How to Convert OS Grid to GPS

Written by declan maher
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How to Convert OS Grid to GPS
The Ordance Survey now provides maps in digital form. (map image by araraadt from

The Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system used for air and ground travel. The Ordnance Survey is a mapping system for Great Britain. GPS and the OS system use different models for their coordinate systems: GPS uses longitude and latitude, while OS Grid References are based on 100-km. grid squares identified by letter-pairs. The OS uses a six-digit reference to pinpoint each coordinate inside this grid. Use JavaScript functions to convert OS grid coordinates to GPS.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Notepad.

  2. 2

    Copy and paste the JavaScript functions to convert latitude and longitude to OS grid points (see Resources) into Notepad.

  3. 3

    Create textboxes by pasting this form into Notepad:

    <form name="f" action="none!">

        &lt;table &gt;


            &lt;td&gt;OS Grid Ref&lt;/td&gt;
            &lt;td colspan="3"&gt;&lt;input name="gridRef" id="gridRef" value="TG 5140 1317" size="12"&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
            &lt;td&gt;&lt;input name="latWGS84" id="latWGS84" value="" size="12"&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
            &lt;td&gt;&lt;input name="lonWGS84" id="lonWGS84" value="" size="12"&gt;&lt;/td&gt;

    <tr><td><input type="submit"></td></tr>

  4. 4

    Add this JavaScript function to the Notepad document:

    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

    <script type="text/javascript">

    $(document).ready(function() {

    $('#grid Ref').change( function() {

      var pOSGB = OSGridToLatLong($('#grid Ref').val());
      var pWGS = convertOSGB36toWGS84(pOSGB);



  5. 5

    Save the Notepad document with an ".html" extension. Open it in your browser.

  6. 6

    Enter the OS Grid reference in the "OS Grid Ref" text field and click the "Submit" button. The equivalent GPS coordinates will appear in the "Latitude" and "Longitude" text boxes.

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