Help:Geographical Coordinates

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The datatype geographic coordinate is used for geographic locations. Each value specifies a single point on the surface of Earth by giving latitude and longitude coordinates. These are handled internally, and outputted as default, in floating point notation. Other formats such as DMS and DD can be specified, see the supported coordinate types.

This datatype formerly was part of Semantic MediaWiki, but has been removed from it in version 1.5.0, and put into Semantic Maps 0.5.4. When using SMW >= 1.5, and SM <0.5.4, the datatype will not be available to you.

Declaration and Usage

A property of this type can be declared by writing [[has type::Geographic coordinate]] on the property page.

Values are specified by giving the values of latitude and longitude, separated by a comma, semicolon, slash, or simply a space. Various notations can be used for the parts of a coordinate. In particular, their values can be written as decimal numbers (as in "48.854325°") or using minutes and seconds (as in "48°51′15,57″"). The letters "N", "S", W" and "E" are available to denote the points of the compass North, South, West, and East, but it is also possible to use signed numbers (with negative coordinates for denoting West/South). If no letters are given, then the default order is to supply the latitude (North/South) before the longitude (East/West).

The acceptable symbols for minutes and seconds are:

  • The prime ′ and double prime ″ symbols (or their character entity references &prime; and &Prime;, or their decimal character references &#8242; and &#8243;)
  • apostrophe ' and double-quote " on most computer keyboards
  • one acute accent symbol ´ and two acute accent symbols ´´ (or its character entity reference &acute;, or its decimal character reference &#180).

You can optionally follow the latitude and longitude coordinates with the degree symbol ° (or its character entity reference &deg; or its decimal character reference &#176;).

The net of these rules is that most coordinate formats, including GeoURL format and geotag format will be recognized. If not, you can use a semantic template.


Below are some examples of correct coordinates. As the symbols used for degrees, minutes, and seconds can be confused with a variety of other similar symbols, it can be helpful to copy directly from these examples.

[[Test geographic coordinate:: 32°42′54″ N, 117°9′45″ W]]
[[Test geographic coordinate:: 32.715° N, 117.163° W]]
[[Test geographic coordinate:: -32.715° -77.03201°]]

Properties using Geographic coordinate can use service links to generate links to map services for coordinates; take a look at Property:Coordinates and the factbox of pages using it such as Berlin.

Semantic search

Using coordinate properties for searching pages can be done in a similar fashion as for all other properties; see Semantic search help. As with any property, you can use the + wildcard to select all pages with some value for a record property, for example {{#ask: [[Test geographic coordinate::+]] }}.