[Proj] MGRS invented by Germany?

Charles Karney charles.karney at sri.com
Fri Jan 22 10:31:18 EST 2016

This paper

   M. F. Buchroithner and R. Pfahlbusch,
   "Geodetic grids in authoritative maps -- new
   findings about the origin of the UTM grid" (2016)

has some interesting background on the origins of UTM and MGRS.

In particular, the division of non-polar regions into 60 zones, the
numbering of the zones, and the specific conventions adopted for MGRS
all seem to have been borrowed by the US Army Map Service from the
German military work in 1943-1944.

Figures 3 and 8 show 2 wartime orthophotos of 1km squares in Estonia and
Lithuania with designations (UTMREF), 35VLF6992 and 34UEG0578, which
coincide with the present-day MGRS designations for these areas
(respectively 59.451N 24.698E and 55.752N 21.088E).

(The correspondence isn't exact because of differences in the datum and
in the choice of the scale on the central meridian.)

Charles Karney <charles.karney at sri.com>
SRI International, Princeton, NJ 08543-5300

Tel: +1 609 734 2312
Fax: +1 609 734 2662

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