Each marker's Latitude and Longitude coordinates are used to plot its location on a map. Latitude is the number of degrees north or south of the equator. Longitude is the number of degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is an arbitrary line drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole running through the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich, England.
This database stores latitude and longitude as two decimal numbers. The whole number portion is the degrees and the fractional portion of the number is the fraction of degrees. For example, 38.795570N, 77.269070W. However, you can enter it in any notation, such as N 38° 47' 44.0519", W 77° 15' 8.6519" or 38:47:44, -77:15:08 and the system will convert it. (Oh, and you can omit the ° symbol; you won't find it on your keyboard!)
If you have a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) device, you’re all set. Create a Waypoint when you're there and later recall it and just type in what you see on the screen. Also, most cell phones know where they are and some may be able to display latitude and longitude. But if you are like most of us, you’ll have to use a map. Here's how.
A. Use iTouchMap.com's online utility. This page http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html will report latitude and longitude for any address or crossroads, and most importantly, let you move the pushpin on the map to the exact location of the marker.
|Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Unit|
|This hand-held unit uses the Global Positioning System of satellites to show you your current position and where you've been on a map on its screen, as well as how to get where you're going. One click saves the latitude and longitude of the historical marker you're at so you can recall it later at home and enter into this database. More info at Amazon.com.|
|Sony GPS-CS1 Auto Log|
|3 oz., 3" long. No buttons to push! Drop it on the ground next to the marker, step back and take your photos, then don't forget to pick it up. Back home plug it in to your computer and its software will embed the latitude and longitude into each photo. It figures it out by matching timestamps. Works with any camera that outputs JPEG photo files (even though it will complain when you use it on images taken by a non-Sony camera). More info at Amazon.com.|
1. Type, for example, “dennison & goodale st, columbus oh", click "go" and a pushpin will appear where the streets cross.
2. Resize your map if necessary, then move your pushpin to the sidewalk where the marker is located.
3. Remember to click on the pushpin once it is in the correct position to display the text balloon that shows the new latitude and longitude.
4. Then copy both numbers at once using your mouse and keyboard, return to the HMdb page and paste them both in the latitude field.
5. Finally, cut the second number from where you just deposited it and paste it into the longitude field.
6. (You can leave the comma dangling in either field, HMdb.org will ignore it.)
B. Do you use Google’s Picasa to organize, adjust, and print your photos? If you don’t you really should, as it is free of charge, has no advertizing, and the latest version has a “Places” button that lets you geotag your photograph with its map location. If you upload a geotagged photo to HMdb.org, the latitude and longitude is automatically captured and entered for you. No fuss, no muss. Here is what you have to do.
1. Do this before you upload your photo.
2. In Picasa, select the photo you want to geotag.
3. If the map is not showing to the right of the photo, click on the “Places” button beneath the photo to reveal the map.
4. Type in the town and state in the search space beneath the map. If you have more information, such as the street address or just the street, enter this also, i.e. “Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield VA”
5. A green pushpin will appear on the map at the location you searched for. Move it with your mouse to the actual location of the marker.
6. Once the pushpin is in the right location, click OK to the “Put photo here?” question. The pushpin will turn red.
7. Your photo is now tagged with latitude and longitude. When you upload a photo to an HMdb page that has blank latitude and longitude fields, the fields will be automatically filled in for you.
NOTE: Until you click OK, you can move the pushpin as often as you want, and you can zoom in and out on the map (buttons at upper left of map) and move the map any which way to reveal more map by clicking on the map and dragging it with your mouse or touchpad. After you click OK you can go back to change the location by clicking on the green marker icon at the upper left of the map to start over.
ANOTHER NOTE: When you are using Picasa, or any other photo organizer, it is easy to forget where you put the photo. You’ll need to know the hard drive folder when you go to upload it. With Picasa, click on the photo with the other mouse button and choose “Locate on Disk.” That photo's folder will open.