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Before You Map: Find Your Coordinates

To map any location in a Google Maps mashup, you need to know the coordinates of that location, in terms of latitude and longitude. Short of traveling to that location with a handheld GPS device, the easiest way to obtain latitude and longitude is to generate a map of that location on the Google site.

Once you have the map displayed, click the Link to This Page link, and then copy the coordinates from the resulting URL. Latitude and longitude are listed in the URL following the &ll parameter.

For example, here’s the URL that results if you map St. Catherine College in St. Paul, Minnesota:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=st.+catherine+college,+st.+paul,+mn&ie=UTF8&z=11&ll=44.928835,-93.185177

If you ignore all the other gobbledygook and focus on the highlighted section of the URL after the &ll parameter, you see that the latitude and longitude coordinates for this location are 44.928835, -93.185177. Write down these coordinates; you’ll need them shortly.

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