To specify an exact location on a map, we have come to use addresses, landmarks or other easily identifiable spots as waypoints for our orientation. It’s common sense, right? Right. Except that the concept of reading a geographic map through a prism of man-made constructions is pretty flawed. This is especially true when you use various different services like Apple and Google Maps, who often yield inconsistent results for the same addresses, places and whatnot.

Enter latitude and longitude, the most reliable and unalienable GPS coordinates you can deploy to pinpoint a location. The best thing about them? Not only are they universally used and there’s unique codes for both your and your neighbour’s house, but they are also consistent no matter the mapping service you use.

In the spirit of that, the following piece will teach you how to show the GPS coordinates of any location on iPhone so that you can respond something like ’37.3305, -122.0296’ next time your friend asks for your whereabouts. And if you’re curious how to find that GPS location in Maps, we will demonstrate that too!

How to show GPS coordinates on iPhone

The first thing we want to look at is how to view the GPS coordinates of a specific location from your iPhone. There sure are apps in the App Store to do that, but we always prefer using stock application when possible.

1) Open Apple’s Maps on your iPhone Home screen.

2) Navigate to the location you want to glean latitude & longitude data from. That could be through manipulating the map manually or using the search bar at the bottom of your interface.

3) If you have arrived at the desired location by way of browsing and pinching, simply hold a finger down on the map until a red pin drops. If you have searched the location instead, you will have to discard the search result first by touching the nondescript x icon seen below. Thereafter, drop the pin manually as discussed prior.

4) With the red pin in place, pull up the bottom card corresponding to the red marker by scrolling up in order to reveal more information about the location. 

5) There they are, black on translucent white, you can see the GPS latitude and longitude coordinates!

Unfortunately, Apple has not given us a quick way to copy and paste these lengthy 6-7 digit codes, meaning you will have to note them down or type them by yourself over in iMessage, the Notes app or wherever you see fit. The reward? The accuracy of the location data is through the roof!

How to find a location based on GPS coordinates

Let’s turn the tables for a second and assume you are on the receiving end of a rather cryptic message reading ‘40.697, -74.0409’. How do you understand latitude and longitude coordinates and translate that into a specific location in Maps? Easy!

1) Reopen Maps and tap the Search for a place or an address bar at the bottom.

2) Next up, humorlessly key in the digits (without observing a certain format), followed by the Search command.

3) Watch the magic unfold… it’s Ellis Island!

That’s it, you’re now an expert on transmitting and reading GPS coordinates! If you have any questions regarding the process, don’t hesitate to drop us a question. Conversely, if you are up for it, I would suggest a practice round: how about utilizing your newly acquired skills to track down 1) 25.0112, 54.9865 or 2) 32.2677, -64.7834 in Maps?

Give it a spin and let us know where you wound up!

  • Galfni

    Or you could open the compass app, and long press on the gps coordinates there to copy them.

    • Compass app only gives you GPS coordinates for your current location. It doesn’t give you the latitude and longitude for just about *any* location.

    • Compass app only gives you GPS coordinates for your current location. It doesn’t give you the latitude and longitude for just about *any* location.

  • John714

    1) Palm Jebel Ali
    2) Getting different results. Atlantic Ocean & Coral Beach

    • Steffen Reich

      kudos! 2) should be Bermuda when you pinch in, but that’s a pass!

  • Agneev

    I bet Trump’ll make Ellis Island active again!