Maps and global positioning systems can show latitude and longitude coordinates as degrees followed by decimals or as degrees followed by minutes and seconds. It can be useful to know how to convert decimals to minutes and seconds if you need to communicate coordinates to another person.
Multiply the Decimal by 60
Multiply the decimal portion by 60 to get minutes. For example, if you have a latitude of 60.6987 degrees, do the following calculation to learn how many minutes you have:
0.6987 x 60 = 41.922 minutes
Multiply the New Decimal by 60
Multiply the decimal portion of the minutes by 60 to get seconds. In the case of 41.922 minutes, the calculation would be:
0.922 x 60 = 55.32 seconds
Put the Answers Together
Put the minutes and seconds you calculated with the original number of degrees. In the example, 60.6987 degrees becomes 60 degrees 41 minutes 55.32 seconds.
About the Author
Tim Banas started writing professionally in 2009 after teaching high school science for seven years. He has since written and edited for various online publications including Demand Studios, FYILiving.com, Tree.com and BinaryOption.com. He has a Master of Science in biology from Southern Illinois University.
Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images