Google maps and OSGB grid references

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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simonineaston
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Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby simonineaston » 9 Nov 2019, 11:50am

Hi, p**ing down with rain this morning (what's new???) so am alternating between painting the kitchen and dreaming of spring rides. I have a list of rides, done as well as planning to do, which have their starting point recorded in the form of an OSGB grid reference - for example, one starting in nearby Chew Magna has the following entry: 357550,163170
I thought it might be fun to use Google Maps to show all the rides, when planning rides with chums so I prepared a spreadsheet (a .csv) with the grid references in the relevant column. I used a format that has worked in several maping tools before, ie 2 x 6 figures, separated by a comma (see above) however Google's import routine is unimpressed... do Google map experts out there in cycle-land have any advice?
Screenshot 2019-11-09 11.43.18.png
OSGB grid ref. isn't recognised by Google import routine
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

CX-3
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby CX-3 » 9 Nov 2019, 12:05pm

Serious question....if you are using OS grid refs why not plot into OS maps?
Unless you are one of the lucky ones with a copy of Memory Map you will have to pay a small fee for the maps, but OS maps are far better in every way than Google.

What is the benefit of using Google?

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simonineaston
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby simonineaston » 9 Nov 2019, 1:35pm

CX-3 wrote:What is the benefit of using Google?
Well... I have a free account, it's (usually) quick and easy and produces shareable results, my chums can all readily access Google maps and know how, the maps look good and seem to work across multiple devices. Chums have reported that Google maps are one of the easiest shareable places to "meet", although we all agree there are better specialst cycle mapping service, cycle.travel being a notable example, Google seems to be the readiest common ground. It's especially easy to create a map with multiple pins, using their import-your-spreadsheet feature. In the past, when I've created maps using .csvs, they've worked well, but the reference I used was UK postcodes, which will work well again, if I go to the trouble of converting the grid refernces to postcodes, but I'd prefer not to.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Norman H
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby Norman H » 9 Nov 2019, 4:45pm

Have a play with this site. It's useful for converting OS grid references to latitude and Longitude.

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andrew_s
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby andrew_s » 9 Nov 2019, 5:21pm

Personally, since I've got QGIS installed, and know how to drive it, I'd use that, particularly if there was other data associated with the grid refs.

In QGIS, assuming your data is available as a CSV file...
Layer --> Add Layer --> Add Delimited Text layer
Pick the file, tell it the easting (X) and northing (Y) fields, tell it that the Geometry CRS (coordinate reference system) is EPSG:27700 (OSGB), Add
Layer displays in the map area
Right-click on the layer name (left side) --> Export --> Save Features As
Select KML format
give it a file name
set CRS to EPSG:4326 (WGS84)
OK

then open the KML file in google maps

(You can also select GPX format)

Otherwise...
There are a number of sites (including https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/gps/transformation/ ) which will translate OSGB to the WGS84 Lat/Long required for Google on a copy and paste basis, but if you've got more than a few, try...

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/gps/tr ... tion/batch

give it file with "easting northing" rows like:
252286.34155 776198.44920 (this was closed due to asbestos, the last I heard)
186364.30688 810018.70322

get back a file with rows like:
original coordinate,"ETRS89 Geodetic ( Degrees, Minutes, Seconds )","ETRS89 Geodetic ( Degrees, Decimal Minutes )","ETRS89 Geodetic ( Decimal Degrees )","ETRS89 XYZ","National Grid Eastings and Northings","National Grid KM Square"
"252286.34155 776198.44920","56, 51, 13.087707, W, 4, 25, 26.103671, 54.3653","56, 51.218128, W, 4, 25.435061, 54.3653","56.8536354742, -4.4239176863, 54.3653","3485262.6613, -269639.9036, 5317051.1279","252286.342 776198.449 0 1","NN5276"
"186364.30688 810018.70322","57, 7, 52.453445, W, 5, 31, 53.872577, 55.3527","57, 7.874224, W, 5, 31.897876, 55.3527","57.131237068, -5.5316312715, 55.3527","3453595.5653, -334467.8357, 5333892.2818","186364.307 810018.703 -0 1","NG8610"

(ETRS89 is the same thing as WGS84)

Comment:
postcodes can be dodgy outside of urban areas. The largest single postcode area (IV27 4NY, IIRC) is some 40 square kilometers in size
Last edited by andrew_s on 10 Nov 2019, 8:11pm, edited 2 times in total.

