How to identify the correct UTM Zone for my data

[UTM, Universal Transverse Mercator,] is one of the most common map coordinate systems used for geospatial data. Identifying the correct UTM Zone for a location is quite easy. Here are a few ways.

  1. Just look at the UTM Zone map like this from Wikipedia:

  2. Quick Math based on Longitude. #Zone=31+(LON/6). Just the Integer portion. Note that LON is signed, “+” for eastern hemisphere and “-” for western side. Be sure to carry the correct sign in the calculation.

  3. Really easy – just use an online calculator like this one:

Have fun “zoning”…

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Here is where you might get lost! I am trying to find my UTM and the zone says 14S and I am in Wichita Kansas USA.

Actually, this is a little confusing. Because in this case I am actually in 14N (14 “Northern Hemisphere”). The online calculator uses the Latitude bands. Each UTM Zone is divided into 20 latitude bands starting from “C” at [80°S] and increasing up the English alphabet until “X”, omitting the letters “I” and “O” (because of their similarity to the numerals one and zero).

BUT!!! We usually dont use this notation. WE use the Northern and Southern Hemisphere notation. In this case, all that matters is the zone numer, in this case 14, and if you are in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern.

So on this example the online tool reports the UTM zone 14 with the Latitude band “S”, but it is not normal to use this Latitude band notation and instead the hemisphere notation “N” for Norhtern

So in fact we are in UTM zone 14N

Use the but replace the letter with either N for Northern hemisphere or S for southern.

Hope this helps :yum: