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Function to convert vectors of UTM coordinates into Lat/Lon vectors (WGS84)

17 Ratings



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This function is based on UTMIP.m function by Gabriel Ruiz Martinez, but instead of providing a GUI it works with vectors of coordinates.

[Lat,Lon] = utm2deg(x,y,utmzone)

% Example 1:
% x=[ 458731; 407653; 239027; 230253; 343898; 362850];
% y=[4462881; 5126290; 4163083; 3171843; 4302285; 2772478];
% utmzone=['30 T'; '32 T'; '11 S'; '28 R'; '15 S'; '51 R'];
% [Lat, Lon]=utm2deg(x,y,utmzone);
% fprintf('%11.6f ',lat)
% 40.315430 46.283902 37.577834 28.645647 38.855552 25.061780
% fprintf('%11.6f ',lon)
% -3.485713 7.801235 -119.955246 -17.759537 -94.799019 121.640266
% Example 2: If you need Lat/Lon coordinates in Degrees, Minutes and Seconds
% [Lat, Lon]=utm2deg(x,y,utmzone);
% LatDMS=dms2mat(deg2dms(Lat))
%LatDMS =
% 40.00 18.00 55.55
% 46.00 17.00 2.01
% 37.00 34.00 40.17
% 28.00 38.00 44.33
% 38.00 51.00 19.96
% 25.00 3.00 42.41
% LonDMS=dms2mat(deg2dms(Lon))
%LonDMS =
% -3.00 29.00 8.61
% 7.00 48.00 4.40
% -119.00 57.00 18.93
% -17.00 45.00 34.33
% -94.00 47.00 56.47
% 121.00 38.00 24.96

Comments and Ratings (28)

Andrea Libri

Greg Milette

Usage note: This code requires positive zone values, if you pass in negative zone values it will not return the correct result.


This one didn't work for me. There is this one on the file exchange as well: utm2ll. It worked and was easy to use (in particular for vectors and matrices).


Cl (view profile)

Thanks for this .m file !

What I like: Useful function and good explanation in the help

What I dislike: just one small comment, input values have to be in float format, not accepting doubles (since 'cos' function does not accept them). Nonetheless, I think it's a great function.

Victor Jara

This is a great and handy code. I am from the Southern Hemisphere and when using the code I was getting the wrong Lat and Long. I replaced line 80 with what Kristen did and now I get the correct answer. Thanks a lot


jack (view profile)

thank you so much.

r nawaz

Kristen There is nothing wrong at line 80.

It only checks whether the given northing is from Northern or Southern Hemisphere. The S is for Southern hemisphere, and will be subsequently used to determine the latitude.

The script only determines how much above or below the given point is from the Equator. For Northern hemisphere, northing gives this measure. For Southern hemisphere, you find it by subtrating northing - 10000000. Note that in UTM for Southern hemisphere, the equator is given a northing of 10000000.


My comment was incomplete... I fixed my version by replacing line 80 with:

if and(utmzone(i,4)>'M',utmzone(i,4)lessthan'R')


I agree with Carlos Castillo, on line 80 there is no option for it to go to "S". If the utmzone is N or S, it will always default to hemis = 'N'; so I fixed this in my version by replacing this line with :
if and(utmzone(i,4)>'M',utmzone(i,4)<'R')

Otherwise, a very useful script! Thank you.

r nawaz

Daniel... you may look details of the UTMIP.m function by Gabriel Ruiz Martinez.

It seems you only need to give different parameters for NAD27 and rest of the script remains the same.


Daniel (view profile)

Is there a simple way that I can change this script to output the data in NAD27 instead of WGS94, or would it be a complete rewrite?

r nawaz

Well, if it is the same '30 T' for all values, just set a variable zonn = '30 T', and use it for all conversions.

[lat long] = utm2deg(easting, northing, zonn)


Jane (view profile)

For large datasets from the same utm zone, is there an easy way to create the 'utmzone'-variable? (without e.g. having to write utmzone=['30 T'; '30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T';'30 T' (and a 1000 more times '30 T';)...];

r nawaz


In Matlab you may convert your matrix to the transformation and convert back to matrix.


Excellent. Will be better if it is possible to do coordinate transformation on a matrix instead of just a vector.

r nawaz

Dear Val Schmidt

While calculating latitude, the function checks whether the alphabetical letter represents Northern Hemisphere or Souther Hemisphere. The Latitude is then calculated by looking at the northing values. The hemisphere is Northern for both X and N. That is why you get the same result for latitude.

Val Schmidt

Val Schmidt (view profile)

I think I must be missing something. I don't see in this code where it offsets the latitude correctly based on the UTM zone character field. For example, I get the same result with '17 N' and '17 X'. The first is at the equator, the second is near Greenland.

Nice contribution. Thanks Rafael!


Cegeon (view profile)

I like how it converts the lat/lon to the corresponding UTM. Did the same thing via GlobalMapper and matches quite well.

However, if you have a big domain (spanning multiple UTM zones) and you want ALL of the data on just ONE particular UTM zone, that cannot be done (as far as I can tell.)

Carlos Castillo

I found a mistake at line 80.

Oriol Badia

Oren Fromberg

sweet proggy

Zack Moratto

Thanks for this!

Eddie Mayhew

This function is exactly what I was looking for. Perfect. Simple and easy to use. Results are dead-on accurate. Instructions are well explained in the function's "help" section. Nice.


Karel Castro

Sang-Ho Yun

Simple and useful. Thank you!


Update description. Minor fixes in code.

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 7.1.0 (R14SP3)

Inspired by: Conversion of UTM Coordinates to Spherical Coordinates

Inspired: utm2lonlat

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