Figure 4-23) appears in the marginal information of each map sheet. It contains step-by-step instructions for using the grid and the US Army military grid reference system. The grid reference box is divided into two parts.

Figure 4-23.  Grid reference box

Figure 4-23. Grid reference box

a.   The left portion identifies the grid zone designation and the 100,000-meter square. If the sheet falls in more than one 100,000-meter square, the grid lines that separate the squares are shown in the diagram and the letters identifying the 100,000-meter squares are given.

EXAMPLE:   On the Columbus map sheet, the vertical line labeled 00 is the grid line that separates the two 100,000-meter squares, FL and GL. The left portion also shows a sample for the 1,000-meter square with its respective labeled grid coordinate numbers and a sample point within the 1,000-meter square.

b.   The right portion of the grid reference box explains how to use the grid and is keyed on the sample 1,000-meter square of the left side. The following is an example of the military grid reference:

EXAMPLE:   16S locates the 6° by 8° area (grid zone designation).


Return to Grids
 



 

Books

Map Reading and Land Navigation Buy the book this website is based on: Map Reading and Land Navigation

This website is based on the US Army Field Manual: "Map Reading and Land Navigation" Buy a copy from Amazon.com to take with you out in the field.

 

Book Review - Be Expert with Map and Compass

One of the best ways to learn and become proficient in any subject is to find a way to make a game or sport of it. That's exactly what orienteering does! Orienteering began to develop almost 100 years ago in the Scandinavian countries as a fun and effective method for military training in land navigation. Bjorn Kjellstrom was closely involved with the early development of orienteering, and he is the person who introduced the sport to North America. He, along with his brother Alvar, and a friend named Gunnar Tillander, invented the modern orienteering compass. They manufactured and marketed it as the Silva Protractor compass. This compass, along with Bjorn's book Be Expert with Map and Compass, made it much easier for anyone to learn how to use a map and compass.

This book has become the most widely read classic on the subject of map reading, compass use, and orienteering. Over 500,000 copies have been sold in the english language editions alone. There have been very successful editions published in French, Italian, and other languages as well. It is a short (just over 200 pages), easy to read, enjoyable book that can help you to have fun while you learn the subject quickly and effectively.

The book is organized into four main parts, plus a short, useful introduction. Part 1 covers having fun with maps alone. Then, Part 2 covers having fun with a compass alone. Part 3 puts it together and shows you how to have fun with a map and compass together. This section also introduces the game or sport of orienteering. Part 4 covers competitive orienteering for those who would like to compete with others in the sport.

A reproduction of a segment of an actual topographic map is included as a fold-out in the back of the book. It is used together with the "how-to" instructions the book provides. For example, one of the exercises in Part 3 is an imaginary orienteering "hike" that uses the sample map.

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Read a book review of Agincourt

Boat Navigation For The Rest of Us
  Boat Navigation For The Rest of Us

Basic Coastal Navigation
  Basic Coastal Navigation