Convert between UTM and Degree coordinates using Google Spreadsheets

Converting between different coordinate reference systems or projection is a fairly standard feature in a GIS. There are a number of command line tools also available for performing bulk-conversions. cs2cs program, part of the PROJ.4 library is my favorite.

Recently, someone presented me with an interesting challenge. They were collecting field data in UTM coordinates and needed a way to convert them to Latitude and Longitude to map them. As the data was being constantly updated, any offline solution that require exporting and importing the conversion would be cumbersome.

Luckily, there was an easy solution. I found the excellent open-source YouTim: Javascript UTM Conversion library. I was able to adapt it to be used as a Apps Script in Google Spreadsheets. With this script enabled in your Google Spreadsheet, you have access to 2 custom functions – DegreesToUTM(latitude, longitude) and UTMToDegrees(easting, norting, zone) that you can use in the formula like any other built-in function.

You can give it a try. Just open this spreadsheet , make a copy and see the formulae in action. If you wish to change the behavior if the functions, you can edit the code by going to Tools > Script Editor > in the spreadsheet you copied from above.


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