1. Education

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://geography.about.com/library/howto/htdegrees.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Now We Can Begin

How To Convert a Decimal to Sexagesimal

You'll often find degrees given in decimal degrees (121.135°) instead of the more common degrees, minutes, and seconds (121°8'6"). However, it's easy to convert from a decimal to the sexagesimal system.

Difficulty Level: average      Time Required: 5 minutes


Here's How:
  1. The whole units of degrees will remain the same (i.e. in 121.135° longitude, start with 121°).
  2. Multiply the decimal by 60 (i.e. .135 * 60 = 8.1).
  3. The whole number becomes the minutes (8').
  4. Take the remaining decimal and multiply by 60. (i.e. .1 * 60 = 6).
  5. The resulting number becomes the seconds (6"). Seconds can remain as a decimal.
  6. Take your three sets of numbers and put them together, using the symbols for degrees (°), minutes (‘), and seconds (") (i.e. 121°8'6" longitude)
Tips:
  1. You can choose between decimal degrees and degrees, minutes, and seconds on your GPS.
  2. Once you have degrees, minutes, and seconds, it's often easier to find your location on most maps (especially topographic maps).
  3. Though there are 360 degrees in a circle, each degree is divided into sixty minutes and each minute is divided into sixty seconds.

Related Features:

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.
See More About

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.