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Best way to enter longtitude and latitude entries in Access and Excel

What it says on the tin...what are your recommendations around entering longtitude and latitude in Access first of all i.e. what's the best data type...anything in particular I should be aware of...
      Decimal Degrees          Deg:Min:Sec
Lat:      38.898648N          38° 53' 55.133" N
Lon:      77.037692W          77° 02' 15.691" W

Ditto for Excel....thank you as always.
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agwalsh
Asked:
agwalsh
4 Solutions
 
nathanielSystem Applications DeveloperCommented:
String data type should be used if you are including an alpha numeric combination.

If you are up to readability of data then your examples above are ok.

But if you are up to simplicity of encoding (the above can be tiring and may lead to typo error if you are working on hundreds of data to encode) then I suggest  38d53'55.133"n (something like that)
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agwalshAuthor Commented:
Would you suggest setting up an input mask (access)  for this and if so what shape should it take?
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berechitCommented:
I suggest to you use decimal +- gg mm.mmmm .

A tool that you can use to convert coordinates from degrees, minutes, and seconds to decimal degrees is available at the following U.S. Government Web site:
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/bickel/DDDMMSS-decimal.html
To convert Seconds to decimals, divide by 3600.
Decimal value = Seconds/3600
As an example, a latitude of 122 degrees 45 minutes 45 seconds North is equal to 122.7625 degrees North.

So the complete formula looks similar the following:
Decimal value = Degrees + (Minutes/60) + (Seconds/3600)
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
It's much easier to store them as signed Double:

Decimal degrees and Plus/minus—Latitude and longitude coordinates are represented as decimal numbers. The latitude is preceded by a minus sign ( – ) if it is south of the equator (a positive number implies north), and the longitude is preceded by a minus sign if it is west of the prime meridian (a positive number implies east); for example, 37.68455° –97.34110°.
These you can easily format and convert to whatever purpose or display you (later) may need.

/gustav
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Rob HensonIT & Database AssistantCommented:
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agwalshAuthor Commented:
Very helpful as always...
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