[Proj] MGRS support? HELL NO!

Clifford J Mugnier cjmce at lsu.edu
Thu May 4 15:28:43 EDT 2006

I am vehememtly OPPOSED to any non-U.S.Military software package attempting
to implement the MGRS outside of the United States.  OK with me for the
U.S., but any slight or minor screw-up elsewhere can serve as the root
cause of "Friendly Fire" accidents that maim or kill our own sons and
daughters in uniform.  Yes, it has already happened before.

I say stay the hell away from its use outside of the U.S.

Clifford J. Mugnier, C.P., C.M.S.
National Director (2006-2008),
Photogrammetric Applications Division
American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Chief of Geodesy,
Department of Civil Engineering
CEBA 3223A
Baton Rouge, LA  70803
Voice and Facsimile:  (225) 578-8536 [Academic]
Voice and Facsimile:  (225) 578-4474 [Research]
Honorary Life Member of the
Louisiana Society of Professional Surveyors

How difficult would it be to support the Military Grid Reference System
(and U.S. National Grid)?  They're basically UTM but as a single
alphanumeric string.  It seems it'd be a bit tricky since most of library
and console programs act on coordinate pairs.  Basically, support would
have to preprocess inputs and postprocess outputs somehow.  I'd imagine
there would need to be a flag controlling desired output precision. (unless
an existing flag can serve that purpose -w/n/ ?)

Are people:

1) Opposed
2) Supportive
3) Ambivalent
4) Don't care


I guess, for this to work the UTM handling would have to change.
Currently, you have to specify +zone= and +south (as appropriate), but the
library should be able to figure that out and report it back in the output.
The user should have the option of forcing a zone or allowing the library
to determine it.  Perhaps this is too deep a change?  I don't think it is
an uncommon problem that folks might not know what zone a coordinate will
fall into.  At least, not until it has been transformed to geodetic
coordinates on the same datum/ellipsoid.  Then it's pretty easy to figure
out.  So, why can't the library do that for the user?

Eric G. Miller
GIS Analyst
Biogeographic Data Branch
Department of Fish and Game

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