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andrew_s
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby andrew_s » 9 Nov 2019, 6:15pm

It could be that Google only recognises a form of OS grid ref with 100 km square letters
easting, northing 357550,163170 --> ST575631 or ST 575 631 or ST57556317 or ST 5755 6317 or some such

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simonineaston
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby simonineaston » 10 Nov 2019, 11:43am

Cheers Andrew - I'm working on your 'tell google more about your reference' theory :-) I've been reading a bit more about maps and location references since I first posted and it's all very interesting. In summary, I think it is unreasonable for me to imagine that Google - a mapping tool of literally global scope, after-all... is capable of reading 2x6 digits, separated by a comma and succussfully deducing that the user (me, in this case) intends it to draw a point in the south-west of the UK, there being dozens of other methods that point to locations around the world! I think you are right when you suggest that I should prefix the 12 digits with some other pointers.
As an aside I did get excited for a while about the what3words idea, but an open-source-fan chum has persuaded me that the fatal flaw of making it proprietary is enough to make sure it will not succeed. This inspite of the fact that said chum took a tumble back in March breaking his wrist and the ambulance didn't show - had we cited the what3words reference, I think he'd have faired better. We took an Uber in the end!
https://what3words.com/daring.lion.race
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Will
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby Will » 10 Nov 2019, 12:25pm

Google Maps only works with WGS84 Lat/Long. The clue is in the fact that there is nowhere that you can tell it what coordinate system the values are from.

You should use the batch processing link in Andrews post to convert your OSGB36 grid values to ETRS89 Lat/Long values, and then add them to your .csv file.

Will

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andrew_s
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby andrew_s » 10 Nov 2019, 7:58pm

Yes, the OSGRs for need converting to Lat/Long.

My comment about the OS grid ref format was prompted by a mis-read of the screen shot in the OP - I'd interpreted the "OSGB GR" tickbox as being from a Google standard import process, rather than one of the columns in the CSV

DaveReading
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby DaveReading » 10 Nov 2019, 8:07pm

andrew_s wrote:give it file with "easting northing" rows like:
252286.34155 776198.44920 (this was closed due to asbestos, the last I heard)
186364.30688 810018.70322

I'm struggling to think of an application for OS grid coordinates that are accurate to 1/100th of a millimeter ..

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andrew_s
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby andrew_s » 10 Nov 2019, 8:16pm

Yes, it is a case of the all too common spurious precision, but, as is also common, taking the extra decimals out is more work than ignoring them.
(the coordinates started as dropped marks in Memory Map)

P.S.
don't make the mistake of confusing precision with accuracy

skicat
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby skicat » 12 Nov 2019, 12:58pm

This (http://www.nearby.org.uk/) site lets you drop in a pair of OS grid refs, and converts them into just about everything else. It's an ugly site, but the info is all there
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get

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andrew_s
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby andrew_s » 12 Nov 2019, 5:35pm

simonineaston wrote:As an aside I did get excited for a while about the what3words idea, but an open-source-fan chum has persuaded me that the fatal flaw of making it proprietary is enough to make sure it will not succeed. This inspite of the fact that said chum took a tumble back in March breaking his wrist and the ambulance didn't show - had we cited the what3words reference, I think he'd have faired better. We took an Uber in the end!
https://what3words.com/daring.lion.race

The other problem with w3w is that it's utterly useless without an internet connection.
Look it up at home, go there, and have a fit of uncertainty and want to check, and if there's no data service for your network, you can't.

Same with 999 calls - you can get the voice call through on a different network than your SIM is for, but you can't look up your w3w location on a Vodaphone cell if your SIM is EE.

Will
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby Will » 12 Nov 2019, 7:13pm

andrew_s wrote:
simonineaston wrote:As an aside I did get excited for a while about the what3words idea, but an open-source-fan chum has persuaded me that the fatal flaw of making it proprietary is enough to make sure it will not succeed. This inspite of the fact that said chum took a tumble back in March breaking his wrist and the ambulance didn't show - had we cited the what3words reference, I think he'd have faired better. We took an Uber in the end!
https://what3words.com/daring.lion.race

The other problem with w3w is that it's utterly useless without an internet connection.
Look it up at home, go there, and have a fit of uncertainty and want to check, and if there's no data service for your network, you can't.

Same with 999 calls - you can get the voice call through on a different network than your SIM is for, but you can't look up your w3w location on a Vodaphone cell if your SIM is EE.


If you have the app installed then it will still give you the 3 word address even though you don't have a data connection.

Will

drossall
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Re: Google maps and OSGB grid references

Postby drossall » 12 Nov 2019, 11:46pm

simonineaston wrote:I have a list of rides, done as well as planning to do, which have their starting point recorded in the form of an OSGB grid reference - for example, one starting in nearby Chew Magna has the following entry: 357550,163170

I'd not encountered the all-numeric format for OS grid references before. Your reference is in the 100*100km square 3, 1, which is usually called ST. So, the eight-figure reference would usually be written as ST575163 (because ST represents the first digit of each of the easting and northing).

You can enter either that conventional format or your OS eastings and northings into the Grid Reference Finder. That will give you links to Google Maps and several alternatives for the specified points.