Anyone can read Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid references quickly and accurately.
Diagram - UTM grid
To find the UTM co-ordinate of the church (symbolized as ) on the example of a 1/50 000 scale map grid above, proceed as follows:
- First, find the number of the grid line to the West of . This is observed to be 91.
- Now, estimate the number of tenths is to the East of this grid line. This is observed to be about 6, and when combined with the figure determined in Step 1, gives the EASTING as 916.
- Next, find the the number of the grid line South of This is observed to be 94.
- Now, estimate the number of tenths is North of this grid line. This is observed to be about 4, and when combined with the figure determined in Step 3, gives the NORTHING as 944.
- By combining the Easting and Northing, the map reference obtained for is therefore 916944.
Note: Such map references repeat every 100 kilometres. You should quote the map number if there is a chance of ambiguity.
UTM References on 1/250 000 Scale Maps
Diagram - 1:250 000 UTM grid (Note, example is not drawn to scale)
When using a UTM co-ordinate from a 1/250 000 scale NTS map, be sure to give the letter of the large square concerned. For example, the reference of the church on the map to the right is NT 9393
Using a Roamer
A roamer is a device for reading UTM co-ordinates on topographic maps. Use a roamer as illustrated below
Diagram - Using a roamer on a UTM grid. (Note, example is not drawn to scale)
Always measure over to the East and then up to the North. In other words, find the Easting, then the Northing.