MGRS Support in Bing Maps RRS feed

  • Question

  • Does Bing Maps support MGRS coordinate system?. I tested few coordinates from Iraq in MGRS but ended up in UK. Google Earth free version doesn't display the MGRS coordinates but the search function works fine for MGRS coordinates if you enter the coordinates correctly. I shall be thankful if some one can clarify me. Thanks in advance.
    Umapathy (உமாபதி) MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician, Consumer Support Technician MCTS: Windows Vista - Configuration, BSc, MCP, A+, MCDST
    • Moved by Ricky_Brundritt Saturday, March 10, 2012 10:58 AM (From:Bing Maps: Map Control and Web services Development)
    Sunday, September 4, 2011 7:39 AM


All replies

  • No, Bing Maps supports only coordinates input using WGS84 (EPSG:4326). You can convert from an MGRS reference to a WGS84 coordinate tuple using something like the following code:

    twitter: @alastaira blog:
    • Marked as answer by Ricky_Brundritt Wednesday, September 14, 2011 7:42 PM
    Sunday, September 4, 2011 8:37 AM
  • tanoshimi, thanks for the promptly reply. But I do wonder if I enter a MGRS coordinates instead of saying that as not supported system it lands in the wrong place. Can Microsoft look in to this issue. Further MGRS looks pretty much standard now as many people use in the ground. Appreciate if Microsoft can support otherwise every time I need to access the google earth come to the place. 

    Thanks for the link. I will go through the code and I will come back.


    Umapathy (உமாபதி) MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician, Consumer Support Technician MCTS: Windows Vista - Configuration, BSc, MCP, A+, MCDST
    Sunday, September 4, 2011 12:50 PM
  • The search box at the top of can parse different sorts of input - street addresses, placenames, lat/long coordinates. In each case, it tries to guess the sort of input you've provided, and then gives you the best match for that input.

    What's probably happening is that, when you enter a MGRS reference (which is a string containing both alpha and numeric characters), it's guessing that is a street address (which also contains alpha and numeric) characters and jumping to the closest matching street address.

    Note that this happens in Google Maps as well - if you search Google Maps for <tt>53K LB 87468 69508, </tt>you'll be sent to 53, LB Shastri Rd, Rajahmundry, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India!


    twitter: @alastaira blog:
    Sunday, September 4, 2011 1:09 PM
  • tanoshimi, first of all thanks for the reply. I don't use google maps often but I often use Google Earth,  Bing Maps and  open street maps. To my surprise I found that Google Earth and Google Maps are not behaving the same way when it comes to MGRS. When I enter 53KLB8746869508 in the search box maps moves to Australia which looks like correct in Google Earth but I have not seen a similar results in Google Maps. 

    What do I need to do if I want to support MGRS in the Bing Maps? Can't Microsoft implement Bing Maps to support MGRS?. I can use a geotrans software to convert and enter in the search box but it seems like a two way process.



    Umapathy (உமாபதி) MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician, Consumer Support Technician MCTS: Windows Vista - Configuration, BSc, MCP, A+, MCDST
    Monday, September 5, 2011 10:32 AM
  • The Bing Maps team certainly could add this functionality, but I don't imagine it's very high priority - MGRS is only one coordinate reference system, after all - there are several thousand others. If they were to add support for MGRS, I'd also expect to be able to input UTM coordinates, British National Grid References, state plane coordinates of the US etc.

    So, I'm afraid the only alternative for you at the moment is to convert the coordinates yourself first and then look them up as latitude/longitude WGS84.

    Incidentally, what is the purpose of you looking up these locations? Are you trying to reverse-geocode them, or just to see what the lie of the land looks like, or some other reason? Rather than look them up one at a time on, you might be able to automate the process using the conversion code I pasted above together with a call to the Bing Maps REST/SOAP services instead.

    twitter: @alastaira blog:
    Monday, September 5, 2011 12:37 PM
  • In Iraq people are using MGRS coordinates that's why I asked if the Bing Maps support it. I started working for the Humanitarian Mine Action Project in Iraq (before that I also worked in the same field in Sri Lanka). If the maps support MGRS I could easily search the places to get more information about the sites where the demining projects are currently onoing as well as planned sites.

    I am aware that for the Bing maps team it may not be a high priority for them to support but I badly need it. Also MGRS and UTM are similar. So if they incoperate one (e.g MGRS) they could easily incoperate another one (UTM).I also appreciate if Bing can update the imagery for Iraq. I know there are thousands of coordinate system. But looking at the competitors like googlem they supports UTM and also MGRS (search box in the free version). So I do not see a point why can't Microsoft support MGRS.


    Umapathy (உமாபதி) MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician, Consumer Support Technician MCTS: Windows Vista - Configuration, BSc, MCP, A+, MCDST
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9:32 PM
  • I don't think this is something that will be added to the core map control any time soon. That said this sounds like something that could be built as part of the community Bing Maps modules project ( I'll add it to the list of ideas for modules. You may want to consider using the Proj4js open source tools for converting coordinates in JavaScript:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 1:07 PM
  • I don't think Proj4JS will do it directly because MGRS are not really coordinate tuples (like lat/long or easting/northing) - they are a single alphanumeric grid reference.

    Good idea about the module though.... <thinks> .. I couldn't see any licence information listed on the proj4js page so I'm not sure if it would be compatible with a codeplex project or not. If it is, it would be a relatively straightforward module to simply integrate and expose proj4s functionality to directly to Bing Maps, converting a Microsoft.Maps.Location for geographic coordinates into a Microsoft.Maps.Point for projected etc.

    I'll try contacting the proj4s developer and see if I can get confirmation of the licence. If it's ok, I'll try and slap together a module.


    twitter: @alastaira blog:
    Friday, September 9, 2011 1:22 PM
  • The Proj4js project appears to be using GNU Lesser General Public license ( (Pulled it from this JS file). If you could make a module that allow us to support other projects with Bing Maps, that would be awesome.
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:16 PM