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US National Grid

USNGThe United States National Grid is a nonproprietary alphanumeric referencing system derived from the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) that is being promoted to increase the interoperability of location services appliances with printed map products by providing a nationally consistent grid reference system.

The purpose of the USNG according to the FGDC, is to “create a more interoperable environment for developing location-based services within the United States and to increase the interoperability of location services appliances with printed map products by establishing a nationally consistent grid reference system as the preferred grid for NSDI applications. The U.S. National Grid is based on universally-defined coordinate and grid systems and can, therefore, be easily extended for use worldwide as a universal grid reference system.”

It resembles the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS). When the WGS84 datum or NAD83 datum is used, USNG and MGRS coordinates are “equivalent”.

In addition, it has the advantage of being easily plotted on USGS topographic and other properly gridded maps by using a simple “read right and then up” convention where the user measures to the East and then North in linear increments. The coordinates are easily translated to distance as they are actually in meters rather than the more complex degree based increments of latitude and longitude. Thus the distance between two coordinates can quickly be determined in the field. Visit the FGDC website to learn more about how to read the USNG.

USNG 1 km2 grid statewide polygons for select states can be downloaded from the USNG Information Center. The website also provides more detailed information about the US National Grid.

USNG allows a common system based on the US Military Grid system using landmarks like hills or streams, anything permanent. It allows these maps to be printed anywhere by responders totally unfamiliar with the local area. The degree of precision is determined by the number of digits in the coordinates, 23 67 = 1000 meters, 23451 67345 = 1 meter.


Click here to download USNG grids at 10000m, 1000m, 100k or 100m for the County of Los Angeles.

Using GIS Data on this site

GIS Data downloaded from this site generally requires GIS software to view. Click here for a list of GIS Data Viewers

GIS data available on this website is provided AS IS - please read the GIS Data Portal Terms of Use

Data Field Descriptions

GIS Source Information
Database Name: eGIS_Basemaps_Grids
Feature Class Name: EGIS_USNG_10000M
Feature Dataset Name (if applicable):
Reference Date:
Accuracy: Other
Update Frequency: As Needed
Access Constraints:None

Contact Information
Enterprise GIS (eGIS)

County of Los Angeles


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