The Projected Coordinate System helps you to project a specific round-earth model onto a flat surface or map. PCS are created by projecting the 3D GCS onto a 2D surface. The projected coordinate system tells the data on how to draw on a flat surface. There are many different map projections, and each displays the earth differently. Some are good for preserving areas on your map, others for keeping angles or distances.

The Projected coordinate system place points on 2-dimensional projections rather than using degrees to represent points on a spheroid. These coordinate systems frequently express the x and y coordinates for particular points using measurements in feet or meters. The benefits of these systems include easy-to-express and understand coordinates and more short distance and area calculations due to constant lengths and angles across the projection. Examples of projected coordinate systems include Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS), and Lambert Conformal Conic.

Converting from 3d to flat surfaces may cause distortions.

- Area — These projections preserve the area of specific features. The Albers Equal Area Conic projection is an example of an equal area projection.

- Shape — These projections preserve local shape for small areas. The Lambert Conformal Conic projections is an example of equal shape projections.

- Distance — These projections preserve the distances between certain points by maintaining the scale of a given data set. The

- Direction — These projections preserve the direction from one point to all other points by maintaining some of the great circle arcs. The Lambert Equal Area Azimuthal projection is an example of a projection that preserve direction.

No projection can preserve all of these spatial properties

Depending on the projection used, different spatial properties will appear distorted. Projections are designed to minimize the distortion of one or two of the data’s characteristics, yet the distance, area, shape, direction, or a combination of these properties might not be accurate representations of the data that is being modeled. There are several types of projections available.

The UTM system comprises 60 zones, every six degrees of longitude in width. The zones are numbered 1–60, beginning at 180 degrees longitude and increasing to the east. The UTM CRS is a global map projection.

As you can see from the figure, India is covered by six UTM zones to minimize distortion. The zones are UTM 42N, UTM 43N, UTM 44N, UTM 45, UTM 46N, and UTM 47N. The N after the zone means that the UTM zones are north of the equator.

The UTM projection minimizes distortion within that zone. Distortion is small near the central meridian, and as you move away it worsens. It is difficult to use UTM if your area of interest covers more than one UTM zone. Therefore, using the UTM coordinate system is not the best choice for mapping extremely large areas.

The UTM zone number, zone letter, and the easting and northing planar coordinate pair in that zone give a position on the Earth.

For example, the location of the Taj Mahal is 27°10' 30.36"N and 78 2' 31.56"E in Geographic Coordinate System. After converting it to the Projected Coordinate System, we get UTM zone no 44 and zone letter R, and the grid position is 206910.89 m Easting, 3009286.62 m Northing.

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Understanding concepts such as coordinate reference systems and map projections is becoming increasingly crucial as drones become more common in the surveying, construction, mining, and earthwork industries.

Knowing how the coordinate system functions will aid in getting precise measurements.

Coordinates are ordered pairs of points that help us locate any point in a 2D plane or 3D space.

Coordinates are an instrumental piece of data in a variety of industries. Surveyors require precise points on the Earth from which to build.

A coordinate system is used to express the location of a point on a plane or sphere. Locations in two-dimensional coordinate systems are organized in a grid of columns and rows. An X and Y pair of coordinates represent each grid location. The X coordinate specifies the grid’s row and the Y coordinate specifies the column.

There are many different kinds of coordinate systems. We will be discussing the two classes of coordinate systems.

A Geographic Coordinate System (GCS) is a reference framework that defines the locations of features on an earth model. These coordinates are based on an ellipsoid that approximates the Earth’s shape, allowing us to measure distances and angles between different points of the Earth. In Geographic Coordinate System, locations are defined using angular measurements, usually in decimal degrees. A GCS is required for the data to pinpoint its location on the earth’s surface accurately. The most commonly used geographic coordinate system is the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 84).

To represent a location in GCS, you need the location in either degree minute seconds or decimal degrees. This is an example of GCS.

Let us find out the location of the Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station. Consider the location of the railway station to be 12°59'37.38"N and 77°35'52.87"E in Geographical Coordinate System. Here the location is in Degree Minute Second format.

Suppose you are wondering how to convert Degree Minute Second to Decimal Degrees. In that case, you can use the degree minute second to decimal degree converter tool from Surveyaan Geoworkspace to convert the coordinates.

Once we convert the coordinates to decimal degrees, we get these coordinates 12.99371,77.598019.

From the figure above, we can see horizontal lines run east — west. They are called Latitudes or Parallels. They form concentric circles around the Earth and are equally spaced and parallel to one another. The Equator is the line of latitude that cuts across the center of the Earth and marks zero degrees of latitude. Positive latitudes from 0 to +90 degrees are found north of the equator, while negative latitudes from 0 to -90 degrees are located south of the equator.

From the figure above, we can see vertical lines run north — south. They are called Longitudes or Meridians. The Prime Meridian is the line of longitude that is at zero degrees and runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. For most geographic coordinate systems, the prime meridian is the longitude that passes through Greenwich, England. Positive longitudes from 0 to +90 degrees are found east of the Prime Meridian, while negative longitudes from 0 to -90 degrees are located west of the Prime Meridian.

From the figure above, the grid-like network of latitude and longitude lines encircles the entire globe and is called the Graticule. The equator and prime meridian intersection define the origin of the graticule (0,0).

A spheroid or a sphere approximating the Earth’s shape can define a coordinate system. A sphere is based on a circle, whereas a spheroid is an ellipsoid based on an ellipse.

While a spheroid approximates the earth’s shape, a Datum defines the position of the spheroid relative to the center of the earth. A datum provides a frame of reference for measuring locations on the earth’s surface. It defines the origin and orientation of latitude and longitude lines.

There are many different models of the earth’s surface and, therefore, many different GCS. World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS 1984) is designed as a one-size-fits-all GCS, good for mapping global data. Australian Geodetic Datum 1984 is designed to fit the earth snugly around Australia, giving you good precision for this continent but poor accuracy anywhere else.

Whenever you change the datum, or the geographic coordinate system, the coordinate values of your data will change.

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This brings us to the end of the blog. I hope this article gained some knowledge for you!

Thank you for reading.