8

When localizing a display of x/y or lat/lng coordinates, what should I use for a separator? Is it always a comma even in locales that use the comma for the decimal separator?

  • The most usable separator would be the labels that identify what the number actually is. Latitude: abc123, Longitude: xyz789 – Evil Closet Monkey Oct 12 '15 at 20:39
5

Regardless of localization factor, accepted formatting standard for GPS lat/long coordinates is: aaa.aaaaaaa, bbb.bbbbbb.

Almost all international search engines will recognize aaa.aaaa, bbb.bbbb as gps coordinates as long as aaa value falls in between -90 and 90 degrees, and bbb value falls in between -180 and 180 degrees.

If you use comma as decimal separator, the search usually breaks.

The best source I found was Wiki article on geographic coordinates for countries that are using decimal comma.

For example, if you go to Italian version of the article, on the left hand side, you'll see links to other languages on the same topic. And you can cross reference it with list of countries that use Decimal Comma.

  • This is for display, not searching. – Kevin Krumwiede Oct 14 '15 at 5:11
  • This was a curious topic for me too, so I looked into this for awhile. The best source I found was Wiki article on geographic coordinates for countries that are using decimal comma. Italy it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinate_geografiche When you go here, on the left hand side, you'll see links to other languages on the same topic. And you can cross reference it with list of countries that use Decimal Comma here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_mark – Jung Lee Oct 14 '15 at 15:32
  • Could you incorporate that comment into your answer? – Kevin Krumwiede Oct 14 '15 at 19:26
  • surely, done. I've looked through all major languages, including Polish, Russian, French, Swedish, etc. Some of them do use decimal comma, but only usually when latitude and longitude labels are spelled out with the coordinates. – Jung Lee Oct 14 '15 at 21:55
  • @JungLee - The fact that the Italian version of the articles is using a period rather than a comma is due to Wikipedia's style guide: A period/full point (.) – never a comma – is used as the decimal point (6.57, not 6,57). – criddell Aug 6 at 20:55

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